Exploring Topics for Research

FCL Database: CQ Researcher

Search or browse this online collection of weekly news reports on current issues debated in the news.   Start browsing here.

FCL Database: Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Search or browse this online collection of viewpoint essays, video and audio clips, statistical charts, and a variety of other sources that examine today’s controversial issues. OViC Start browsing here.

10 Controversial Topics”

Click on image twice to enlarge.controversial-essay-topics-2016-infographic


This guide is meant to introduce you to general information sources to generate research questions and increase your familiarity with a topic. Use the links in the boxes on this page to browse and search library databases, reference books, and web resources.

Book a Librarianfor one-on-one research assistance.

Books in Hard Copy

Browse specialized encyclopedias and other reference books for research topic ideas and to gain background knowledge on topics and issues. A few titles to explore:   reference books

Search the catalog for other reference books by setting LIMIT TO: REFERENCE

Search the catalog for Opposing Viewpoints books (pro/con essays on controversial topics) by adding the phrase “opposing viewpoints” to your search.OViC books


Search EBSCOhost’s eBook Collection for encyclopedia entries you can read online. general ebooks

Book JacketExplore and discover topics being argued in The Debatabase Book: A Must-Have Guide for Successful Debate (5 vols.)

Search or browse the Gale Virtual Reference Library database, an online collection of specialized encyclopedias and other reference sources.

How to Choose and Narrow Research Topics

Developing a Research Question

Click on the link to open a guide via prezi on how to develop a research question.