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Research Tips: Getting Started & Choosing a Research Topic

Last Updated: Aug 9, 2018 12:19 PM

Getting Started

  • Pay attention to all due dates
  • Do not wait until the last minute - use the Assignment Calculator to stay on track
  • Follow all of the instructions given by your instructor
  • Be aware of the required minimum or maximum legnth of your paper
  • Be aware of the format required for presenting your assignment

Choosing a Topic

Deciding what to do your research on can be difficult and frustrating.  Mind Mapping is one way to help you narrow your idea; this video will show you how!

 (Thanks goes to the University of West Florida Libraries)


Sources that may provide ideas for topics on current events:

  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context - This database is a one-stop source for information on social issues.  It contains current event topics, facts, and the arguments of each topic's proponents and detractors.
  • CQ Press Library - This database provides access to:
    • CQ Public Affairs Collection - materials on key public policy topics
    • CQ Researcher - covers weekly in-depth original reporting on major, controversial issues with complete summaries and bibliographies
    • CQ Weekly - focuses primarily on legislative news and analysis
  • NPR Online - National Public Radio news provides high quality, non-profit, and non-commercial publicly supported radio news and information programming along with in-depth news and features with interviews and commentary.