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Choosing Your Topic: Finding Inspiration

Exploratory research

Do you have a general area of interest? 

If so, then a great way to begin to define your topic or find topic ideas is by conducting exploratory research.

  • Try typing keywords that pertain to your area of interest in database search boxes to begin exploring the literature.
  • As you explore, you'll see the research that has been done on the topic. This may help spark ideas for ways to focus your topic.
  • Exploratory research ensures that your topic is covered in the literature, because your topic idea originated from the literature you discovered. Coming up with a very specific topic first, and then trying to find literature to support it can be extremely challenging.

Thoreau search box

Thoreau is best used for exploratory research or undergraduate research.

Type keywords relating to your general area of interest to begin exploring the literature. 

 

Education Research Starters

Are you interested in a topic relating to the subject of education? Try the Research Starters database. Search with broad keywords like assessment, retention, literacy, etc.