Where Can I Find A Topic For Research Papers: Web And Offline Resources?


Research paper topics are often not given by your teacher in class. Students who have to find topic on their own find that they have trouble narrowing down their options or finding any ideas at all. When you’re busy with other things, whether it’s a job or homework in other classes, then you might not even have much time for topic idea searching. It’s important to make sure you have the right topic though, because starting with an idea you don’t like can end up wasting your time. You don’t want to have to redo all your work because you had to change topics.


Research is something that everyone approaches differently. There’s no one right way to do your work, just as long as you can write a great research paper with it. This article will explore ways to do both web and offline research, to aid you in your writing process.


Finding the Right Topic: Offline


The library is the traditional place to go when you need to find resources, but there are other ways too. First, you should check both your public and school libraries, because they do have a lot of good sources and literature. Here are a few other ways you can do your research offline:


  • Ask your teacher for research paper examples to look at
  • Do your classmates have ideas for specific books to read?
  • Find someone working in a field related to your topic and interview them
  • Talk to a used bookseller or a museum curator to find older or less common sources

Finding the Right Topic: Online


When searching over the web, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The internet is great for getting information and fact checking. You also can’t believe everything you read, though. In order to know that you’re using a good source, you should always trace back quotes and opinions to their authors. For example, using an online encyclopedia, you need to look at the footnotes and see where the original information came from. Keep tracing things back until you arrive at a book, journal article or other legitimate publication.


  • You can use online news sites, government and non-profit organization sites
  • Find websites dedicated to causes or specific events
  • Often, influential books have websites that offer extra content and more information
  • Look for lots of different opinions to cross reference your sources

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