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Ideas for Research Papers


Picking a topic for your research paper can be a stressful process. This guide is designed to highlight a number of resources (some library, and some not), that can help you find a topic or refine a topic you already have.

Always read the instructions from your instructor regarding your paper and choosing a topic. If you have any questions, check with your librarian. 

How To Get Started

Choose a topic that interests you! This will make the research process interesting and meaningful. So, where do you find a topic that interests you?

  • Brainstorm questions
  • Class discussion or textbook-- was there something discussed in class or mentioned in the textbook that caught your interest?
  • Library and web resources (see below)

Brainstorm Questions

You can ask yourself the following questions to help you generate topic ideas:

  • Do you have a strong opinion on a current social or political controversy?
  • Did you read or see a news story recently that interested you?
  • Do you have a personal issue, problem or interest that you would like to know more about?
  • Is there an aspect of one of your classes that you would like to learn more about?

From: Golden Gate University

Resources for Topic Ideas - General