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An Introduction to Library Research

Finding Topic Ideas

To find a topic to write about you may want to:

  • Think about what you already know about the topic.
  • Ask yourself what you don't know, or what would you like to know.
  • Look at your course readings or textbook for broad ideas.
  • Read newspapers and magazines to see if anything interests you.
  • Browse databases, such as CQ Researcher, for controversial issues and current events.
  • Brainstorm and discuss potential topics with a librarian, professor or friend.

    Consult the videos listed below to give you some more guidance with your research:


  • Stay flexible: you may change your topic several times while going through the research process.
  • Choose a topic that interests you: this will make the research process much more fun.
  • Think about your topic as a question and your thesis as the answer.
  • Be open to discovering new ideas as you research.

Request Books via InterLibrary Loan

Is there a book you need but Whittemore Library and the Minuteman Library Network doesn't have it?  If so, fill out our online interlibrary loan form and let our loan librarian find it for you.

Online Reference Resources

Search for information in these online tools: