Skip to Main Content

I-Search Papers: The Topic

A brief guide through the process of an I-Search paper

Making Your Topic A "Research Question"

Research Question

Copyright © by Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Topic Refinement

Your topic and interview have to be related. When you identify the major 'umbrella' topic - such as your interviewee's experience with addiction, a disease, an historical event, a career or hobby, etc. - you will continue to keep focusing in on a particular aspect - such as new treatments, the presence and impact in Baltimore, etc. - based on your original questions and what you want to get out of this project. This is not book report! Think of yourself as a journalist. 


Topic That Will Sustain Weeks of Research

This is your opportunity to research something you care about and earn college credit - finally. This can be practice for your junior and senior years in college - it can be what you plan to major in or relate to your professional interests. Or your I-search paper can be about something you are passionate about - the journey that your favorite musician or performer took to the top and why their story is important. A problem you and your family have faced and what is being done to help - is it enough? Keep on asking questions, beyond your interview.