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Communication Sciences & Disorders | SLP

A guide to the research process and information resources in CSD & SLP.

How to Pick a Topic

  1. Choose a topic that is interesting to you.  Research is much more enjoyable if you care about your topic.
  2. Look at your class notes or textbook--sometimes these will provide ideas for topics.
  3. Talk with friends or family; often they can suggest topics you haven't considered or focus your ideas.
  4. Browse the table of contents of a core speech, language or communication disorder journal:  Audiology Research, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, Journal of Communication Disorders, Language and Speech
  5. Consider a controversial topic.
  6. What drew you into this field?  Is there something in particular that interests you?
  7. Is there an issue within the field that is currently sparking interest or conversations?


Once you've thought of a few topics, you'll want to test drive your topic.  

Running a trial search (a test drive) for information in the library's article databases is part of the research process.  If your test drive shows that there's too much or not enough information, you can tweak your topic.  

Explore the library's article databases--under the FIND tab, choose articles.  Select one of the links provided in the Find box. 

Topic Evolution

Choosing a research topic is rarely a straightforward process.

When you begin looking for information, you may find too many or too few articles on your topic.  If this is the case, your research topic will need to evolve.

Adapting to the amount of information you find by tweaking, focusing, or broadening your topic is a normal part of the research process. 

Video from NSCU on the research process: