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A guide for COMM 3, COMM 7 and COMM 8: Choose a topic, find information, cite it properly.

Explore ideas.

A topic that is well-defined, neither too broad nor too narrow, and of interest to you, will more likely result in a well researched paper or presentation. Choose wisely!  You will be spending a considerable amount of time and thought on the topic, so think through your selection before you commit. 

Here are some ways to find ideas:

  • Instructor suggestions. Has your professor provided a list of ideas or recommendations?
  • Class readings.  Does your textbook or class readings offer ideas?
  • Upcoming assignments.  Do you have homework or projects, for this course or any others, which are potential topics?
  • Personal interests.  Have an interest or desire to learn more about something?
  • News, noteworthy and controversial.  Are there events happening now that pique your curiosity?


Browse in the Library.

In the Library


Visit these sites.


  • has "controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, and primarily pro-con format"
  • The New York Times has a list, with links, to 200 argumentative topics.
  • includes lists by speech type (e.g. informative, persuasive)