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Selecting a Topic: Home

Tips for selecting a topic, and suggested databases and websites for finding topics

Selecting a Topic

Selecting a Topic: Quick Tips Interest. If possible, choose a topic that interests you!  You'll be spending lots of time and energy on your project, and there's more chance you'll do a good job if it's something you want to know more about. Scope.  Make your topic manageable!  Avoid choosing a topic that is too broad or too narrow.  If it is too broad, you will be overwhelmed with too much information.  If it is too narrow, specialized, new, or limited in appear, you may not find enough information. Time.  Choose a project that can be finished in the time you have!  You will run into delays - you'll need to borrow items from other libraries through Interlibrary Services; to recall a book; to visit other libraries, etc.  Plan for enough time to read the material and think about it before writing your paper.  It is important to find information.  More important?  They way you use it. Clarity.  Be clear about the topics you're searching.  A topic often does need to be adjusted as the information is gathered, but you should always know what topic you are searching.  Not having a clear idea of what you are looking for can cause you to get off track and waste valuable time.

Finding a Topic

These library databases and Web sites present issues and topics that may be useful when forming your own research topic.

Check out our Get Started guide in Research Now! for more help with

  • Background Research.
    Doing background research to explore your initial topic can help you to find create a focused research question
  • Initial Searching.
    Where are some good places to start, especially if you don't know anything (or very little) about your topic?
  • Forming a Research Question.
    Writing out your research question will help you articulate the direction of your research

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