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How do I choose a topic?

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Read your assignment closely. Make sure your topic meets your instructor’s requirements. Ask your instructor for clarification if you are unsure. Choose a topic that is interesting to you. This will make the research process more fun and engaging.

Here are some places to look for and refine basic topic ideas:

  • For information on controversial topics or pro/con discussions of issues, try ProCon.orgNew York Times Topics, or Issue Lab.
  • If you have a general area that interests you, but you need to narrow it, try a Google search on your topic and add words like “news” or “controversy.”
  • Look for your topic in Wikipedia to identify additional aspects or branches of your topic. 
  • Try some quick searches in Access World News for newspaper content, or in a database like Academic Search Complete to see what authors are saying about your topic in scholarly journals, magazines, or newspapers.

For more information, see our guide on choosing a topic.

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