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Selecting a Topic: Home


These "step" pages have been adapted from that of Johnson & Wales University Library (Denver Campus) as well as from the Research & Learning Services Department of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.  Stafford Library has received permission to use and adapt these pages.

Selecting a Topic

Sometimes your professors may provide you with a research topic, but at other times you may have be given the flexibility to choose your own. If you need ideas, try:

  • Scanning your textbook for broad topic ideas.
  • Major newspapers such as The New York Times or a magazine in Google Books.
  • Browse print and electronic reference resources (this will also help when you start conducting background research).
  • Look at "hot topic" databases, such as CQ Researcher, and Opposing Viewpoints. These databases feature reports and analysis on current events and controversial issues.
  • Surf the Course and Topic Guides created by the librarians here at Stafford Library for a variety of topics and sources to research those topics.
  • Discuss potential topics with your instructor, a librarian or a classmate.
  • Choose a topic that interests you and will hold your attention.  If you do, the research will be more enjoyable!

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