Begin by Identifying a Preliminary Topic
If you haven't been assigned or picked a topic yet, scroll down to the next box - Suggestions for Finding a Topic.
State your topic idea as a question. For example, if you're interested in finding out about the health concerns of children who consume too much junk food, you might pose the question, "What are the health concerns of children who eat too much fast food?"
Identify the main concepts or keywords in your question or research statement. In our example the keywords are:
As you proceed with your searching, it can be useful to identify other potential search terms; use a keyword chart to help strategize your topic in anticipation of searching a variety of resources.
Use reference books such as encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries to learn more about your topic, understand new terms, identify key theorists, etc. Discipline specific reference books are:
Discuss your topic ideas with a librarian. You can schedule an appointment with your School's librarian.
Discuss your topic ideas with your professor.