University Library at St. Cloud State University

Academic Research - Topics and Questions

Developing a Topic
Develop a Research Topic Tutorial
Sonoma State University - Develop a Research Topic Tutorial

Topic Ideas
So you need a topic?  Ideas for topics can be found using a number of can search datatbases such as: Opposing Viewpoints, Points of View Reference Center, and the CQ Researcher which contain hot topics. In addition you can visit library websites like the following.  

 Northwest Missouri State University: B.D. Owens Library
 Hot Topics for Research Papers and Speeches

 Old Dominion University:  Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
 Selecting a Research Topic: Idea Generator 

 Rio Hondo College Library
 Research Paper Topics
Topic Concept Mapping
Concept mapping can be used to focus and narrow specifc aspects of your topic.  In other words, you'll brainstorm details that will allow you to precisely state your topic and at the same time begin to pull together a research strategy.  In the example below you will see that the initial topic focuses on homelessness, look closely at the different directions that this topic can take.  What would interest you? How about homeless children and when fleshed out even more...the education challenges of homeless children.

Try your hand at concept mapping by going here.  Once done you can save or print your map. Be sure to read the directions!
Developing a Research Question
Research/Thesis Question(s) Generators
Developing research or thesis questions can be a challenging task.  The following web sites can help you get started!

Sonoma State University - Research questions worksheet

Ashford University - Thesis Generator

Tom March - Persuasive Essay Thesis Builder

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