Module 1: Defining the Information Need
Choosing a Topic
Choosing a topic is the first step in the research process.
When you have the choice of topic for a research assignment, be sure that it:
- is personally interesting
- A social issue
- Business or career related
- A sport or hobby
- is focused
- Computers--too broad to be a good topic
- The psychological effects of computer use for primary school children in Lake County, FL--too narrow to be a good topic
- Is Internet addiction a serious psychological problem?--good choice!
- allows you to locate a variety of information sources within the time limits of your project
Here are some ways you can explore possible topics:
- Discuss your ideas with your course instructor or a librarian.
- Look at popular news articles and blog posts to see what's currently in the news about your topic.
- Try a Google search.
- Use an encyclopedia for your subject. Wikipedia isn't the only online encyclopedia available! LSCC offers many online encyclopedias.
- Check the LSSC library catalog for books and other resources on the topic.
The libraries' handout on How to Find a Topic will help you locate topic ideas.