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Research Toolkit: Picking a Topic

Picking a Topic

Picking a Topic

Choosing a topic can be difficult!

There are a few things to consider when coming up with a topic for your research assignment:

  1. The topic must meet the assignment requirements. Make sure to consider the assignment when coming up with your topic; there may be guidelines in place you must follow.
  2. Choose something interesting to you! You’re the one who has to complete the research and write the paper, you may as well do it on a topic you’re interested in learning more about!
  3. Do some background research. Do you have a few ideas, but nothing concrete? Try doing some sample searches to see what types of sources are available. It might help you narrow down on a particular topic.
  4. Use a research question to focus your topic.

If you still need ideas for a topic, try browsing a pro/con database or newspaper websites. They often have articles on current events that you may not even realize you can turn into a topic! CCCOnline provides access to an excellent pro/con database:

This database will provide background around current topics and you may see something that sparks your interest!

To access these two databases, just login to D2L, and select either EBSCO Research Databases (for Points of View Reference Center) or Gale Research Databases (for Global Issues in Context). There you can select the pro/con database and begin browsing for topics.

Another great place to check for current issues that may make excellent topics are news websites. They're going to show the most current issues that are affecting the world or your town. Keep in mind that news sources can be biased, so you'll want to select a topic and then locate some counterpoint material. Some news sites to browse: