How to choose a research topic? (HKDSE Liberal Study IES Guide)

This is Part 1 of the series: HKDSE Liberal Study IES Guide.

Follow the link to read the whole series!


How to choose a research topic?

  1. Don’t choose a one-time event
    As a social study, you don’t want to do something that only happens once and have no effect on the society afterwards. Also, make sure you can find enough sources and people (or subjects) with sufficient knowledge on your topic throughout your 2-year project.
  2. Choose topics with empirical studies and related theories that you can draw from
    Look up some key concepts for your topic to get an idea of how much information you can pull off common sources. Then focus on more specific items like theories that may be able to support your research. A good place to start looking is the Wikipedia or even Google Scholars. Put the theories or scholars you found on a list and keep it well; you never know when it may come handy – for example, a way to use the theory is to draw from a famous scholar to support your claim. If you are making a statement based on an assumption or “known fact”, it would be useful to have certain theories or empirical finding to support your assumption. Needless to say, it makes you more convincing and helps bullet-proof your argument.
  3. Choose topics that you have lasting interest in
    The IES lastly roughly 2 years, and like it or not, it will become part of your school life and daily life. You will find the project a terrible chore if it bores you, or if you simply have nothing to say about it. So be sure you are really interested in your topic!
    In the conclusion part of your IES, you may have to make statements and suggestions for improvement on social situations. So it will be helpful if you really feel passionate about your topic and aren’t just doing it for the grades.

After you know what topic to choose, you can move on to:
Part 2: Where should I find and utilize resources? (Coming soon!)

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