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Choosing a Topic
Many times the topic of your research paper will be assigned to you by your instructor. Other times, you will be required to choose a topic and develop it on your own. It helps to choose a topic that interests you. This study guide has some sources that will help you find topic ideas.
Note: These resources will help you identify topics related to current issues and news events. The articles you retrieve may not necessarily be from peer-reviewed journals. If your instructor requires that your resources be peer reviewed, use the databases listed in the Best Databases for Finding a Topic box on this page.
Dictionary of Terms for Documenting Research
Best Databases (E-Resources) for Finding a Topic
Academic Search Complete (EBSCO)
Multidisciplinary electronic resource provided by EBSCO. Contains articles from magazines, academic journals, and newspapers. It also contains an image collection (top right, on green bar).
Credo Reference - Tutorial
Tutorial on best practices for using CREDO Reference
The Idea Generator - Old Dominion University
The librarians at Old Dominion have created this topic generator. Select a broad topic from the nine categories on the main page. The link will take you to a large list of current topics under the category you selected. Then come back to the SWTJC/SR-RGC Library web page, select an appropriate database and start searching.
MasterFile Premier (EBSCO)
Articles on most topics including business, health, education, science, and social issues.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context (Gale)
Articles with pro and con viewpoints from reference works, magazines, academic journals, newspapers, primary source documents, and government and organizational statistics.
Information on hot topics from newspapers, periodicals, and government sources.
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