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Starting to research



Define a topic

The first stage of the research process involves defining your topic.

You will think about what you are interested in and find out how to choose and develop a topic for your research.


 So whats the problem?


 Research Question




Brainstorm and mind map


Once you have an idea of a possible topic, try to brainstorm everything you know about the topic and any ideas you may have.  Don't worry about whether it is 'right' or 'wrong', you can go back later and remove anything that doesn't work.

A mind map can also be created to represent your thoughts as you consider your topic.  It is a very useful way to prioritise the themes you come up with and to help you to prepare a plan of action

Mind mapping

  • Mind mapping is a great way to keep track of your thoughts.
  • It is also an ideal way to group your ideas and resources and add structure to your knowledge.
  • Also have a look at the Poplet ipad app


  • Make a note of your ideas and thoughts as you begin to think about possible topics.
  • Brainstorming can be done alone or in groups - studies show that group brainstorming is more productive.



 Doing background checks on your research


Time management

Effective time management is an essential skill for any student to master.  It is very important when you are undertaking an extended essay or project, where you need to spend time preparing, researching and writing up over a number of weeks - don't leave everything to the last minute!
To manage your time, it helps to:
  • be aware of your own time management
  • be aware of how long it takes you to complete each type of study task
  • schedule time for unforeseen events
  • schedule time for relaxation and leisure
  • be very specific in your time-planning



 Prioritizing rock pebble sand