How do I choose a research topic?

Choosing a topic can be one of the most difficult parts of a research project. If you have the option, try to choose a topic that interests you.

Generate Topic Ideas

Use the following resources to get ideas for your topic:

Do Some Background Research

Use general, popular sources such as magazine articles, Wikipedia, a general encyclopedia, or introductory books on your topic to learn a little more. Although some of these may be inappropriate sources for your ultimate paper, they can give you useful background information and specific names or phrases that you can use to search for more scholarly sources. College Library collects introductory-level titles in all subject areas; search for your topic in the library catalog and limit your results to College Library.

Refine Your Topic

The general topic you first consider will evolve as you learn more about the topic and in order to meet the criteria of your assignment.

Ask a Librarian

As always, if you need help finding sources, determining what it is you’ve found, or would like guidance on narrowing your topic, consider asking a librarian.