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By iProject Master Analyst, Posted on 28-05-24

The educational curriculum states that in order to be awarded a degree after the graduating, there is need to carry out a research in a field of study. Consequently, this is done at the final year level in all university institutions. A lot of students have challenge when it comes to choosing a research topic. This is as a result of the fact that they lack knowledge on the basics of choosing a good research topic such that most students score poor grades at the end of it or even have to change topic midway through. This write up therefore is aimed at helping final year student know the essentials when it comes to choosing a research topic.
In order to impose order on the choice process and make the process less frustrating, we suggest the following procedure for the selection of a research topic:
•        Decide on a functional area or areas of primary interest such as Engineering, production, computer science, management, education and so forth.
•        Net choose a sub –area from the functional area. For instance a student who has interest in human resources may choose a topic on organizational behaviour or workplace hostility.
•        Look for the possible research topics in that sub area.
•        Familiarize yourself with the subject matter relating to the proposed topics.
•        Evaluate any tentative topic you choose carefully and critically. A student should have at least three tentative topics in. He should choose the topic which is most attractive to him among the other topics having compared the pros and cons of each of the topics
•        Finally, present the chosen topic to the supervisor for further discussion, clarifications and elaborations if need be.
It clearly does not make sense to embark on a topic you know very little or nothing about. It can of course be argued that the student can familiarize himself with the subject matter in the course of the study. There are at least two problems with this: first, he may be unable to defend it before the supervisor. Second, he may find out later that the topic is more difficult than anticipated or that the needed materials are not available. He could even lose interest in the topic as a result of any of these unforeseen difficulties. The following criteria must therefore be borne in the mind of the student:
Many students have in the middle of their research, abandoned their research topics for a new one because they did not have enough sustaining interest in it, in the first instance. For some, they may have chosen it because it was suggested by the supervisor or some other persons they could not say not to. They may have felt that rejecting the topic then would have amounted to being ungrateful on their part which could be seen as an insult to the supervisor. either way it is dangerous to take a topic you are not really interested in because when it gets tough, your interest in the topic is what will sustain you more than any other thing.  
What makes a topic researchable is when you are able to collate reliable data to answer the research questions. A topic that is researchable can be known using available and scientific tools and methods. Also a topic may be unresearchable not because the relevant data doesn’t exist, but because the student doesn’t have access to them.
Feasibility of study refers to what it will take the student to complete the topic in terms of the cost of the study, the financial expenditure and the time frame of the study. Consequently, it is paramount that the student from the onset, estimate that he has all it takes to complete the study in terms of finance and materials, and also that he will be able to complete the study within the time frame allocated for it. If the answer to this is negative, then he should abandon the topic before embarking on it.

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