Topic Development & Refinement

One of the early stages in the research process involves choosing, developing, and refining your research topic. There are many resources to help you brainstorm ideas.

Starting a Research Project

  • Start by considering the context of your assignment.
  • Explore online reference sources to get a big picture of your topic--they may help you think of more specific questions. Helpful sources to try include:
    • CQ Researcher provides in-depth coverage on issues covering a wide range of topics and may include graphs, photographs, a "pro-con" section, and historical background on a topic.
    • Wikipedia is a great place to start your research, but not a great place to end (anyone can edit it). Use Wikipedia to get ideas that you can then expand upon with quality, academic sources.
  • The Libraries’ English 102 Guide has an exercise and some helpful tips to help you develop a topic.

Getting Help... From a Librarian

General Resources for Research Projects

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