IDEPENDENT STUDY PROJECT: TOPIC SEARCH AND SELECTION
The first and most incontrovertible rule of genuine research is
that it begins with an
individual who is genuinely interested in the subject he or she is
going to research. If a
person is not deeply personally involved with the subject, the research
he or she does will
Only you can assign the topic you will study because only you know
what you are genuinely
interested in. However, your topic is subject to teacher approval.
In beginning your Independent Study Project, follow the process
A. Select a topic from your personal
- What do you really care about?
- What plays an important part in your life?
- See the Interest Survey provided by your teacher.
B. Narrow the topic:
- If a book or a lengthy article has been written on your topic,
is too broad.
- Another check: Look up your topic in the index of an
encyclopedia. If there are several sub-topics listed under your
topic, then it may still be too broad.
C. Develop the HYPOTHESIS:
- The hypothesis is a statement about your subject that you are
going to test and prove by doing your research. Try to avoid
purely speculative and morally judgmental issues, as data is
inconclusive or unverifiable.
- Unlike the thesis statement of an essay, your hypothesis is an
"educated guess." It's tentative and can change depending on what
you find when you do your research.
- Like the thesis statement of an essay, your hypothesis must be
ARGUABLE - it is a statement that you are going to prove.
be researchable, concise, and personally significant or innovative.
- Select a topic that interests you (Use the Interest Survey).
- Narrow it down.
- Develop a hypothesis that sets out to prove
something about your narrowed topic.