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PHYS 108: Introduction to Astronomy: Selecting a topic

Tips for selecting a topic

  • Select a topic that you are interested in. ​

Your research process will be more effective and more enjoyable if you care about your topic.

  • Select a topic that is manageable, i.e.:
  • not too broad
    If your topic is too broad, you will find too much information and not be able to focus. Consider narrowing it by time period, geographic location, population, or event. 
  • not too narrow
    If your topic is too specific, it will be very difficult to find sources on your topic. Consider exploring related issues, expanding time period covered, or population considered, or geographic area discussed. You can also compare your topic with another topic.  
  • not too technical
    Many scientific papers or papers about technical or legal topics can be VERY technical. Make sure that you are able to find information that you can understand.
  • not too new
    If your topic is too new, you may be unable to find books or journal articles on your topic. For example, if you're researching a breaking news event, you are likely to only find information about it in the news media.