When choosing a topic, take into consideration the requirements of your assignment, your interests, the amount of time you have to research the topic, and the length of your paper. Listed below are library databases and web sites that may help you to brainstorm some ideas.
You may also want to look at the web sites of professional organizations in your field. Often these organizations will identify areas of interest and advocacy within the discipline.
Narrowing a topic requires you to be more specific about your research interest. If you are unsure about how to narrow your topic, ask the reporters’ questions “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When,” and “Why.”
You want to write a paper about the AIDS epidemic. The topic “AIDS” is too broad to address in your paper. Ask the reporters’ questions to narrow your topic.
Based on your answers to the reporters’ questions, formulate a focused research topic.
Due to its "abstinence only" sex education policy in Africa, the United States has an obligation to African children whose parents have contracted AIDS since this policy's enforcement.
You can also use the attached worksheet in order to narrow down your topic.
Once you have identified a topic, select the terms and phrases that are essential to understanding the topic.
Topic – Due to its "abstinence only" sex education policy in Africa, the United States has an obligation to African children whose parents have contracted AIDS since this policy's enforcement.
Keywords: AIDS, Africa, children, sex education, US policy
Once you have identified the keywords, use a concept map to brainstorm related terms and phrases. If you are having trouble identifying additional keywords, thesauri, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and online encyclopedias like Wikipedia can be great places to look for inspiration.
Video created by staff at Kansas State University Libraries
Created by Katherine Miller and Tom Childs for Douglas College Library. Creative Commons license Share Alike.