If you are stuck trying to decide on a topic for your paper, there are a few ways to generate ideas.
When you begin a research project, it is a good idea to take a moment to reflect on your prior knowledge of the topic area. How much do you already know about this topic? How confident are you in moving forward with this topic?
In most cases, you will need to do a bit of research to get some general information on your topic. This general information will in turn help you generate keywords to use later when searching for resources to use in your paper.
A great way to create this base is by conducting research in encyclopedias. Encyclopedias are arranged alphabetically and contain a general overview of a term or subject matter.
You can also access encyclopedias online through our reference databases like these:
Electronic articles can be searched through our databases. There are some general databases and some subject specific databases. To access the databases, click on the database tab on the library homepage. You can then browse through them alphabetically, or browse by discipline (i.e., gender studies, history, etc.).
These databases will search different types of articles. You may come across newspaper articles or academic articles. Each type serves a purpose and helps strengthen your research paper. See the document below labeled Types of Periodicals to learn more about the different types of articles you will encounter when searching databases.
Below you will find a list of databases that will help you get started with your research. This list is not exhaustive. You will most likely need to use other databases to find articles depending on your topic. You can access the databases by clicking on the database link on the left hand side of the library homepage. You can then use the drop down menu to select different subjects to find relevant databases.