Start with your assignment; what is your professor asking for?
Follow all of your professor’s instructions. Ask questions if you don’t understand something like what a “scholarly, peer-reviewed” article is.
Tips on choosing a topic are part of our Research Smart Toolkit.
CQ Researcher has a “browse by topic” feature that shows you current, controversial and researchable issues.
In the database Issues and Controversies, click on the “Access all topics” link to see an A-to-Z list of potential topics.
Discuss potential topics with your instructor. Often a professor will give a broad topic and want you to write a paper about a specific aspect of that topic. For instance, “write a review of an article on a recent study in microbiology.” Microbiology is a broad topic. You would review a study done in a particular area, such as e coli bacteria or Alzheimer’s research. If you have to write about some aspect of the Reformation, pick a subtopic such as the Anabaptists, or Martin Luther, or the Gutenberg Bible.
Our Library Reference and Information Desk can help. Their number is 434-592-3362. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for more assistance.
Realize that not all topics are supported by a particular type of resource.
Need to talk to a Librarian about your specific topic?
Choose from our Liaison Librarians. Each one is specially skilled in a different subject so that they can provide you with the best quality assistance possible.