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Starting Your Research

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Start Here!

start here

On this page, you will learn about the first step in the research process: choosing a topic. Use the purple tabs at the top of the screen to explore the other steps involved in starting your research. If you are unsure about any part of the process, don't hesitate to contact the librarians for personalized assistance!

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Choose a Topic

No idea what you want to write about? We recommend that you check out CQ Researcher, a database containing comprehensive reports on current, controversial issues.

  • Go to CQ Researcher.
  • Check out the Hot Topics (short reports) on the right and the Recent Reports (full reports) at the bottom to see what’s currently being talked about across the U.S. and beyond.
  • Once you open a full report, you can click on Pro/Con in the left menu to see pros and cons of the issue written by experts.
  • Keep browsing topics using the Browse options at the top of the screen until you find one that you’re passionate about, or;
  • Search for your own topic at the top right of the CQ Researcher screen

Narrowing your Topic

Once you've chosen a topic, start thinking about ways that you can narrow it down to a manageable scope. Click on the "5 Ws" below (Who, What, etc.) to learn some different options for narrowing.