Picking a Topic
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
Lakeland subscribes to the Opposing Viewpoints book series (link at bottom of this page) as well as its online database. In the database, users can select a topic from the list provided or search by keyword all of the articles within the database. Search limits include by type of source, find primary sources, or look for news sources.
Connect to the Opposing Viewpoints database.
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: At Issue
Contemporary World Issues
Information Series on Current Topics
Taking Sides, Clashing Views on Controversial Issues
The following book series provide multiple viewpoints on current issues.