Finding a Topic for Research

A great way to get started choosing a topic is to try u sing these brainstorming techniques:

  • List things you’ve seen or experienced that raise questions for you. Could researching these questions help you answer them?
  • Freewrite about things that have irritated you or made you angry. Could research help you better understand these issues?
  • List problems you want to solve. What solutions make sense to you?
  • Identify areas that you are passionate about. What areas would you like to learn more about?
  • Answer who? what? where? when? why? and how? in relation to a general topic. Do your answers suggest possibilities for areas you could research?

Browse library databases for ideas


Browse newspapers or magazines for ideas


Walk through a section of the library or the school bookstore and take note of any topics, ideas or books that spark your interest. Floor maps on each floor of the Knowledge Center show the call number ranges for different disciplines.

Still need help? Email or schedule an appointment with your subject librarian for help with finding a topic.