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Research help

This guide will help you at all stages of the research process, from choosing a topic to citing your sources.

Choose a topic

Having trouble finding a topic for your paper? The most important aspect of your topic is that it needs to be interesting to you - because you get to learn (research) and write (paper) about it.

  1. Browse for suggested topics in CSM Library's databases (good database options for topic browsing are listed below under Browse for topics).
  2. Review your class lecture notes and PowerPoints.
  3. Brainstorm topics by making a concept map.
  4. Bounce ideas off of your classmates, instructor, or a librarian, tutor, or peer mentor.

A good topic:

  • is interesting to you;
  • is narrow enough - too broad a topic and you won't be able to cover it in your paper;
  • is broad enough - too narrow a topic and you won't be able to find enough information about it; and
  • fits the parameters of your assignment.

Browse for topics

These library databases and websites present information on current issues or topics which can be useful when forming your own research topic.