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This is the "Choose a Topic" page of the "Step Up to College-Level Research" guide.
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Step Up to College-Level Research  

Build on your high school research experiences and adjust to the higher standards recommended for college research projects with these tips and guidelines.
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Consider the Project Requirements

What types of resources are required? How many?

  • professional literature vs. popular literature
  • books vs. articles vs. websites
  • reference materials (encyclopedia, dictionary, atlas, etc.) 

Make sure you understand the type of research project you are assigned! Here are a few that are common:

  • Informative--present information on a topic
  • Argumentative--discuss two or more sides to an issue, persuading the audience that a position/opinion has more evidence to support it
  • Comparison/Contrast--explore the differences and similarities of two issues or things that have a common purpose
  • Explication--explain / interpret a creative work, such as poetry, paintings, stories, etc.
  • Critique / Analysis--analyze the effect / value of a project

Need ideas?

  • Review textbook chapters
  • Browse magazines & newspapers for topics of interest
  • Reflect on issues in your intended profession, career or discipline
  • Expand on a topic discussed in class
  • Talk with your advisor / instructor


CQ Researcher

  • CQ Researcher (Congressional Quarterly)  
    CQ Researcher (Congressional Quarterly) is an essential resource for understanding the most critical events and controversial subjects of the day. CQ Researcher covers a wide range of social, economic, political, environmental and health issues of the day. Lists of common topics for research are useful to browse when choosing a topic. Files cover 1991 to present.
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