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Finding a Topic
Choosing a topic can be the most challenging part of an assignment.
- Choose a topic that interests you and will sustain your interest
- Be flexible--the topic might need to be modified (narrowed or broadened) depending on the information available
- Keep the topic manageable:
- narrow and focused enough to be interesting, but
- broad enough to find enough information for the assignment
- Narrow your topic by:
- geographic region
- time frame
- event or aspect
- discipline or subject or
- person or group
- Browse through your text book for ideas
- Browse interesting subject sections in the reference collection for topic ideas
- Identify the location of interesting subjects using the Library of Congress System link below
- Read a general encyclopedia article on your topic
- Read an article in a specialized encyclopedia on the subject
These two current issues databases are great resources for choosing a topic because they provide a browsable topic list:
Includes opposite views from various sources on major issues of the day--academic journals, news articles, magazine articles, statistics, reference sources, primary sources, websites, audio, video, and images.
CQ Researcher (Congressional Quarterly)
Weekly periodical on current and controversial topics--includes a pro/con section