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College students who are new to writing research papers consistently struggle with developing an appropriate topic. Students often choose topics that are too broad, too abstract, or difficult to research. If you find selecting a research topic confusing, you are not alone!

Read "Julia's Story" and "Martin's Story" using the links on the left menu. Each of these fictional students is writing a college research paper for the first time, and they struggle to find a good topic. Read through their stories and think about the questions posed at the bottom of each page. If you have questions about narrowing, broadening, refining, or brainstorming good topics for your research paper, ask a librarian and/or your instructor for help.