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Research Step by Step

Databases for Choosing a Topic

Several library databases include a "Browse by Topic" section, which can be used to help you select a topic or subtopic.

Websites for Choosing a Topic

Some websites provide lists of topics. Remember to search library databases for credible information on your selected topic. Not sure if a source is credible? Step 5: Evaluate Your Sources should help you ask the right questions.

Digital Library Resources Guide (2:38)

This video highlights some of the digital library resources available to students, faculty, and staff.

Video created by TCC Librarians, June 2020. Licensed under  CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Developing a Search Strategy (5:28)

This video provides an introduction to developing a search strategy.

"Developing a Search Strategy" from TCC Libraries, 2019 on Vimeo is licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA. Creative Commons License

Tips for Developing a Search Strategy

  • Write down your topic. It may help to brainstorm a question that you hope to address in your assignment. (Example: How does social media affect body image?)
  • Select 2-3 main keywords that describes your topic. You will use these keywords to search for information. (Example: social media, body image)
  • Brainstorm synonyms for your keywords. Synonyms can be used to broaden or narrow your searches. (Example: Facebook, physical appearance) 

Keywords and Synonyms: social media: social network, mass media, social communication, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram; Body image: mental image of body, self-esteem, physical appearance, perception of own body