This guide contains information on how to select a topic, refine it in order to fit the scope of an assignment, and find quality background information, books, articles, and help via the SLU Libraries.
Sometimes choosing your topic feels like hardest part of writing your paper. Pius Library has resources that can help you find a great topic.
To narrow a topic that is too broad for a particular assignment, ask yourself the following 5 W questions.
Broad topic: eating disorders
Once you've answered these questions, combine different combinations of the areas you're interested in to create an interesting, manageable research topic.
Sometimes your selected topic will be so narrow you won't be able to find enough sources when you research it. If that's the case, you can broaden your topic using the same 5 W questions listed above.
Really narrow topic: causes and treatment of anorexia in African American teenage males in St. Louis in the 1980s
Broader topic: causes and treatment of anorexia in teenage males in the United States
Yes, you can use Wikipedia to find background information on your topic, but information available via the SLU Libraries is much more reliable and authoritative! Search these collections of reference eBooks to find quality background information on your topic.
SLUth Search Plus searches about 100 of the SLU Libraries' subscription databases and the SLU Libraries Catalog.