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Writing and Thinking Guide: Choosing Your Topic

Tools to help narrow a topic

Research starters

Tips on selecting a topic

This guide is to help you research your chosen topic for Writing and Thinking-ENGL 100.  The tabs above will help you locate resources and provide helpful tips needed to fulfill your research assignment.

Selecting a topic can be a challenge.  Remember a few things when deciding on a topic:
  • Brainstorm for ideas using personal experiences, a thesaurus, reference sources, news sources, subject guides in databases, reliable websites and search engines.
  • Choose a topic of interest to you and that you understand.
  • Make a list of keywords, synonyms or related words that best describe your topic.  
  • Research and read more about your topic.  Use an encyclopedia to become more familiar with the main concept of the topic.
  • Develop a research question or statement for your topic and pick out the related terms or keywords.
  • Do a preliminary database search to be sure there is enough information written about your topic.  Research and read more about your topic.
  • Be flexible.  You may have to change your topic or refine it.

Finding a Topic