University of Southern California

Begin by brainstorming some ideas. Think about topics that interest you and you have seen as issues in the community. Start searching to see what others have published about your interest and use others’ publications to help guide your inquiry. Brainstorming a research topic can be a bit overwhelming. That is very common. Take time to narrow or broaden your topic. This process will help you to best find the topic that interests you. If your topic is too narrow, it will be hard to find publications to support your paper; alternatively, if your topic is too broad, it will be hard to cover in one paper. 

DON’T FORGET ASK FOR HELP! Reach out to a librarian or a faculty who may have some background in the topic to help you through this process. The Norris Medical Library has great resources to help you conduct a literature search. Based on your research topic and the literature review that supports it, you can develop a hypothesis. A hypothesis is an educated, testable prediction about what you think will happen based on research that supports your topic.