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Honors 410: Research Design (Phelps): Contact and exploring topics

Suggestions and resources for the library aspects of your research project.

Teaching and Learning Librarian

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Mark Lenker
4505 South Maryland Pkwy.
Box 457001
Las Vegas, Nevada

Urban Affairs Librarian

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Susie Skarl, Urban Affairs Librarian
UNLV Libraries
Lied Library
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Box 457014
Las Vegas, NV 89154-7014

Exploring topics

Selecting a research topic does not have to be a matter of intense soul-searching alone in a dark room.  A lot of times, it's easier to find something genuinely interesting by reading around or discussing your interests with people.  Try to find something genuinely interesting, either because it's inherently fascinating or because you have a connection with it.  It doesn't need to be a perfect, formal research question in the beginning -- we can figure out ways to make it "research-y" later.

CQ Researcher -- high-quality, journalistic coverage of issues that might be the subject of policy debates:  education, economics & business, environment, foreign policy, technology, health, etc.  Their Browse Topics menu is a great way to start with a broad area of interest and explore possibilities for more specific topics.

Credo General Reference -- encyclopedias and dictionaries.  The most helpful will be subject-specific entries.  These may be encyclopedias devoted to specific subjects (sociology, psychology, economics) or specific topics (aging, the anthropocene era, human rights).  Articles in these will be written by academic researchers, and will introduce aspects of the question that can be explored fruitfully through research.

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