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Select A Topic
Before choosing a topic, make sure you understand your assignment and what your instructor is asking for. If you have questions, make sure to ask your instructor for clarification.
1. Choose a subject area that interests you and that will interest the readers. Try to avoid topics that are overly used such as abortion or gun control. It is important to choose a topic that is academic in nature - something that people will be doing research on. If your paper is an argumentative/persuasive paper, you need to pick one that is controversial or that people feel passionate enough to argue about or to do research on (otherwise you'll have a hard time finding sources).
- What makes you tick? What defines you?
- What problems affect you or someone close to you?
- What do you think the biggest problem in society is?
You can get ideas for research topics from the following databases amd websites to the right:
- CQ Researcher: Browse Reports By Topic - Browse the list of reports by topic to see all the reports related to health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy in America
- Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center - Covers current social issues. Includes viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to websites, and full-text magazine and newspaper articles.
- ProCon.org - Promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, primarily pro-con format.
- NY Times: Room for Debate - In Room for Debate, The Times invites knowledgeable outside contributors to discuss news events and other timely issues. Reader comments are moderated Monday through Friday.
- NewsBank: Special Reports - Updated daily, Special Reports focuses on topics of current interest, using content from sources throughout the world to provide a global perspective, current and background information, statistics, maps, images, websites, and suggested search terms