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Start with your assignment; what is your professor asking for?
- Is this supposed to be an informative paper or a persuasive paper?
- Are you supposed to review a scholarly article?
- Are you required to use library resources?
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.
Full-length articles with in-depth coverage of the most important issues of the day, including an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, and resources for additional research
Want more Information? Watch a short, helpful video tutorial on CQ Researcher Online
Issues & Controversies (Facts on File)
Original in-depth articles as well as breaking news, newspaper and magazine articles, primary documents, vital statistics, and more on hot topics in politics, business, government, crime, law, energy, education, health, family, science, foreign policy, race, rights, society, and culture (Updated weekly)
For more information, please view the following video tutorial on Facts on File: Issues & Controversies
Issues and Controversies in History
Full-text articles, primary source documents, biographies, timelines, editorial cartoons, and statistics covering the great debates and conflicts in U.S. and world history and including every region of the world from antiquity to present
Biography (Gale in Context)
Full-text biographies, including magazine, journal, and newspaper articles as well as videos, audio selections, images, and primary sources, of the world’s most influential people from all time periods and areas of study
News, business, and legal information from local, regional, national, and international newspapers, journals, television and radio broadcasts, newswires, and blogs as well as legal sources for federal and state cases and statutes, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions since 1790
Watch a short, helpful video tutorial on NexisUni
Realize that not all topics are supported by a particular type of resource.
- You will not find an entire book on something that happened recently.
- You might not find a current journal article on a particular person or something that happened long ago in history; you might need to look in books.
- Scholarly articles are written by academic scholars and usually are either theoretical or philosophical (discussing an idea) or involve original research or a study. So there are topics that don’t have scholarly, peer-reviewed articles written about them.
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.