154Pradana
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Hey there- I'm a sixth former thinking of switching to do an EPQ but the thing is, I'm struggling to think of a topic to do it based on my interests that is also not popular. My interests are largely on genetics and diseases like cancer or Alzheimer's or COVID-19 and its vaccines, as well as toxicology like the chemistry behind poisons and pharmacology like drug design. I think I'm also quite interested in the chemistry behind how elements work either individually or in compounds, such as how fireworks work- I think something along the lines of that. Ik they're very broad, but I'm unsure how to narrow it down better to something I'd be more than willing to spend more than enough effort to start and finish. Any help and/or pointers to doing the EPQ in general like doing the research and finding data, would be very much appreciated too! Thank you.
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kaorimiyazono
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(Original post by 154Pradana)
Hey there- I'm a sixth former thinking of switching to do an EPQ but the thing is, I'm struggling to think of a topic to do it based on my interests that is also not popular. My interests are largely on genetics and diseases like cancer or Alzheimer's or COVID-19 and its vaccines, as well as toxicology like the chemistry behind poisons and pharmacology like drug design. I think I'm also quite interested in the chemistry behind how elements work either individually or in compounds, such as how fireworks work- I think something along the lines of that. Ik they're very broad, but I'm unsure how to narrow it down better to something I'd be more than willing to spend more than enough effort to start and finish. Any help and/or pointers to doing the EPQ in general like doing the research and finding data, would be very much appreciated too! Thank you.
Hi I did an EPQ titled "Assess how useful epigenetic modifications will be as therapeutic targets for treating non-small cell lung cancer." (I'm happy to tell you about it in more depth if you want btw.)

My first piece of advice would be to choose a specific topic which you are the most interested in. All of the things you mentioned have great potential so it just depends on which one you prefer. Remember that your dissertation needs to assess/evaluate something to reach a conclusion, so your title should give you the opportunity to discuss something in depth with advantages and disadvantages or by looking at different view points. With a science EPQ it's really easy to fall into the "explanation" trap and end up paraphrasing different sources to describe and explain how x disease/drug/biological process/etc. so think about what exactly you'd want to analyse when you start narrowing down your topic/title.

Based on the stuff you said you liked, you could assess different types of gene therapy for treating cancer or try to answer the Q: What is the main contributing factor to the development of Alzheimer's Disease (genetics vs enironment)? Doing an EPQ on the Covid-19 vaccines (or just Covid-19) in general might be a bit difficult because there isn't much research available although it would depend on your Q. Maybe "should the covid-19 vaccines be compulsory?" (but that might be quite broad- I'm not sure where to begin) I can't think of anything for the elements, fireworks or for toxicology but if you decide to choose one of those as your topic make sure that you actually evaluate something to reach a conclusion.

A good way to start is to pick a topic and use google scholar to find different scientific papers discussing it. Then you can look at the references for the papers that you read to see where they got their information from as you might find some other interesting sources there. Then you can go narrowing it down until you land on a title.

Just a tip: You will need to reference everything so keep a table with the title of each source, a link, date accessed and maybe even write the references out as you go along. In terms of in-text references, I numbered all the sources I used on my table and as I typed my dissertation up I added the number of the source I used in brackets at the end of each sentence so when I was done, I just copied and pasted reference 1 into all the (1)s that there were.

I hope that made sense and I hope it was helpful I'm sorry if I ramble on for too long lol. I'm happy to answer any more Qs that you have.
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