Sources for Finding Topics


Here is a short list:

  • A textbook. Textbooks introduce a topic to non-specialists and generally include a bibliography of books and articles consulted. A good chapter can provide an overview and the bibliography can point to more information.

  • Encyclopedias. A general encyclopedia covers the entire range of human knowledge in brief. A search for a basic concept recalls every mention of that concept in the encyclopedia, indicating different contexts for it and some of the fields of study that have explored it.

    Subject encyclopedias cover the knowledge base of a single discipline in brief. A search here can familiarize you with some of the different contexts within which your topic has been discussed in a discipline.

  • Periodical indexes. Searching a simple term in a general periodical database like Expanded Academic Index retrieves articles from magazines and journals that include your topic. This will give you a chance to see what's being written on your topic in magazines like Time, Ms., or Scientific American, and journals like Communication Quarterly, Nature, or Harvard Law Review.

  • Hot topic Web sites

    Research Guides, Current Issues

    Hot Paper Topics

    Hot Paper Topics (2)

    Opinion Pages

    OCLC PAIS Archived Hot Topics

    Links to the News


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