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This Is Auburn Auburn University Libraries LibGuides

Choosing a Topic

Instruction Librarian

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Piper Cumbo

Boolean diagram with the intersection of things you know about, things that interest you, and things your audience is interested in being what you should talk about.


Once you understand the assignment, you need to choose and then probably limit (or focus) the topic. The following has information you can use to do just that.





Points to Consider

  • Choose something which appeals to you.
  • Your topic should be neither too broad nor too narrow.
  • Your topic should lend itself to the type of speech or project you are creating.

Places to Go for Topic Ideas

  • Look around the room; see if something inspires you.
  • Talk with friends or family.
  • See what's trending on Twitter.
  • Search Google -- you may find an organization's website that will help you broaden or narrow your topic.
  • Check out Wikipedia articles -- don't use the article as a source for your project, but the article may help you by identifying people, events and organizations -- the table of contents is also great when your topic is too broad.
  • Watch the news, or read a newspaper or current magazine.
  • Check out some of RSS feeds available on the Places to Get Topics page in this guide.
  • Use a Worksheet: Some of the documents in the box on the right may help you formulate your topic and search strategies (the worksheets are similar, but one may resonate with you more than another).