Your professor has given you a broad topic for your research project. You now have the freedom to choose a narrower focus within that topic.
Q: C'mon, Michelle...why can't I just write about the broader topic?
A: You'll soon find out that there is an overwhelming amount of information on the broader topic. Entire books may have been written about this topic. In order to find peer-reviewed sources (one of the requirements for your case study assignment), you'll need to choose a subset of the broader topic.
Here are some questions to help guide you as you begin to identify specific areas of research within your broader topic:
Here's an example:
Let's say that I'm interested in strength training. In order to come up with a narrower topic, I think about the questions listed above. Perhaps I'm interested in free weights as a type of strength training. In terms of population, I think I'd like to research females and strength training. To take it a step further, maybe I want to focus on elderly females. A relevant location might be senior centers or assisted living facilities.
I've now taken steps to really bring my topic into focus - I can look for research on strength training programs for women, involving free weights, offered by senior centers or assisted living facilities.
You will have to spend some time mapping out the territory of a topic, sorting out what information is available and what different angles have been taken by others. This is often the most difficult part of the research process - and the most frustrating because you don't feel as if you're making much headway. Try these strategies to make the most of this part of the process: