Answered By: APUS Librarians Last Updated: Nov 18, 2016 Views: 4503
Where can you look for topic ideas?
- The library's Credo Reference collection includes many subject-specific encyclopedias (along with a cool mind-map feature) that can help you discover new topics and background information.
- Class textbooks can be an ideal source for topic ideas.
- Look in the textbook for the class you're taking - or from a past class that you particularly enjoyed.
- Skim the chapters that interest you the most, paying close attention to any sidebars or boxes on each page (these often cover subtopics or current issues of particular interest in the field).
- Most chapters will even give you a head-start with your research by listing books and articles on the topics covered (look for "further reading", "suggested reading" and, of course, works cited/bibliography/references pages).
- The library's research guides are another good place to browse. Find the guide for your degree program! It will link you to relevant article databases, journals, ebooks, video and news, and authoritative websites. As you explore, you may discover topics of interest.
- Look for professional associations related to your major or career. Click around their websites and keep an eye out for topics that interest you.
Once you have found a topic, you'll need to identify your search terms and try a test search to make sure there is enough scholarly material for you to use in your paper or presentation. Be flexible as you explore your topic - you may need to narrow or broaden it a bit to find what you need.
For more advice on refining your research topic, visit Writing@APUS: click The Starting Point.