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How to Find Hot Topics

Resources to Help You Identify Topics


Points of View Reference Center – This full-text reference resource presents multiple sides on current controversial topics. Each essay may include topical essays, supporting articles, primary source documents, images, and videos.


Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center – Similar to Points of View Reference Center, this resource provides overviews and multiple points of view on contemporary social issues. Includes viewpoint articles, articles drawn from popular magazines, academic journals, and newspapers, primary sources, statistics, podcasts, and links to Websites on topics ranging from abortion to illegal immigration, from gambling to war crimes.

CQ Researcher – An excellent source for unbiased background information on current issues. Well-researched information with charts, graphs, pro/con argument, and a bibliography for finding more resources.

Facts on File (World News Digest) – A searchable news and events site, with encyclopedia and almanac. Gives top news stories back to 1940.

ProQuest Newspapers – A newspaper database to narrow your topic to specific issues. Provides full text newspaper articles including the New York Times and Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Sample Search:
On the “Topics” tab enter a broad search term like “genocide.” Click on Narrow by related topic. Scroll down to Sudan. Click on view articles. This will yield a set of newspaper articles on the topic of genocide in the Sudan. Note: These ar not scholarly articles.

Academic Search Premier – An easy-to-use, comprehensive database. Click on the Visual Search tab for a new searching experience.

Sample Search:
Enter a broad search term such as “Terrorism.” Narrow your search by selecting an additional term in the box labeled “Narrow Results by Subject” You can also click on "Academic Journals" icon to limit the results to scholarly materials (these are “peer-reviewed” or “referred”).

Sample Paper Topics

  1. Pick a topic you are interested in.
  2. Pick a topic that fits your research assignment (narrow for a 3-5 page paper, broad for a 10+ pages).
  3. Get background information using the resources on the left. This will help you to narrow your topic and search more efficiently.

See: Begin Your Research (UC Irvine)


Here are a few example topics:

  • Animal testing
  • Animé
  • Assisted suicide
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Bilingual education
  • Binge drinking
  • Body image
  • Business ethics
  • Careers
  • Censorship
  • Child abuse
  • Cloning
  • College athletes
  • Date rape
  • Death penalty
  • Diversity issues
  • Drunk driving
  • Eating disorders
  • Extreme sports
  • Feminism
  • Gangs
  • Gay marriage
  • Genetic engineering
  • Global warming
  • Gun control
  • Health care reform
  • Holocaust
  • Human rights
  • Hybrid vehicles
  • Identity theft
  • Islam
  • Jazz
  • Marijuana
  • Media bias
  • Minnesota
  • Organized crime
  • Popular culture
  • Rap music
  • Reality television
  • Slavery
  • Steroids
  • Terrorism
  • Tattoos
  • Video games
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