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Writing Help

This website will help you with research assignments in all writing courses.

Browse for topics

Choose a topic

Having trouble finding a topic for your paper? The most important aspect of your topic is that it needs to be interesting to you - because you get to learn (research) and write (paper) about it.

  1. Browse for suggested topics in CCC Library's databases.
  2. Review your class lecture notes and PowerPoints.
  3. Brainstorm topics by making a concept map.
  4. Bounce ideas off of your classmates, instructor, or a librarian, tutor, or peer mentor.

A good topic:

  • is interesting to you;
  • is narrow enough - too broad a topic and you won't be able to cover it in your paper;
  • is broad enough - too narrow a topic and you won't be able to find enough information about it; and
  • fits the parameters of your assignment.

Choosing a good research topic

Before you choose a topic to research, test it out and make sure it is a good topic to use!

Now that you've learned how to choose a good research topic, the next step is to develop a thesis.

Screen blank or would like Closed Captioning? Watch the YouTube video.

  Video created by CCC Library (Feb. 2018).

Search for background information

The first thing you may need to do after deciding what you want to write about is learn more about your topic!

image of encyclopedias from wikimedia.

Background information is information that you find at the beginning of your research process. It is used to understand the broad topic, gather keywords, and focus,or perhaps even change, your topic.

A great place to find background information is Subject Encyclopedias.

Gale Virtual Reference (listed below) is a great place to find basic information. CQ Researcher, Opposing Viewpoints, and TOPICsearch (listed on the right) are also great places to start.

Need writing help?

Contact the Writing Center at CCC for help with:

  • Thesis statements
  • Research papers
  • Essays
  • Grammar/punctuation
  • MLA and APA
  • Resumes
  • Cover letters
  • Job applications

Phone  503-594-6275

Or, make an appointment online!

Clackamas Community College Library - 19600 Molalla Avenue, Oregon City, Oregon 97045
Reference: 503-594-6042     |     |     Circulation: 503-594-6323
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Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, content in these research guides is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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