Topic Strategy

How to refine topics and identify keywords for searching.

Choosing a Topic

One of the hardest parts of writing a research essay is coming up with a topic. It is important to choose a topic that is meaningful to you. You can choose a topic based on current events. You can also consult different resources such as Topic search (UH Hilo/ Hawai╩╗i CC).

Once you have your main topic, you want to brainstorm the different aspects of the topic. Brainstorming is an open, free flow of discussion on a topic without judging, censoring or criticizing. An idea that at first seems ridiculous or silly may in fact be an excellent research topic after it has been identified, discussed and refined.

Mind Map, showing terms related to each other

Some students like to use Bubbl to help create concept maps.

Visuwords diagram, showing relationships between words

Visuwords can help you look at the relationships between words.

Dictionary of Literary Biography Term Clusters

Search the Dictionary of Literary Biography (UH Hilo access / Hawai╩╗i CC access) and use their term clusters feature to see how literary topics relate to each other:

Screenshot showing results for a basic search for the term 'Shakespeare'