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SEC 110: Security Concepts

Questions at Start of Research

  • Deadlines? 
  • How long should your paper be? 
  • Quantity and variety of sources?
  • Citation style? 

Research Topics and Questions

Steps for developing a research question from a general topic:

Step 1: Pick a general topic

A topic is what the research paper is about. It provides a focus for the writing. Example topics:

  • Biography of a famous hacker
  • Securing a mobile device
  • Encryption methods
  • A specific security attack or incident

Step 2: Explore Questions

Write a narrower topic that is related to the first. Ask open-ended "how" and "why" questions about your general topic. Sometimes it is necessary to gather information on the broader topic to help narrow your focus. See the "Background Information" section below.

Sample questions for "securing a mobile device":

  • What are the mobile malware threats?
  • What was a specific malware attack and how did it affect mobile devices?
  • How can individuals protect themselves from mobile malware?

Step 3: Focus your question

Develop a research question that can be researched and is neither too broad nor too narrow. Example research question:

  • How can a virtual private network help individuals protect themselves from mobile malware?

Background Information