Last Updated: Aug 26, 2013
Before you start to search, you will want to have a general idea about what your topic will be. It should be something with two sides or multiple perspectives. Something that you feel strongly about is a good staring point.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- Is this a topic that has more than one viewpoint?
- Is this something you've seen in the news or read about? in other words, has there been some research done on the topic? You may not be able to answer this question right away but you want to keep it in mind. You'll also want to make sure there is enough research on your topic so you can get multiple perspectives.
- How recent is the issue? You'll have more luck finding articles on topics that are of current interest.
Browsing magazines and journals for topics is a good starting point. Look at the tables of contents to see what topics are being addressed.
Still stuck? See some of the tools below to help you choose.
- Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Opposing Viewpoints is a good source for finding topics that are controversial. You would not use this sources as one of your required sources but you can read up on a topic, get some ideas a terms to search and look the bibliography to find other resources.
- CQ Weekly
CQ Weekly is a highly-regarded publication that provides in-depth coverage of topics currently under discussion in Washington DC. The articles are written by CQ Weekly news analysts. This would not count as one of your required sources but it's another place for you to get topic ideas and some useful background information.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL)/Scan and Deliver is a service provided by the library to get you the journal articles you need for your research.
Here's how it works:
- If there is a journal article you need and it's not available online, we will make an electronic copy and send it to you.
- If we don't have the journal here at OSU, we'll get a copy for you from another library.
The turn around time is as fast as 2-3 days but we cannot guarantee this. It may take longer so a make sure you request early.
Set up your Interlibrary Loan/Scan and Deliver account at http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/ill/.