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Finding and Exploring Your Topic

Helps you determine a reasonable topic for your paper.

Try These Databases

CQ Researcher is noted for its in-depth, unbiased coverage of health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. You can browse CQ Resercher by topic, track specific controversial topics by date or look up topics in their Pro/Con section. Pro/Con offers succinct articles by experts arguing for and against given topics.


Issues and Controversies offers accurate discussions of over 250 controversial topics in the news supplemented with chronologies, illustrations, maps, tables, sidebars, contact information, and bibliographies including primary source documents and news editorials. It has a subject index and a section featuring pro/con articles on a number of topics.


Full text of over 600 U.S. newspapers and over 260 English language newspapers from other countries worldwide.  Includes Detroit News (1999- ) and many other Michigan newspapers, Chicago Sun-Times, The Times (London), etc.  Includes text only--no photos, charts or ads.

Understanding Your Topic

The resources on this page will help you find out background information about your topic.  You can use this information to further develop your paper's argument, or to learn enough about the topic to begin to narrow it down into a manageable paper topic.