Doing background research (that is, finding out the scholarly consensus on a topic) is crucial to finding a good research question. Don't shortchange this step! This page contains some tips and useful resources for topic exploration and development.
These are great places to begin research on current issues. CQ Researcher issues reports that often include statistics and viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints and Points of View Reference Center contain viewpoints on current and controversial issues, but also much more: a variety of articles from magazines or scholarly journals, government information and primary sources, depending on the database.
California State University San Bernardino John M. Pfau Library
Wilfrid Laurier University Library
Topic Finder is a tool offered by the Academic One File database. Topic Finder is an algorithm that looks at your broad topic and breaks it down graphically into titles and subjects based on content in the database. This visual breakdown of your topic can help you focus your topic from the broad general search into a more manageable topic. It can also help you see other elements involved in your topic idea. See the page all about using this tool including a video.
Mind Mapping is a brainstorming tool from Literati by Credo it offers a visual representation of how topics are interrelated. Literati also offers Topic Pages which take a topic and offers background information, context and links to help explore the topic in more detail. The Topic Pages also offer articles related to the topic.