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DIY: Research Help

A continually evolving suite of research help content focused on helping you navigate the research process.


When You Have a Choice:

  • Choose a topic that is interesting to you.
  • Need topic ideas for a current issue? Check current news feeds and stories.
  • Make sure it meets the assignment requirements.
  • Not sure, ask your professor for feedback.


Finding Topic Ideas

Discipline/Subject-based Reference Resources

Use discipline/subject-based encyclopedias and research handbooks to discover:

  • background information about a topic, especially when you don't know much about it
  • find information about current trends, issues and/or research

Find them by searching in a reference database such as:

Here is a sampling from our print and ebook Reference collections:

Web-based Mind Mapping Tools

A Mind Map is created around a single word or idea, placed in the center (as your starting point), to which you add related or associated words, ideas and concepts in a radial, non-linear manner out from the central idea. In the context of doing research it can help you condense your thoughts, create a framework and develop keywords and phrases you can use in searching databases and search engines. It is important to narrow down the focus of your topic to find the topic you are really interested in. This will allow you to get better results when you do research by helping you narrow the results down to the most appropriate articles, books and websites.  Use these mind mapping tools to help you with the process.

Here is an example of how it works: