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Public Health

Guide to selected resources in Public Health.

Define Your Topic

Define Your Topic

Choosing your topic can be a difficult process - it is important to pick a topic that is not so narrow that little if anything has been written about it, yet it is also important to pick a topic that is not so broad that there is too much information and it is impossible to develop a coherent and focused thesis.

There are numerous strategies for selecting an appropriate topic - here are a few tips to help you with that:

  • CQ Researcher - This database contains articles which give a broad overview of recent topics of interest - try to find an article in here covering a subject that is interesting to you. These articles will give you good background information on your topic and they will help you to identify keywords to help you to have a more effective search in our article databases.
  • Opposing Viewpoints -  Explore pros and cons of a particular issue or topic.
  • Web of Science - this article database has the ability to identify related articles by citation tracking. This refers to the idea of starting with one article that is appropriate for your topic and searching for articles that cite the initial article or articles that are cited by the initial article. This database is unique among UMD Library sources in that it allows users to find articles that have cited a given article - this can be a great technique for identifying more recent articles on your topic of interest.