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Hot Topics: Develop & Refine the Topic

Genetic ModificationGenetic Modification: Develop & Refine the Topic

This page walks you through the the process of refining the research topic of genetic modification. We've already gone through the steps of:

green checkmark1. Browse for Ideas

2. Pick a Topic

Pick a Topic

listed on the main Pick a Topic page. Next, it's important to develop and focus your topic more with the next two steps:

right arrow3. Do a Little Research

right arrow4. Refine Your Topic

3. Do a Little Research

Read a few articles about genetic modification. They could be from the place you were browsing, news articles you find through Google, a library reference database such as Britannica Academic, or even a Wikipedia article.

► See the Find Sources page in this sample topic for links to library resources.

You want to get a bigger picture of the issues around the topic. A quick search in different places shows more specific issues and things related to genetic modification.

Source Search Results / Article Topics
Google search on genetic modification filtered to news genetically modified salmon, eating genetically modified organisms, GMO cows, genetic modification to mitigate climate change, gene modification to cure Alzheimer's
Britannica Academic (library database) search on genetic modification "genetic engineering" article the historical background, applications in humans and plants, controversy around patenting engineered organisms
Wikipedia "Genetic engineering" article history of genetic engineering; the process; applications in medicine, agriculture, etc.; regulation; controversy around it

Google search results for genetic modification

4. Refine Your Topic

Based on the background research you've just done, narrow in on a more specific topic. Your project will be much more manageable if you focus on one piece of the larger topic. Here are some examples of narrower takes on the genetic modification topic:

  • Consumer perspectives on eating different GMOs
  • Methods of genetic engineering such as CRISPR
  • Intellectual property rights for GMOs
  • The effects of a specific GMO on the environment
  • Improving nutritional value of foods through genetic modification
  • Gene editing to cure a specific disease, such as Alzheimer's
  • Implications for "designer babies"


Tip! With this topic, you'll probably want to narrow down at least to one type of organism--a type of animal, a type of crop, or humans. And with humans, you will probably need to narrow down to a specific application of gene editing.


Happy with your topic?

Find SourcesMove on to the next step of finding more sources on genetic modification.

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NPR News on Gene Editing

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