If you're in a subject-based class, such as Psychology or Ethnic Studies, you'll probably want to choose a topic that's relevant to the content of the class. You can often get topic ideas from the textbook or your instructor's lectures. But sometimes you might not be sure what topic to choose. Some of the library's databases provide lists of hot current events topics that you can browse for ideas. The databases also provide research materials you can use, such as articles from books, magazines, and newspapers.
|SIRS Knowledge Source: Leading Issues
Full text articles and internet resources on social issues, science, history, government, the arts and humanities. The Leading Issues list provides a convenient way to browse major topic areas.
Explores a single "hot" issue in the news in depth each week. Topics range from social and teen issues to environment, health, education and science and technology. You can browse by date, topic, or pro/con list.
One-stop source for information on social issues . Includes articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to websites, and full-text magazine and newspaper articles.
For more resources on controversial issues, law and legislation, statistics, and public opinion, see our Web guide to Current Events.
Sometimes you can do some creative brain-storming to get better focus on your research topic. Try creating a "mind map" either on paper or by using an online tool such as Bubbl.us.
Here is an example of a mind map based on Whip It (2009), a film that features roller derby. Each one of the "bubbles" could be shaped into a search term. The ideas expressed in each bubble can also be mapped to specific information resources such as newspapers online, encyclopedias, journal databases, and books.
Do preliminary reading to become familiar with many facets of the initial topic you have chosen.
If you find too much information, you might need to narrow your topic.