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History Resources

Selecting a Topic

Keep some things in mind when selecting a topic:

  1. Pick a topic that is of interest to you. You might as well enjoy it.
  2. Research is a process, and the hardest part is often deciding what to write, therefore...
  3. Before committing to a topic, do a preliminary search to make sure there is material available on the subject and that you can complete the assignment in the time allotted.
  4. Be flexible: during the research process, you may find it necessary to broaden or narrow the topic. A well-defined question/issue/problem will need to be identified and answered for most upper-division research papers.
  5. Avoid topics that may be sensationalist or inappropriate for the college level. You may be fascinated by Vlad the Impaler, but it will be difficult to identify a historical question or issue on the subject which would satisfy your professor.
  6. Make sure your topic fits the parameters of the assignment.

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.