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Introduction to College Writing

Choosing a Topic

Choosing a topic can be one of the hardest parts of writing a paper. The resources listed here can help you:

  • Brainstorm topic ideas
  • Find background information on your topic
  • Explore related concepts in order to refine your topic and create keywords for research
  • Narrow or broaden your topic to formulate an appropriate research question


CQ Researcher CQ Researcher

CQ Researcher includes reports that offers in-depth coverage of political and social issues, such as health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy..


Credo Reference Credo Reference

A reliable scholarly alternative to Wikipedia. As well as traditional encyclopedic entries, check out the 'mind-map' feature to explore related concepts within your topic.


Opposing Viewpoints Opposing Viewpoints in Context

A variety of reference materials and commentaries to help present different sides of controversial topics. Highly recommended for argumentative/persuasive research topics.


ProCon ProCon

A non-partisan, non-profit organization that presents pro and con arguments for a variety of political and social issues.


Newseum Newseum Front Pages

Over 750 front pages from local newspapers around the country that are updated daily. The Newseum also has a range of other online resources that can help choosing a topic.


Helpful Tips

Check out this helpful video on choosing a topic from NCSU Libraries.