Topic Selection & Professional Associations

A Few Key Terms

Professional Associations:

As defined by Wikipedia: A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) is usually a nonprofit organization seeking to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession and the public interest.

Flagship Journal:

The "flag ship" was a naval term for the ship carrying the commander of the fleet. But it also has come to mean the "finest, largest, or most important one of a group of things" (as per Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Therefore, a "flagship journal" is the most respected or prestigious journal of a discipline or of a professional association.

Anchor Article:

Find one, or maybe two, journal articles that have many characteristics of what you want your paper to have. Perhaps because of the topic, the research question, the methodology, or the findings. Use it as a framework to design parts of your study, but then differ yours in some methodological way to compliment it, build on it, or even to challenge it.

*Of course, cite your anchor article appropriately (otherwise it's plagiarism!). See the sections on ASA and APA style for more tips on citing things appropriately.