Step 1: Choose your topic carefully

Try to pick a topic you know something about or that you are interested in. Remember to consider where and how you are going to obtain or collect your data for your project before deciding on a topic.

Step 2 : Focus your study

Be very careful not to make your question/hypothesis too broad e.g. Climate change (or global warming) and its influence on South Africa. This is a huge topic, think of all the sectors of society that may be affected by climate change or global warming e.g. Agriculture, mining, fisheries, forestry, health the list is endless. Other topics to be avoided are: drought or floods in South Africa, ozone hole and its influence on South Africa.

Limit your topic to a specific place or time e.g. The 1981 Laingsburg floods. Another way to limit your study is to look in the newspaper for an article which you can use as the basis for your study. Either investigate the issue further or more in depth or investigate what role the atmospheric condition had on the reported event/s.

You may want to consider doing a case study type project. Data for this type of study can be obtained from the Climate Information and Publications Office at telephone number 083 233 8686 or info4@weathersa.co.za

Step 3 : Draw-up a study plan

This plan will give you an idea of where to start with your study. Remember to give yourself enough time to complete each activity in your project. It’s no good contacting people you have identified to supply you with data the day before your project has to be handed in. Plan carefully as your study topic or focus may change as you collect your data.

Step 4 : Write-up your project

Possible outline for your study (your educator may give you an outline that you must follow)
Question to be considered or hypothesis
Background to study
Research method
Data
Discussion
Conclusion
References