Guide to Library Research
Mary Livermore Library
Unit 1: Developing a Topic



Don't worry! Remember, when you know a lot, you can do a lot, and you are going to know a lot about research when you finish this tutorial. In this first unit, you will learn how to select an appropriate topic for a research assignment, whether you choose one of your own or narrow an instructor's general topic to a subtopic.


Every research assignment begins with a topic. As you probably have noticed, the choice of this topic will affect your experience in conducting research and writing a paper. The first step in writing a good paper, then, is selecting a good topic. But what makes a good topic?