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Review the list of topics on CQ Researcher or Opposing Viewpoints databases under "Browse Topics"or"Browse Issues"for ideas
Helpful CLC Resources:
CQ Researcher Plus ArchiveFind in-depth reports on current & controversial issues in the news. Topics range from social and teen issues to environment, health, education, science and technology issues. Explores a single "hot" issue in the news in depth each week.
Opposing Viewpoints in ContextInformation on social issues with pro and con viewpoint articles, primary source documents, government and organizational statistics, multimedia, including images and podcasts.
Step 2: Keywords
List keywords to define your topic
List your research topic as a question
Pull out the nouns and important words or concepts in your question - these terms will be the keywords for searching
Come up with synonyms,broader or narrower terms or related words for key terms
Less is more - don't string together too many keywords in one search
Physicians OR Doctors (synonyms)
Canines OR Pets (broader terms for "Dogs")
Golden Retrievers OR Hunting Dogs (narrower terms for "Dogs")
Capital Punishment OR Death Penalty (related terms)
Search Academic Search Ultimate for magazine & journal articles
Do some general reading in an encyclopedia to get an overview of your topic (check Credo Reference)
You can search Wikipedia for general background,but remember, most instructors won't accept it as a source on your research paper/project
Helpful CLC Resources:
Academic Search UltimateMulti-disciplinary database with 10,000+ full-text journal. Includes a combination of academic journals (scholarly/peer reviewed), magazines, periodicals, reports, books and videos. Disciplines range from astronomy, anthropology, biomedicine, engineering, health, law and literacy to mathematics, women's studies, zoology and more. #ebsco
Credo ReferenceFeatures content from hundreds of reference books in a broad range of subjects.
Step 4: Refine Your Topic
Is your topic too broad or narrow?
If your topic is too broad you will drown in information (for example, "abortion" or "World War II")
If your topic is too narrow you will have trouble finding enough information (for example, obscure topics; subjects with little research or data available; limiting focus to a narrowly defined place or time; a very new topic)
Be flexible and consider revising or tweaking your choice of topic