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Picking a Research Topic

Brainstorming

There are a plethora of strategies for brainstorming: free writing, concept mapping, etc. The links below highlight each strategy, so you can find the one that fits with your mode of thinking.

Whatever your strategy don't forget to review what your professor has asked for you to do, so you can make sure that your topic is appropriate for the assignment.

Focusing a Topic

Assignments often are written with a subject in mind, but are often too broad to work as a single topic for your project. You still need to choose a unique aspect of that subject in which to specialize your research. To do this you may want to:

  • Look at class notes: is there anything that has been discussed in class that has peaked your interest?
  • Review your textbooks: what important points have been brought up in the text that you can expand on?
  • Look at specialized encyclopedias: Our reference collection has a ton of encyclopedias that specialize on a specific discipline or topic. Browse through the entries to see if there’s anything you may want to research more in depth.

Below are some additional resources to get you started.