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Data & Statistics
Web resources or databases that provide statistical information.

Dissertations & Theses
A collection of dissertations and theses from around the world.

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Amy Barker's picture
Amy Barker
Instructional Design Librarian
Horace W. Sturgis Library, LB 316
Kennesaw Campus

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Find a Topic

Where to find ideas:

  • Class discussions or readings
  • News articles
  • Encyclopedias
  • Articles from academic journals and magazines
  • Relevant current events

Find topics in these library resources:

Gather Background Information

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  • Gain familiarity with the topic
  • Identify more specific aspects of the topic on which to focus
  • Provide context and identify differing perspectives
  • Identify experts related to the topic

Narrow a Topic

Narrowing a topic requires you to be more specific about your research interest and can help you to develop a thesis.

Questions to Narrow Your Topic

  • Who?

         Who is the specific person/group to which you would like to limit your research?

  • What?

         What specific aspect of the broad topic idea is interesting to you?

  • Where?

         To which specific geographic area or region would you like to limit your research?

  • When?

         On what time period would you like your research focused?

  • Why?

         Why do you think this is an important/interesting topic?

What is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis is typically a one sentence statement in the first paragraph, or beginning, of your project that states your purpose. Thesis statements should be arguable, specific, detailed, and meaningful.

Websites to Find Topics

Create a Plan

Brainstorm Keywords

Once you have identified a topic, select the terms and phrases that are essential to understanding the topic.


 An example of a mindmap on the topic of getting good grades in college

One way to do this is to create a Mind Map.  Mind mapping is a way to explore a topic visually. You write down your topic, then think of the major elements related to the topic.  Each of these elements can be broken down further, until you have explored your topic.   You can do this on your computer or just sketch one out by hand.

Combine Keywords

When researching, we are like detectives trying to combine the right terms in the right place to find the information we need. The other sections will help you to decide where to search, but how should you combine search terms to find what you are looking for?

Broad Search

Search for information using the single most important term related to your topic. Use this type of search when looking for basic background information.

Specific Search

Search for information by combining key concepts using the words you have brainstormed. Each concept/word should be separated by the word "AND". Use this kind of search when looking for specific evidence related to your claim/thesis.

Getting Too Many Irrelevant Results?

Add more search terms or narrow by source type, date or other limits.

Getting Too Few Relevant Results?

Change or remove some search terms.

Select Keywords

Subjects (or Descriptors)
Each source has key points pulled out and listed as subjects. Use these to brainstorm keywords and see how the database is grouping similar articles. Try searching using the subjects from an item you find. See example below:

Example music subject terms for an item in a database

You can use a thesaurus to explore these subjects and find broader terms, narrower terms, and related terms. A thesaurus is a list of words with the same or nearly the same meanings.

Types of Publications

Know the Difference


Articles are the individual "stories" published in a newspaper, magazine, or journal. For example, a story about the Atlanta Falcons published in Sports Illustrated is an article.


Journals contain several articles published about a specific subject area and are typically scholarly. For example, an article about stem cell research was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics.


Databases index millions of articles published in thousands of newspapers, magazines, and journals. There are databases that index sources from many different discipline areas, while others are subject specific. For example, the New York Times can be accessed by searching the database Lexis Nexis Academic.

Find Articles


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SuperSearch Help

SuperSearch allows you to search various physical and electronic library collections and source types in one place! To limit your search to articles use the "Source Type" check boxes on the left side of the search results.

SuperSearch will find source types such as:

  • Books
  • eBooks
  • Academic Journals
  • Peer Reviewed Journals
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Government Documents
  • Videos
  • Images

Selected Academic Journals

Find Books

KSU Catalog Search

Search for

Locating Books

Featured Dance Books @ KSU

Web Resources

Searching Tips

General Web Resources

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search the web for scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources. If you are asked to pay for an article from Google Scholar, instead search the library databases to get it for free. is the U.S. government's official web portal. Makes it easy to search government sponsored websites ending in .gov. Great for statistical or demographic information. Logo

Dance Websites

Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Data & Statistics
Web resources or databases that provide statistical information.

Dissertations & Theses
A collection of dissertations and theses from around the world.

Data & Statistics

Data & Statistics

Dissertations & Theses

Dissertation & Theses


Search Our FAQs

The Writing Center

For help with topic development, organizing or writing your research papers, and detailed citation assistance please visit the KSU Writing Center:

Kennesaw Campus

English Building, Room 242

Phone: (470) 578-6380

Fall and Spring Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 9 AM - 8 PM
Friday: 9 AM - 2 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 1 PM - 5 PM

Marietta Campus

Johnson Library, Room 121

Phone: (470) 578-5005

Fall and Spring Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 9 AM - 7 PM
Friday - Sunday: Closed

Writing Center Website

Citation Resources

Chat With A Librarian


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