Think about a topic that interests you
Write down anything related to that issue
Choose words or groups of words that might go together
Identify 2-3 keywords to use as search terms, and...
Congratulations! You've chosen a topic!
Are you interested in this topic?
Your research will be more interesting if your topic is something that you feel strongly about, or have a personal connection with.
What is your assignment?
Check with your instructor and read your assignment carefully before you begin researching to make sure that you are on the right track.
Some questions to ask yourself:
Why did you choose the topic? What interests you about it? Do you have an opinion about the issues involved?
Who is your research about? Adults? Women? Children? LGBT people? Who is affected by the topic? Do you know of organizations or institutions affiliated with the topic?
What are the major questions for this topic? What are the major aspects of the topic? Political? Ethical? Psychological? Are there a range of issues and viewpoints to consider?
Where is your topic important: at the local, national or international level? Are there particular areas that the topic is pertinent to this topic?
When did your topic become important? Is it a current event or an historical issue? Do you want to discuss your topic in the history context?
Is my topic too broad or too narrow?
If you get too many hits in OneSearch or in the research databases, then your topic may be too broad.
If you get very few or no hits in OneSearch or the research databases, then your topic may be too narrow.
Does my assignment require a source from an academic journal?
If so, be sure to run a search in OneSearch for academic journal articles on your topic before you commit to researching it.
With certain research topics it will be difficult to find academic journal articles, which means that you may have a more difficult time finding sources for your assignment.