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  • David Glenn Hunt Memorial Library
  • Identify & Develop Your Topic

    Pick a Good Topic

    • Selecting a topic can be the most challenging part of a research assignment. 


    • Select a topic that meets the requirements of your assignment. Your instructor will give you clear assignment instructions as to what you can write about. 


    • Select a topic that interest you! The research and writing process will be more enjoyable and you will do a better job writing about something you are interested in. 


    • State your topic as a question to focus your research assignment and select a topic that for which you can find a good amount of information. Do a preliminary search of information sources.  If you find too much information, you may need to narrow your topic. If you find too little information you may need to broaden your topic.


    • Be Unique. Your instructor reads a lot of research papers on the same topics semester after semester. Select an interesting topic that will make you standout from your classmates. Write on a topic your instructor will never forget!


    • Still need help choosing a topic? View the Picking Your Topic IS Research video by NC State University Libraries in the tab 2. 


    Still can't select a topic? Contact your instructor or visit the Student Success Center and schedule an appointment with a tutor. 


    When you pick your topic, it's not set in stone.

    Picking and adjusting your topic is an integral part of the research process!​

    This video is published under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license. License, credits, and contact information can be found here:


    • Popplet
      • Popplet is a mind mapping tool that is perfect for visually curating your ideas and brainstorms. 
      • is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online. 
    • MindMeister
      • MindMeister brings the concept of mind mapping to the web, using its facilities for real-time collaboration to allow truly global brainstorming sessions."