Choosing a good topic is important. You want to choose a topic that is broad enough that you can find information on it but that is focused enough that you can research it thoroughly. The links below will walk you through how to find a research topic and give you information about tools we have that can assist you with focusing your topic further.


Getting Started

Feeling Overwhelmed (1 min. 08 sec.)
Ten Basic Terms (1 min. 31 sec.)
Scholarly Arguments (1 min. 39 sec.)

How to Choose a Good Topic

Finding a Topic You’re Curious About (2 min. 35 sec.)
The Trouble with Strong Opinions (1 min. 24 sec.)
Tell Me More: Strong Opinions (55 sec.)
Asking Questions (2 min. 40 sec.)
Tell Me More: Asking Questions (2 min. 10 sec.)
Finding a Gap in the Research (1 min. 48 sec.)
Narrowing Your Topic (2 min. 47 sec.)
Marijuana Legalization Example (2 min. 21 sec.)
No Easy Topics(58 sec.)

Additional Resources

VIDEOiconWC64x64How to Choose a Topic (3 min.)
Learn basic techniques for deciding on a topic and focusing it to make the research process more manageable for you.

LINKiconWC64x64SIRS Knowledge Source (Available from NAU Online Library) SIRS Knowledge Source lets you explore timely controversial issues from all sides, giving you facts on the history of a particular problem as well as pro and con information that can help you gather necessary ideas as you begin your research. This handout shows you how.

LINKiconWC64x64Credo Mind Map (Available from NAU Online Library)
Credo’s Mind Map can help you brainstorm a topic. Just type a phrase into the mind map search to explore related terms and phrases! This handout shows you how.

LINKiconWC64x64Craft of Research ebook (Available from the NAU Online Library)
This ebook walks you through the entire research and writing process. Two simultaneous users.

LINKiconWC64x64NBC Learn (Available from NAU Online Library)
NBC Learn allows you to browse NBC news video footage. Checking out the wide variety of available videos may help you begin to generate ideas for a topic. This handout shows you how.