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Current & Controversial Issues: Topics

Choosing a Topic -- Looking for Ideas

Specialized databases and websites explain issues within broader contexts and from differing viewpoints. This helps with understanding the "big picture" and can often help with forming ideas for narrowing topics.

Tips for Choosing a Topic

  • Choose something that interests you. What do you read, watch, or listen to for fun? What do you follow on social media?
  • Look at news stories in traditional and social media. What's trending and interesting?
  • Avoid "exhausted" topics. Show some mercy to your readers and listeners.
  • Choose a topic that allows you to keep an open mind and fairly present all viewpoints.  
  • Aim to learn something new instead of relying on the crutch of pre-existing personal knowledge or opinions.
  • Bounce ideas off friends, family, and teachers. Really listen to their feedback.
  • Lighten up on the subject matter. Avoid shocking and depressing subjects which create dreadful emotions for you and your audience.  Aim for a pleasant experience!
  • Use a note app or keep a handy notepad to quickly write down ideas when they come to you.