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Choosing a Research Topic: Home

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Library Databases for Topic Exploration

Before choosing a topic, it is important to understand the assignment. What parameters has your instructor set for an appropriate topic?  Are you writing an argumentative essay or an information essay? Try browsing in the Hot Topic databases: 

How to Choose a Topic for Research

Watch the video then check your understanding with the drag and drop activity below.

Check Your Understanding

Gathering Background Informatioin

When you are ready to explore a topic further, gather some background information.

Use reference databases such as Gale eBooks and Credo Reference for encyclopedia articles and overview essays to learn more about a topic.  Background information can help you identify​ keywords, as well as specific issues or subtopics to research further. Gale Topic Finder


Then, talk with your family, friends, or a librarian.  Having a conversation about your ideas can help you focus in on a topic.  Use the 24/7 Ask a Librarian service for more assistance choosing a topic.


Adapted from Phoenix College's Choosing a Topic Library FAQ. Used with permission.