Choose a Topic

For your Research

Where do I start?

Ask yourself these questions before choosing a topic for your research paper or assignment:

1) What guidelines has your professor gave you regarding the assignment? Did he/she give you a list of approved topics to choose from or are you allowed to pick any topic in your discipline?  Check the syllabus or assignment for specifications and talk to your professor if there is anything you do not understand.

2) What topic am I interested in?  Is there a specific subject within your discipline that peaks your interest?  For example, if you are taking a class on abnormal psychology, is there a specific disorder you are curious about?  If you are a nursing student, is there a clinical procedure you have seen or heard other nurses using in the hospital that you are interested in studying?  Be sure to pick a topic you are passionate about or else you may find yourself getting bored or frustrated as the research progresses.

 

Mind Map

Not sure where to start? Use a mind map to brainstorm a topic!

Mind Map (Template - word doc)

Mind Map (example.pdf)

 

Idea Generator

Peruse this website to help you choose a research topic. Courtesy of Old Dominion University

 

Do Some Background Research

Search the library catalog for some books on your general topic (see below for a tutorial on how to search the catalog).  The chapters of the book may provide some interesting subtopics you can choose from.

 

Choosing a Topic is Research

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