Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MSCM 3301: History of American Journalism

Topics

Where to start?

Start by thinking about topics that have come up in class discussions, have been assigned as readings, or that interest you. You can also check popular journals in the discipline for ideas.

A topic that is too broad will lead to fragmented and incohesive research.

You can narrow a topic by limiting the scope to a specific:

  • Consumer topic (behavior, satisfaction, population)
  • Aspect of the marketing mix (price, product, placement, promotion)
  • Advertising type (social media, traditional media)

If you are having trouble narrowing the scope of your research topic, review background information about your topic using an encyclopedia, Wikipedia, or Google. These sources of background information are not considered scholarly sources, but they can be helpful to find ways to narrow your topic. 

A topic that is too narrow will lead to frustration during the search phase when the "No results were found." message is the only result.

You can broaden your topic by expanding or eliminating limits like:

  • Consumer topic (behavior, satisfaction, population)
  • Aspect of the marketing mix (price, product, placement, promotion)
  • Advertising type (social media, traditional media)

If you are having trouble expanding the scope of your research topic, review background information about your topic using an encyclopedia, Wikipedia, or Google. These sources of background information are not considered scholarly sources, but they can be helpful to find ways to expand the scope of your topic. 

Turning your topic into a research question and thesis statement.

Research is a form of problem solving, and the first step in problem solving is always to identify the problem. In other words, what question do you hope to answer with your research?

And once you have your research question, the next step is to reformulate it as a thesis statement. The thesis statement answers your research question in such a way that it leads into the major points that you will make in your paper.