Early Childhood/Early Intervention: Getting Started with Your Research

Help with Brainstorming a Topic

Coming up with a topic for research is a balance.

You need to be at least mildly interested in a topic you'll spend at least a few weeks researching, but you also have to be realistic. Sometimes those topics that are really interesting to us are kind of unresearchable. So balance interest with practicality and chose a topic that is researchable in the time frame you have. Save those really interesting ones for your PhD Dissertation!

If you need help brainstorming a topic you can use some of the library's resources:

* Try going into one of the databases that contain articles on your topic. Play around with keywords and see what kinds of things others write articles about.

* Try looking in some online encyclopedias to see what kinds of abroad topics exist. These encyclopedia articles are written by academic experts and some can peak your interest. Just type in some keywords and see where it leads.


Focusing a Topic into a Researchable Question

Example of a question that is too broad:

"What are the social, emotional, and developmental difficulties of infants, toddlers, and their families?"

Too many variables! You may want to initially focus in on just one specific syndrome and one specific group - something like "What are the emotional effects on a single parent with an infant with Asperger Syndrome?"

Example of a question that is too narrow:

"How does the existence of a maternal aunt effect the duration of sleep in bilingual Estonian single mothers with twins with Asperger Syndrome?"

Probably not a lot of research out there! Maybe loose a few qualifiers, something like - "How are the sleeping patterns of parents affected by raising a child with Apserger Syndrome?"


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