Linguist Forum

General Linguistics => FAQ Discussion => Topic started by: Daniel on December 25, 2014, 01:56:48 AM

Title: Choosing a Linguistics research topic
Post by: Daniel on December 25, 2014, 01:56:48 AM

What is linguistics research? What can we do?

Linguistics MENU

It can be hard to pick a topic for Linguistics research, but it’s easy to start and to narrow down your choices. Just follow this menu and make your selections…

Once you’ve chosen that much, you’ll be able to start looking for a good topic in a narrower subfield. Usually, good topics are not too broad and not too narrow.

The best topics identify a gap in current research: they connect with existing work, but they don’t repeat it. It’s difficult to work on a completely unexplored topic (especially when you’re just starting), but it’s important to contribute something new. Look at existing work to see how it could be expanded and what the next related questions are.

Usually a term paper for a course is a good way to start, but that’s not required.

Important note: remember that if you plan to do surveys, experiments or other interaction with Human Subjects you’ll need approval from the IRB before you start! (This requirement applies to ALL research beyond course term papers and informal, unofficial pilot testing that will never be published or reported at conferences!!)
[This information is true for most universities in the United States. Other countries may have different regulations or none at all. Ask someone in your field.]