Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


Don't know what to research?

I don't know what to research!

You are not alone - choosing a research topic is often the hardest part of doing research.

As you brainstorm, ask yourself these questions

  • What have you found interesting about class discussions?
  • Is there anything in class (a discussion, reading) that is of interest?
  • Is there anything in class (a discussion, reading) that you are curious about?


Information sources

Also consider the type of information you are looking for.  Different sources provide different types of information.

A Primary Source is original research, the first place a researcher publishes his or her findings. Examples: journal articles, conference presentations, technical reports, and laboratory or field data.

  • Contains a detailed description of the research methodology and results. 
  • List of references to articles that the research is based on or attempting to refute. 

A Secondary Source discusses, explains, describes, analyzes, or summarizes primary sources. Examples: books and review articles. 

  • Provides the citations (references) that will point to primary literature.

A Tertiary Source explains, describes or analyzes a group of secondary sources. Examples: annotated bibliographies, entries in encyclopedias or dictionaries.

  • Great place to find background information on a topic.