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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

Research appointments available!

Don't overlook one of your best resources - your Gallucci-Cirio Librarians! Need help getting started, developing your search strategy, focusing your topic and selecting "keywords", deciding what type of resources you need as well as how to use them? The librarians are here to assist you whether you have a home work assignment or an indepth research project to complete.