Skip to Main Content

Library DIY: Picking a Topic

Picking a Topic

Choosing a topic can be difficult! There are a few things to consider when coming up with a topic for your research assignment:

  1. The topic must meet the assignment requirements. Make sure to consider the assignment when coming up with your topic; there may be guidelines in place you must follow.
  2. Choose something interesting to you! You’re the one who has to complete the research and write the paper, you may as well do it on a topic you’re interested in learning more about!
  3. Do some background research. Do you have a few ideas, but nothing concrete? Try doing some sample searches to see what types of sources are available. It might help you narrow down on a particular topic. Search here!
  4. Use a research question to focus your topic.

If you still need ideas for a topic, try browsing a pro/con database or newspaper websites. They often have articles on current events that you may not even realize you can turn into a topic! Look below!

If you are off campus you may need to login to the Proxy.

Another great place to check for current issues that may make excellent topics are news websites. They're going to show the most current issues that are affecting the world or your town. Keep in mind that news sources can be biased, so you'll want to select a topic and then locate some counterpoint material. Some good news sites to browse:

More found here at the Newspaper Libguide!


Spiva Library Databases to Consult for Topic Ideas


Click on the icons above to be taken to that online resource.

From off-campus you will be prompted to first submit your Missouri Southern Username and PIN.

This site is maintained by the librarians of George A. Spiva Library.
If you have a question or comment about the Library's LibGuides, please contact the site administrator.