Choosing a topic is the first and maybe the most important step of the research and writing process! This step will determine the rest of your steps -- what your thesis statement is, what sources you use, and how to write your paper. So it's important to make sure you choose a strong and engaging topic.
Strategies for finding a topic:
- Look over the index and the article titles in a subject-specific encyclopedia that covers a relevant subject area or discipline. Check out our print collection available in the Information Commons. (Additional sources can be found by searching the catalog for titles in the general collection.)
- Spend some time looking at major journals in your field (look for the white binder in the reading room for a list of current periodicals by subject).
- Browse your subject area in one of our digital reference sources.
- Discuss topic ideas with your instructor or favorite reference librarian!
Good questions to ask yourself when choosing a topic are:
- Is this a topic that interests me?
- Is this a topic that is creative and has not been overdone?
- Is this a topic that is not too broad or too narrow to meet the assignment requirements?