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Topic Selection & Development: Topic Selection

Topic Ideas

Lightbulb with "Idea" written in itSometimes being given the chance to choose a topic can be more difficult than having one assigned. Here are some thoughts to guide you through the topic selection process:

  • Does your assignment have any guidelines/restrictions?
  • What do you want to learn about? What interests you?
    • Is there anything interesting related to the topic of the course, course readings, discussions, etc?
    • Anything related to your major or career goals that could tie in?
    • Anything that you are curious or passionate about?

The resources on the next few tabs are great for sparking ideas. Check them out!

Get to Know your Topic: Background Information

In addition to some general googling and reading Wikipedia articles, we suggest you search through the resources below. They focus on academic reference - perfect for background knowledge from trustworthy sources.


Go to the LibAnswers page to search Butler Libraries' FAQs or ask a question through the Information Commons' chat service.

Get Help

Topic Development

  • Video Credits: NSCU Libraries (Anne BurkeProject Lead, Scripting, Storyboards; Kim DuckettTeam Lead; Daria DorafsharGraphics and Animation; Mara MathewsNarration; Jason Evans GrothAudio Production; Andreas OrphanidesWriting, Editing, Technical Infrastructure; Sarah CraigJennifer GarrettAdrienne LaiAdditional Writing and Editing.) Used under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

Mind Mapping Tools

Brainstorming map. Circle in center says idea. Several arrows and sub-bubbles sprouting from this center one.


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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