As you are searching for information and learning more about your topic, you will be refining the focus of your topic. You can brainstorm topic ideas using the five Ws:
For a quick example, see how to five Ws were used to brainstorm topic ideas related to police brutality below.
Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas. Choose a couple Ws to focus on, and make quick lists of things you might research. In thinking about police brutality, we chose Who, What, Where, and When
|Excessive Force||Civil rights movement||Baltimore||African Americans|
|Unlawful arrest||20th century||LA||Convicts|
|Gun violence||2013-2018 (a range of years)||Great Britain||Children|
|Body cameras||North America||Women|
Step 2: Put them together
Add your brainstormed ideas together, integrate the WHY these topics interest you, and you have a researchable topic!
Ensuing Riots + 20th century + LA + African Americans + Significance =
How did the 1992 Los Angeles Riots affect relations between police and the African American community?
REMEMBER: It is important to keep your research topic open-ended. As you perform your research, you will inevitably refine or narrow your topic.
Mind mapping is a great tool for both narrowing your research topic and generating search terms for locating information resources.