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French: A Guide to Research

French bookshelf

 Image adapted from Pxfuel

The Research Process

This library guide is designed to help you along each step of the research process as you prepare and write papers for your French classes. For general Research Paper Help, try this guide, too. 

research process - pick a topic, find sources, write & cite, and revise

Each section of the guide connects with one step of the research process:

  • Pick a topic with ideas from the news, library databases, and more.
  • Find Research Sources by searching for articles, books, and other library resources to help you learn about your topic.
  • When you are ready to get writing, the Write & Cite page has helpful links to citation and writing/revising resources.

Plus there is more! Practice your listening and language skills using the links and ideas on the Language Learning Resources and Streaming Videos pages of this guide. 

Pick a topic

Pick a Topic

Looking for ideas? Here are a few ways to generate ideas for a research paper topic: 

  • Consider adapting a topic you are studying for another class -- get the francophone perspective on it, and use your research twice
  • Browse chapter titles in your textbook or unit titles in your class syllabus
  • Scan newspaper headlines on BBC Afrique or search topics in Ethnic NewsWatch (link below - make sure to choose "French" in the language filter) for contemporary issues
  • Check out what's trending in social media sites you like
  • Use the "Browse Issues" section in the library's Opposing Viewpoints database (link below)
  • Watch a Film about French Culture or documentary about France and explore the film's ideas further with your research paper