Last Updated: Jun 27, 2023 Views: 4863


One of the best ways to choose a topic for an assignment is brainstorming. Talk about ideas with classmates and friends, consider your professional or personal interests, review class readings, and browse current journals or books on your subject.

Try these tools:

  • Credo Credo has a Mind Map tool - A powerful brainstorming tool to help you find a topic and expand your research.
  • Opposing Viewpoints In Context - Browse topics to help you brainstorm ideas for your research, especially for argumentative papers or debates.
  • NRDC Priority Issues - Explore current events and issues related to the environment, wildlife, sustainability, and more.
  • Public Agenda Online - Browse topics, current events, and issues related to education, energy, health care, and government.
  • MedlinePlus: Social and Family Issues - Explore topics, current events, and issues related to health care, drugs and alcohol, social work, and more.

Online Writing Center tips:

  • Choose a topic that interests you. It will make the research process more exciting!
  • Make lists of questions that you want to explore through your research.
  • Approach your topic in an unbiased way and keep an open mind.
  • Avoid simplistic topics that everyone agrees on, i.e. “We need to save the environment.”
  • Try to narrow your topic. If your topic is too broad, you will find too much information and it will be harder to focus.
  • Review the guidelines on topic selection outlined in your assignment.
  • Browse the Shapiro Library online resources to ensure that credible information is available on your topic.

Further Help

This information is intended to be a guideline, not expert advice. 

Campus Students

To access academic support, visit your Brightspace course and select “Tutoring and Mentoring” from the Academic Support pulldown menu.

Online Students

To access help with citation and more, visit Academic Support via modules in Brightspace:

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