Topic Development & Refinement

One of the early stages in the research process involves choosing, developing, and refining your research topic. You may want to explore resources like reference sources or course reserves to get ideas, try a librarian-crafted exercise, or use a mind-mapping tool to brainstorm ideas.

Starting A Research Project

  • Start by considering the context of your assignment.
  • Check out this video on getting started with UNLV Libraries! (text transcript)
  • Explore 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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