Ideas. Topics. Research Questions. Theses. They're all the same thing, right? Not at all! They're really more like steps up a ladder, and your paper assignments will help you know what step you need at each point in the writing process.
Not finding enough on your topic? Not finding anything on your topic? Are you using the best keywords and concepts to describe what you're looking for?
Brainstorming the different words and phrases used to describe your topic is one the most helpful things you can do to start your research. It gets you really thinking about your topic and the ways it can be approached.
If you're having trouble getting the storm started, try reading a few encyclopedia articles. Look for words or phrases that are repeated in the article and the different ways they are described there. Also check out the Reference List or Works Cited for more sources on topic.
Now check out this VoiceThread to see how to enter your keywords and phrases into searches for maximum success.