Students taking a health science course for the first time may find it difficult to choose research topics for required papers in their class. With literally millions of different ideas to discuss, it seems almost impossible to narrow the choices down to just one topic to explore. It may seem like a futile task to even begin attempting to search for a topic worthy of your time and energy.
Narrowing Down to One Topic
The best way to narrow down research topics is to choose something that sounds interesting to you. There is no worse motivation killer when researching topics, than choosing something of which you have little to no interest. To begin, choose a general subject area that may have special meaning to you. Start by answering the following questions:
- Do you have close friends or relatives suffering from a certain disease?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with something about which you would like to learn more?
- Have you heard about something recently in the news that piques your curiosity?
- Have you seen a picture online somewhere of a mysterious disease symptom that looked interesting?
How to Break the Research Report into Sections
When you narrow down your topic area to something that interests you, you can then start to investigate other areas of the subject matter. For example, if you are interested in a disease that you aunt has recently told you she has, you could break it down into smaller topic areas, like:
- What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?
- Who typically is more prone to this illness?
- What are the current treatments available?
- Is this disease contagious?
- Can this illness be passed on to a person’s offspring?
- Is there any recent research being conducted on the illness?
Finding Trusted Medical Information on the Internet
Now that you have the topic broken down into sections, you have a base from where you can start your researching and you have an outline made to structure your paper. You may be surprised to find just how much information is available on these types of topics. A great place to start researching any type of medical concern is MEDLINEplus.gov. There are literally tons of entries on a multitude of medical topics.
One issue of concern that should be addressed when writing any type of research paper is finding accurate sources. There are a number of sites on the internet that will claim to offer information that is accurate and up to date. Places like Wikipedia and other user donated sites typically are not the best places to use as sources. Your best bet is to ask your instructor or teacher which sites she recommends to be adequate sources for information. Because you are writing about a health topic, you want to be certain that the information that you report accurately reflects what has been proven in the medical literature.
For a list of suggested health research topics, check out Research Toopics for Biology, Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophys.