How to Find a Topic

Finding a topic is the most important but sometimes the hardest part of the research process. These easy tips should help.

  • Choose a topic you find interesting
  • Topic should fit the assignment -- ask instructor for approval
  • Focus the topic
    • Broad -- Computers (you'll find too much information)
    • Narrow -- The psychological effects of computer use for primary school children in Lake County, FL (you'll find too little information)
    • Just Right -- Is Internet addiction a serious psychological problem?

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Topic Idea Websites

Use these sites for topic ideas and for help narrowing a topic. Links open in new windows.

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Databases

Use these databases to narrow broad topics and for in-depth information on many controversial topics. Most articles are full-text. To access: use your X-ID as the Borrower ID and your six-digit birth date (MMDDYY) as the PIN.

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Print Sources

These print series present many controversial and timely topics in a question/answer or pro/con format.

  • At Issue
  • Contemporary World Issues
  • Current Controversies
  • Opposing Viewpoints
  • Taking Sides

To find them use the library catalog and do a search like the one pictured.

screen shot of catalog search

Other Internet Sources

These websites also offer good ideas for paper and essay topics. Sites open in new windows.

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Still can't find a topic? Ask A Librarian for help.