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Developing a Research Topic: Topic Ideas

Topic Ideas

What is your research topic?

Selecting a research topic can feel overwhelming. Here are some things to consider as you select your research topic.

  • What are the assignment guidelines?
    • Are you exploring a concept?
    • Are you trying to answer a question?
    • Are you trying to make an argument or persuade the reader?
  •  What are you interested in?
    • Is there something you want to learn more about?
    • Does something within the topic relate to your personal interests, experiences, college or career goals?


What is the scope?

You may need to consider your topic from a broader perspective. 

  • Suggested ideas: preventing, consequence, cause, fixing, solutions, benefits, challenges, effects, impact. 

  • Examples: benefits of foreign language learning, solutions to chronic homelessness, impact of social media, solutions to obesity

You may need to focus or narrow your topic so it is manageable.

  • Suggested Ideas: timeframe, location, geography, population group
  • Examples: agriculture in the southeastern United States, recent innovations in  agriculture, healthy eating in high school students

You want to find enough material to complete your research, but keep it focused enough that you can complete your research and not be overwhelmed. 


Research Starter

  • Search Discover for your topic. Some topics have a "Research Starter" at the top of the results. Research Starters are short, citable summaries or authoritative overviews of a topic (EBSCOhost). 


  • Search GIL-Find@VSU for subject encyclopedias relevant to your topic or discipline.
    • Search: topic AND encyclopedia
    • Search: topic, and limit by Location: Reference - 2nd Floor

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