Deciding on a topic for an essay can sometimes be overwhelming. The library has several resources that can help generate or spark ideas to write about.
These three databases are a good place to start when trying to decide on a topic or understand various arguments surrounding a topic.
All of the library's databases are available on or off campus. If you're using them off campus, you'll need to log in with your user name and password.
For off-campus access you'll need your UserID and Password:
User ID: 7-digit student number or faculty/staff Datatel number.
Password: First initial of your first name and up to six letters of your last name, all lower case with no spaces
If your topic is too broad, you may get too much information that you will have to sort through.
If it is too narrow, you may not find the information that you need. For example:
Let's say you decided your topic will be the environment
Just environment? - Too broad!! There are so many aspects of the environment.
What do you want to know about it, and why do you choose that topic? Your answers may help you to focus or narrow it down. Are you interested in pollution, water issues, social issues, political issues. anthropological or artistic issues, etc.
When trying to narrow down your topic, it may help to think of the 5 Ws:
OK. You say "nature". So natural environment? Environment and nature? What aspects of nature do you wish to research? Oh, OK. You were reading Henry Thoreau's Walden. But, you are still not sure of an exact topic even though you want to include Thoreau in your nature research. How about considering today's issues of global warming with that of Thoreau's years?
Why are keywords important? Keywords help you find information faster. One you have good keywords, you can use those to search for book, for articles in journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.