Choosing a Topic
Try the following links for lists of current and controversial topics:
Worksheets to Help Narrow Your Topic
There are many ways that you can refine your general topics to narrower ones appropriate for a paper or project. Below are links to worksheets that present some strategies to do this. Everyone chooses and refines research topics differently, so choose the strategy that works best for you.
#1 Research Tip
UNDERSTAND THE ASSIGNMENT!!!!
Before you do anything, make sure you have thoroughly read the class assignment and clarified any unknown information with your instructor. Is there a required number of sources that need to be used? Are there any limitations on the types of resources that you can use? Is it in MLA, APA, or another style?
You do not want it to be the night before and realize that the paper needs to be 5 pages longer or that you needed 15 resources and not 10.
Make a Plan
In order to make searching easier, create a short checklist with all the types of resources that you will need. Make sure to include any constraints or requirements. Think about the following:
1. What types of resources do I need and where can I find these (the catalog, databases, archives, etc.)? Am I required to use any particular resources?
2. How many resources do I need and am I required to have a minimum amount?
3. Do I need resources created within a certain time frame (example-the last 5 years)?
4. Do any or all of my resources need to be scholarly or peer-reviewed?
5. Do I have time to use Interlibrary Loan or can I only use items that are in full-text?
6. Do I need to provide physical copies of my resouces to the instructor?
7. Do I need to include annotations with my citation?
8. Do any of my resources involve contacting an organization or scheduling an interview? If yes, how much time will I need to do this?