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Choosing a Topic  

Last Updated: May 11, 2012 URL: http://libguides.uhv.edu/choosingatopic Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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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 (since you are going to be working on this for some time) 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 below as idea sources only.

Best Databases for Finding a Topic

  • Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center  Icon
    Examines contemporary issues from the pro and con. Features viewpoint articles, topic overviews, full-text magazine, academic journal, and newspaper articles, primary source documents, statistics, images and podcasts, and links to Websites. Gale/Library Subscription
  • TOPICsearch  Icon
    This current events database allows researchers to explore social, political & economic issues, scientific discoveries and other popular topics discussed in today's classrooms including controversial opinions and viewpoints. Look under the light green "limit your results" bar. There are pull down menus for TOPICS and another for CURRENT EVENTS. Select one and click the search button. You don't need to put anything in the search box. Your results will show you related magazine and journal articles to the topic or current event you chose.
  • CQ Researcher
    Founded in 1923 as Editorial Research Reports, CQ Researcher is noted for its in-depth, unbiased coverage of health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. There are several ways to explore topics in the CQ Researcher. Select from the "Browse by Topic", "Pro/Con", or "Issue Tracker" links on the left side of the home page.
  • Victoria Advocate/Newsbank Database
    Although this database is used for searching the Victoria Advocate, the creator of this database has provided a handy "HOT TOPIC" and "SPECIAL REPORTS" feature on the left hand side of the home page. The hot topics links will send to you a brief paragraph about the topic and give you some keywords to use in searching the Advocate database (or any other). The special reports links will send you to articles, websites, and other related information.
  • 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 VC/UHV Library web page, select an appropriate database and start searching.
 

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Our LibGuides can help you with:

  • Citing Your Sources
  • Writing a Paper
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