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Choosing a Topic: Where Do I begin?

Need An Idea?

Sometimes your topic is assigned, sometimes you need to come up with one on your own. When you are allowed to choose your topic, it is always a good idea to pick something that matters to you. Try these sources to get ideas for research papers:

10,000 Ideas for Term Papers, Projects, Reports and Speeches REF. LB 1047.3 .L35 1995 (or ask at the reference desk)

Where to begin?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the type of assignment - 5 minute oral presentation, 10 page paper, group project?
  • How many sources are required?
  • What types of sources are required - newspaper/magazine articles, books, scholarly articles, primary sources?
  • Does it relate to a specific time-period? Is the topic a current event?
  • Is point-of-view an issue? Do you need to articulate both sides?
  • Did your professor suggest a specific place to search?

Brainstorming and Mindmapping

Brainstorming is a great way to help pick your topic.  Here is an example of how it works

Subject Guide

Linda LeBlanc
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