Research of all kinds consists, inevitably, of these nine steps:
Tentative source list
Working source list
The area is the general field you’re scouring around in to find a topic you can research. If you’re interested in corporate social responsibility (CSR), then that’s your area. Likewise, if you’re interested in Adam Smith or Thomas Edison, then those are your areas. The economy of Finland is an area. They’re not the subjects you’re writing about; they’re merely areas in which you’re going to find something to write about.
The topic is the question you decide to find an answer to. “Does a high level of CSR produce high enough stock ...