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Developing Research Topics: Choosing a Topic

How will you start researching?

Using a Chart to Brainstorm Topics

Using a Chart to Brainstorm Topics

Let's assume that your instructor has asked you to write about the American Civil War.

How to Brainstorm:

  1. Fill in the columns with basic information that you know about the American Civil War.
  2. Try to connect ideas from the different columns to form a topic.
  3. Write down a phrase or question that expresses the concept. Usually you can come up with several approaches.
Brainsorming Chart
Sample research questions developed from topics
  • "What was Texas' role in the military aspects of the Civil War?"
  • "How did abolitionists affect politics in the North?"
  • "How the end of slavery changed the Southern economy."

Online Databases with Topic Assistance

There are also useful databases and websites that can help you get started.

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