Skip to Main Content

DIY Research: Choosing a Topic

Learning Objectives

Identify different types of information resources understand how to use them

Distinguish between primary and secondary resources and understand their differences by discipline


Your research question will lead to your thesis statement.  It will direct your research and your paper.  Research questions are open-ended (can't be answered with a yes or no).

  • Research question: Do comedic news channels increase or decrease the incidences of fake news sharing?

Your thesis statement is the claim you're making in your paper based on the answers you find to your research question.

  • Thesis statement: Because they have funny and eye-catching headlines, comedic news sources increase the incidences of fake news sharing.

Picking Your Topic IS Research

The World of Information

World of Information

We live in an ever changing world surrounded by information. Information, like living beings, also has a distinct life cycle. In this module you will be introduced to the information cycle, as well as different types of information.

Information proliferates and disseminates rapidly through the internet, television, mobile phones, and other devices. We depend on our abilities to gather, navigate, and consume information constantly. You may not know it, but you conduct research informally in your daily life while engaging in every-day tasks such as:

  • looking for a job
  • buying a new car
  • getting vacation information
  • hobbies and personal interests

When you're in school you have assignments that make you more conscious of your information and research skills. College-level work requires you to pay more attention to information sources and the research process.

Where to Research


IF you're looking for books or Ebooks... IF you're looking for background information... IF you're loking for an article(s) in a known database... IF you're looking for article(s) but don't know which databases to use... IF you're looking for an article in a magazine or newspaper... IF you're completely lost...
THEN search the Library Catalog


THEN search an encyclopedia or your textbook

THEN use the Database Selector


THEN find the Research Guide for your topic

THEN search the Periodical List

 THEN Ask a Librarian!



Narrowing Your Topic