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Exploring & Finding Topics: Topic Finder Websites

This guide is designed to help you find & focus topic ideas

Topic Finder Websites

Exploring and Finding Topics

Exploring & Finding Topics LibGuide was created by USC Upstate Librarians to offer some useful tools and websites for deciding on Topics for your research.  Some of the resources below are opinion based and may not be suitable for all papers, but will offer some various views on controversial topics to help expand your knowledge of different current events.

Controversial Issues

Statistics Resources

Statistical Resources Header Link to LibGuide

News Sources

Library Catalog Searches for Series

The Difference between Fact and Opinion Video


Opinion A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.  Opinions are: Subjective Based on Emotion Open to Interpretation Can NOT be Confirmed Inherently Biased

Many of the resources on this page are considered opinion pieces.  Be very careful when using materials that are opinions in your research. Many professors do NOT want you to use opinions but rather want you to use factual research.  The resources on this page are better used to offer many points of view on controversial topics, and to help you consider alternate viewpoints on issues you may be writing about.  


Fact vs Opinion Video


When trying to decide on a subject for your paper, one method is to find a broad issue that interests you.  Next, brainstorm: write as many words or phrases you can think of about the topic.  This will focus that larger topic into a focused ideas that would make better a paper.  The next image shows an organized "pie" of the brainstorming process. The last image shows how one slice or topic can be spiraled off using more questions and ideas.

    sk questions about your subject.  Find a piece of the topic you are interested in and explore that.  The diagram below shows how questions can lead you into new and more focused topic ideas.  You may spin away from your original idea into something you have more passion about. Your interest will make a more engaging paper.

Mind Mapping

How to Mind Map

A mind map is a diagram that displays information visually.  You don't have to be an artist to mind map but thinking of the interconnected ideas will hep you focus your topic.

Narrowing Your Topic

3 Rhetorical appeals Ethos, Pathos, and Logos