Skip to main content
Login to LibApps


Herberger Young Scholars Academy

Resources for students and teachers in the Herberger Young Scholars Academy

Who Should Use This Guide

This Library Guide is intended to support the coursework and research needs of students enrolled in the Herberger Young Scholars Academy on the West campus of Arizona State University and to support the research and instructional needs of faculty who work with them.

Thinking About a Topic

Whether your assignment is to write a paper, make a presentation or create a bibliogrphy the first task is to decide on a topic to research. As you research the topic you can broaden or narrow the focus but choosing the topic is the first step in completing the assignment.  

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 on, therefore...
  3. Before committing to a topic, do a preliminary search to make sure there is material available on the subject and 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. 
  6. Make sure your topic fits the parameters of the assignment 

If you need help selecting a topic the links on this page with help identify some for you.

 Use this tutorial to help you with selecting a topic: Topic Identification and Selection.

Hours and Locations