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Humanities Eastern Florida Online (EFO) Research Guide

This research guide has been created to help you locate library resources to use for your Humanities online courses.

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How to choose your topic and refine it to a research question

Knowing what your teacher has assigned is very important -- it focuses your work so you don't waste time.


Find your teacher's assignment and look at it, then answer these questions:

(The blue text refers to requesting book chapters and journal articles through InterLibrary Loan.)

Selecting an appropriate topic is important because you want to do two things:

  • You want to match what your professor states he / she wants in their assignment,
  • You want to find a topic that interests you, too.


Here are some thoughts to help you find a topic:


You also want to make sure your topic is not too broad ...


... and also that your topic isn't too narrow, also:


Here are some databases to help you find topics in which you're interested in:

Now your job is to take that research topic / question and break out the big concepts from it, and then pull out specific keywords to use when searching in databases:

The final step is to take those keywords and look for resources in the library catalog (books, ebooks, journals) and in the library databases -- check out the next tab on the left side of this guide to help you do this work.