Skip to main content

Discrimination and the Law PS 4896 004:

Resources for projects in PS 4896 004: Capstone Seminar

Understand the Assignment

Checklist Before choosing a topic, make sure you understand your assignment. Read your assignment and look for:

  • Due Date
  • Length of the assignment
  • Number and type(s) of outside sources
  • Topic guidance
  • Points your instructor wants you to cover

Make sure you understand your assignment’s purpose. Are you supposed to take a side in an existing argument, explain a problem, propose a position, describe a project or process, or do something else?

If you find that you cannot describe what your assignment is about to someone else, either read it again or ask your instructor for clarification.

Get Topic Ideas

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.

Get Background Info

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.

Focus Your Topic into a Research Question

Hand writing where, when, how, what, who, and why on a board

When you have chosen a topic, it's time to ask some questions. 

Applying the W's -- the factual who, what, when and where -- to your topic can help you begin to find a more focused issue that might suggest a how and why question within that topic.

Visualize Your Topic

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.

Need help?

Rick Lezenby's picture
Rick Lezenby
Contact:
rlfile@temple.edu
Temple University Libraries
Philadelphia, PA
215-204-4571