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Distance Education Guide: Pick a Topic

Resources Guide for Distance Education Students

Topic Ideas

Choosing a Topic

One of the most difficult steps in beggining a research paper can be choosing a topic. Here are some places to find ideas:

TEXTBOOKS - What subjects are covered in the book(s) you are using for the class.  

DATABASES - Browse the subject headings for possible topics in these issue databases : Points of View Reference Center or SIRS Researcher‚Äč

NEWSPAPERS -  The New York Times Topics page is also a great place to browse topics.  

INTERNET -  Pew Research Center,, and St Ambrose University Library Hot Topics are three of many sites that list hot topics.

Choosing a Manageable Research Topic

How to Develop a Good Research Topic

Researchable Topics

Keep Your Topic Focused But Flexible

It is common to modify your topic during the research process. You can never be sure of what you may find. You may find too much and need to narrow your focus, or too little and need to broaden your focus. This is a normal part of the research process. When researching, you may not wish to change your topic, but you may decide that some other aspect of the topic is more interesting or manageable. 

Keep in mind the assigned length of the research paper, project, bibliography or other research assignment. Be aware of the depth of coverage needed and the due date. These important factors may help you decide how much and when you will modify your topic.

Mapping Your Research Ideas

Brainstorm your Research Topic