Choose a Topic
- Choose a topic that really interests you, so that you'll enjoy learning more about it. Brainstorming can help. Give yourself some time to jot down ideas. You can start with a broad topic, like Technological or Medical Advances of the 1800s, Women in the 19th Century, or the Missionaries in Hawaiʻi. Then start to narrow your scope to something more specific within that broader topic.
- Start doing some basic research to help narrow your focus. See if there are specific persons, events, places, objects, social movements, etc. that interest you.
- Start looking at sources to ensure you can find enough resources to support your research assignment. You will need to be able to find both primary and secondary sources that can support your topic.
- Keep in mind that your original topic idea may not be what you end up writing about.
- Check out the other tabs on this guide to help you find sources: Library Databases, Websites, and Books.
Developing an Outline
You can draft an outline of your final research paper in order to help organize your ideas. An outline should contain the following components: