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Picking a Topic

See also:
Finding Sources | Citing Sources | Database Demos | Information Ethics | Subject Guides | Research Guides | Writing Guides

Browse the sources below to help narrow your topic and to develop a topic sentence. A topic sentence presents a general claim which you will examine through your research. It provides the focus for your topic and some key terms to use in searches. You will use the key terms to find research materials which will either support or refute your claim.

Magazines and Newspapers:

Current magazines and newspapers provide you with interesting and timely topics for research papers. Magazines and journals for the current year are shelved alphabetically on the Reference side of the Library. Tilt the shelf up to find recent past issues.

Newspapers for the current day are kept on hanging racks to the left of the library entrance. Recent issues are kept behind the counter at the Circulation Desk before being moved to the Newspaper section near the back of the Library.

Congressional Quarterly Publications:

Congressional Quarterly, Inc. publishes summary reports and provides in-depth coverage of many current issues. Two publications that can be helpful when developing a topic are CQ Researcher and CQ Weekly. Current issues of both are found in the current periodical area. A bound set of CQ Researcher is shelved in the Reference Collection at H35 C672.

CQ Researcher is also available online as a database.

An index to CQ Researcher (in print) is available near the Reference Desk or online at http://www.cqpress.com/researcher_index.pdf

Subject Encyclopedias:

Subject encyclopedias provide an overview of a topic and background information. They can also help you to identify key concepts in your subject area. Subject encyclopedias are found in the Reference Collection.

There are also many electronic encyclopedias in the Lakeland book catalog. These are also accessible from off-campus.

To browse a list of encyclopedias, do a keyword search in the Lakeland book catalog on "encyclopedia." To find encyclopedias on a specific subject, add a word or phrase related to your topic to that search. EX: health AND encyclopedia.

Book Series:

The following book series provide multiple viewpoints on current issues.

  • At Issue
  • Contemporary World Issues
  • Current Controversies
  • Information Series on Current Topics
  • Opposing Viewpoints
  • Taking Sides, Clashing Views on Controversial Issues

  • Lakeland Community College Library
    440.525.7424 (Circulation) | 440.525.7425 (Reference)