Choosing a manageable, interesting topic can be hard. Try getting your initial ideas out by using these statements adapted from Wayne Booth's The Craft of Argument so you can move from topic to question to argument.
Think about topics that interest you. To generate some ideas, try the sources below. They offer background information on current events and controversial topics. And, they give both sides of an issue, so you can develop a better understanding of the topic.
Need to look up a name, place, term, or event? The sources below contain many different kinds of encyclopedias and dictionaries and are excellent starting points for getting an overview on your topic as well as possible search terms to use later. Try them.
These databases offer brief overviews of individuals and, in some cases, links to recent news articles about individuals.
When you have chosen a topic, it's time to ask some questions.
Applying the 5 W's -- who, what, when, where, why, and how -- to your topic can help you begin to find a more focused issue within that topic that will work well for your assignment.
Try visualizing your topic to explore all of the different angles, ideas, and key concepts related to your topic. This is a good brainstorming exercise and can also help focus your topic into a research question.
The tools below can help you visualize your topic.