As you may already have discovered this is often the hardest step in the research paper writing process. It is also a very important step. If you choose a topic that is very broad - "Poverty" - you will be over whelmed with information and you will have difficulty organizing your ideas and findings into a manageable, cohesive paper. If you choose a topic that is very narrow - "Gifted Children Living in Poverty Benefit From Having Pet Fish" - obviously, you will have trouble finding enough information sources to support your paper. Take time to focus your topic. If you can, try to choose a topic that truly interests you. The tables of contents and indexes of some of the general social science resources are good places to look for ideas (this also gives you an idea about the availability of information).
Two online resources that are available to you through the PSC Library are CQ Researcher and Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Both of these databases list the most current and controversial topics that are in the news today. Browse them both to get an idea of a topic that is of interest to you, then use the instructions on this guide to further narrow your choice.
Here are three documents to help you get going with your assignment.