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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.

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.