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COM 221 Technical Report Writing: Choose a Topic

Technical Writing

Research Topic Browsing

Not sure what to research?  Do some topic browsing in databases designed to give you a broad overview, like encyclopedias, reference books, or those covering current issues and topics. Try doing a simple keyword search on something you are interested in, like global warming, to see what's there. Starting wide, you can find avenues and directions to narrow your topic down based on what you find. 

Check the Headlines

Browse the news for research topic ideas.  What is being published in the news on field or topic area?  Use that to help refine and narrow your topic, and to get keywords to put into your database searches.  For example, if you are interested in writing about issues affecting college students, you can look at headlines in the education section of The New York Times to review relevant issues.

We are Here to Help!

We have so many resources and tools available. Let us show you how to use them! 

Research librarians can help you to:

  • Choose and narrow your research topic
  • Select the best databases and resources
  • Discover the best keywords and search techniques
  • Stay organized and quickly create citations
  • Find and obtain research beyond the Hazy Library's collections
  • Locate copyright free images and other media
  • Use advanced database tools like setting up research alerts
  • And more!