Skip to main content

Jessie Ball duPont Library

Research Writing

A beginner's guide to creating a research strategy for all of your papers.

Choosing a Topic is Research!

Check out this helpful video about the process of choosing a topic!

(Put together by the librarians at North Carolina State University)


Don't Know Where to Start? -- Try Credo

Getting Topic Ideas

Pick something that you want to learn for the first time, as long as you can write an academic paper on the subject. For example:

  • If your passion is sports, then write about the science of kinesiology or current techniques in physical therapy.
  • If your passion is music, then write about a composer, how to construct an instrument, or a specific aspect of the nature of sound.
  • If your passion is animals, then write about an aspect of biology, zoology, ways to protect wildlife, or evolution.

Still having a hard time deciding on a topic? Look through our database on controversial and timely topics.

Narrowing your topic

Credit:  William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University, LA

Remember Goldilocks

When choosing a topic, don't make it too broad or narrow. It needs to be just right.