Assignment Research Calculator

Henry Madden Library

Step 2B

Choosing a Topic : Who, What, Where, When or Why?

Once you have a basic topic in mind, the Who, What , Where, When or Why Strategy is a great way to begin to think about different aspects of your topic and begin to focus on it.

A general information cycle timeline.

Determine the disciplines involved Which disciplines or occupations would be interested in this topic or might analyze it in their literature?
A lot of research topics can be multidisciplinary or looked at from different perspectives.

The disciplinary focus will determine the appropriate tools to use to locate information that you will learn about in Steps 4, 5, and 6.

For example, for the question: What is the history of body art and tattooing in teenagers? You could look within the following fields:

  • Education
  • Popular Culture
  • Psychology
  • Medicine
  • Visual Arts

Radial diagram of the research topic