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Develop Research Topics

Use this guide to explore and develop research topics.

Researching Current Events

  • Peer-reviewed scholarship
    • You may not find peer-reviewed scholarship about current events. The peer-review process usually lasts at least six months, but may last two years or longer.
    • Often, similar past events have already been the subject of peer-reviewed scholarship. These may provide helpful context for your research on current events.
    • VCU Libraries databases are a good place to find scholarly research on your topic. Here is a comprehensive list of our databases.
    • If you need help choosing a database or questions about how to navigate a databases, contact a subject specialist librarian or Ask Us!
  • News articles and social media
    • News articles do cover current events. The Find News Resources Guide will help you locate news sources in our collections.
    • Social media can provide immediate coverage of events.
    • Keep in mind:
      • Just because something is reported quickly does not mean that it is accurate.
      • Newspapers and social media do not have neutral points of view.
      • All sources should be evaluated for their relevance for your research.
      • The Evaluate My Resources Guide will help you evaluate your sources.
    • Need help finding or evaluating news and social media? Contact a subject specialist librarian or Ask Us!

Library databases and websites for topic inspiration

Picking your topic IS research!

This videos shares insight on how even thinking about topics counts as doing research!