If you need help with topic selection, finding resources, citing or other work associated with your assignments, talk to a librarian. We have 24x7 chat reference, email, phone or get in-person help at the Undergraduate and Purdy/Kresge libraries.
Welcome to the library, the first stop on your way to a successful well organized speech! This walkthrough will take you through some things you’ll need to know in order to complete a successful project!
Choosing a topic that is meaningful to you is very important not only to hold your interest, but also to encourage you to stay committed to the project. The first step in the research process is to get a rough topic idea in your head before moving on. Take the “Are We A Match!” quiz below, to see if you're ready to begin the research process.
Think about a topic that you might be interested in. Below are some questions to consider about your topic. When you have a topic in mind, check the box if it applies (it may be helpful to do this more than once as you narrow your topic choice):
Can I easily, and clearly present the information?
Will it fit the criteria for the assignment? (time restrictions, group project, etc.)
Are there any visuals that could be used?
Is it appropriate for my audience? Will they find it interesting? (creative, unique, visual)
Am I actually interested in, and excited about the topic?
Are there varying opinions about the topic? (you can ask friends and family to get an idea)
Are there enough resources available for my research on the topic?
(1-2) Your topic may not be of interest to you...or maybe not quite enough! Perhaps make a list of other potential topics before choosing one, and then retake the quiz.
(3-4) Your topic probably holds some interest to you but you may want to investigate it a bit further. Perhaps do a Google search. See what kind of information is out there and if you’re still interested in the topic, move forward!
(5+) Your topic is probably something that excites you and you’ve already got some ideas or background that will help propel you forward in the research process.
Just don't know what to write about? Use one of our research topic guides to help you browse and select a topic you are interested in!