Choose a Topic

Find a General Topic

  1. Peruse your textbook and class notes: Find a relatively narrow topic that interests you.
  2. Read review articles journals like American Scientist, Scientific American, BioScience, Nature, the Quarterly Review of Biology, or Science: These journals provide good review articles in many fields of science. For example, in Science these are called "Perspectives" or "Reviews". In Nature these are called "News and Views". If you find a good article, this may help to narrow down your topic, and serve as a good research resource.

Do a Preliminary Search on Topic

You want to make sure that there is enough research done on topic already.
  1. Use EBSCO Database on the Dundee-Crown Media Center website. See Ms.Merva about logging in when off campus:;jsessionid=1CCE886689517ADFFA05D40BFF46F756?l2m=Home&tm=Home&l2m=Home
  2. Search Google or Bing for a SPECIFIC topic.

Formulate a Focused Topic Question, Hypothesis, or Thesis
Breadth of the topic
Choose a topic with enough background material available to make your project factual and interesting, but not so broad that you cannot address the topic thoroughly in the allotted space. It is best to think of the topic as a thesis, hypothesis, or question to be proven, tested, or answered.
Examples of bad topics
"Cancer" is too broad of a topic. "Is Tibetan Chanting a Cure for Cancer?" probably has not been well investigated scientifically.
Examples of good topics
"The use of Taxol from the Pacific Yew to Treat Ovarian Cancer" is a fairly concise topic thesis that should yield enough scientific data for a decent project. "Taxol from the Pacific Yew is Effective in Treating Ovarian Cancer" is a concise topic hypothesis.
"Is Taxol from the Pacific Yew Effective in Treating Ovarian Cancer?" is a concise topic question.
You should discuss your topic with Ms. Merva and if she approves it, go on to research your topic.