Focusing A Research Topic: Welcome!

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There are many related books on writing in the Sacramento City College Library than I have listed in this guide.  Use the Catalog (LOIS) to find a book that you are interested in.  The easiest way is to perform a Simple Keyword search.  Type in the topic that you are searching for, such as "research topics" or "writing a research paper." 

Play around with the terms until you find the information that you are looking for.


So you want to research....the environment.  Or abortion.  Or health care. 

If your topic is as broad as these examples, you have some work to do before you can really start your research.  Focusing your topic will save you time and headache, and make your paper a lot more interesting. 

This guide was created for community college students researching a particular topic for a paper or project.  Most students need to narrow (and occasionally broaden) their research topics at least once during their research process.  It's good practice to know how to zoom in and zoom out of focus on your topic if needed during different parts of your project.

Locating Materials

Books in this guide are shelved on the 3rd floor of the Learning Resource Center unless they are marked Reference (2nd floor), or Media (1st floor). Electronic books (ebooks) are accessible from any Internet connection with student ID number and eservices password.

Contact the library research help desk if you need help finding books, media, periodical articles available through the library’s databases, and reliable websites for your research.

Other Libraries

Additional books, ebooks, and media are available at ARC, CRC, FLC, and EDC. Search LOIS, the catalog to find these materials. You can request books and media from other libraries in the district and have them delivered to the SCC Library.