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ENG 111 (WO)

Select a Topic

The first step of the research process is to pick a topic, but that can be difficult if you are not sure what you want to write about.  After watching the video, pick a topic that meets assignment requirements and interests you, then try to narrow your focus using the Five Ws.

Do you already know a lot about your topic?

If you know a lot about your topic already, you can narrow your focus using the Five Ws:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why / How?

Go to the Research Question page to learn more.

If you do not know a lot about your topic already, that's okay.  This page will help you do background research to help answer these questions.

Topic Ideas

Still need help generating topic ideas?  Check out these resources:

Learn About Your Topic

Encyclopedias and videos provide a quick overview of your topic.  They give you a good idea of what questions might be interesting to research and what keywords will be helpful when we start searching.

For encyclopedias, try:

And for videos, try:


Encyclopedias contain quick facts and topic overviews.

Use encyclopedias to:

  • Define terms.
  • Find an overview of your topic.
  • Discover related ideas and terms.