Every research project addresses an underlying research topic. The research topic is the subject matter of the research to be performed. All researchers need to be able to translate their research problems into appropriate research topics. The motivation and qualification of a (student) researcher play a major role while identifying a suitable research topic. Moreover, potential problems of limited information access have to be considered before deciding for a research topic. The aim of a research project can be of an abstract or a problem-based nature. Both types of aims have different characteristics in terms of practicality, independence, creativity and inherent challenges. A number of proven techniques can be applied in order to identify a potential aim and ultimately a research topic. Six idealised process steps with corresponding actions can help to refine the chosen research topic. The differences between research topic and research title and possible forms of their interaction have to be kept in mind. Clarity while verbalising a research topic can be achieved by following the principles of clearness and proper composition.
Link to e-learning videos: Overview of chapter 5