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Choose a topic that interests you and will hold your attention. If you do, the research will be more enjoyable!
The Research Assignment
Before selecting a topic or starting your research, make sure you understand your assignment and its requirements. Consider the following:
- Have you been assigned a topic or can you pick your own?
- How many pages/words do you need to write? How long is your presentation?
- Do you need to include specific types of sources? (e.g. scholarly journal, book, etc.)
- When is the assignment due? How much time do you have to research?
- Is currency of information important?
When in doubt, consult with your instructor.
Having trouble finding a research topic? Here are some ideas to help you select and refine a topic:
- Browse your course textbook and required readings for broad ideas.
- Browse current scholarly journals and periodicals for current hot topics and issues.
- Discuss potential topics and areas of interest with your instructor, a librarian or a classmate.
Checkout the following "hot topic" databases for current events, opposing viewpoints and controversial issues:
Provides reports of research and analysis on issues in the news. Coverage includes health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. Each report focuses on a single issue and is written by a seasoned journalist.
Provides cover-to-cover full text for hundreds of national (U.S.), international and regional newspapers. In addition, it offers complete television and radio news transcripts from CBS News, CNN, CNN International, FOX News, NPR and more.