1.2 Creating a Topic

Before you can dive in and start looking for information, you need to have a topic. Spending time selecting a good topic can make the research process go much more smoothly.

A good topic needs to be "researchable." It shouldn't be too broad or too narrow. Another thing to keep in mind is that there may not be research out there for every topic. You may need to do some exploring in the databases to find out if there is enough information out there to support your paper.

Coming up with an idea for a topic can be challenging, but there are many places to find inspiration:
  • Your favorite news source. Current news stories are a gold mind of ideas on a wide variety of subjects.
  • Library research guides. We have created many research guides on a wide range of topics to get you started.
  • Your textbook. Picking a concept or event from your textbook is a great way to find a topic that is on target for your assignment.
  • Encyclopedias and reference books. The Library has hundreds of specialized sources that can give you ideas.