Step 1 Choose an aspect of interpersonal relatioships. Then:
Specify a context in which the relationship occurs
Think about all the possibilities that define a two-person interaction
Choose, for example, between relationships of intimates, strangers, family members, friends, different cultures, co-workers, etc. For additional examples browse subject listings in the Encyclopedia of Human Relationships.
Review theories that describe them.
Remember ---all interpersonal relationships and interactions hinge upon how you define or perceive yourself, your role in relationships and how others perceive themselves.
Search on broad topics first to get ideas. This will help you
Identify search terms (keywords or subject terms) used to describe the theory, relationship or context you have chosen.
With a rough topic area you can begin browsing or searching to preliminarily assess current discourse, available resources, and feasibility of your topic.
Allow yourself a limited amount of time before deciding upon your topic, and stick to it! Many a student's hour is wasted from abandoning a topic and starting all over again.
This is also a good time to consult your instructor whether your topic is properly framed in the context of your course work.
Step 3 Writing Research Questions:
Printed reference sources, and increasinlgy, electronic reference sources, remain useful tools for finding background information on important research, scholars and topics in a field. Here are some useful resources for research in interpersonal communication:
Try the following:
Using the resources listed on this page develop a concept map with your bubbl account that contains information you have already located in the bubbles and questions that have come to mind from those resources on the Arrows. You will need these questions before you search for journal articles. Share the concept map with your course instructor.