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IPOL 386: US Foreign and Security Policy

Important Concepts and Tips

Picking Your Topic Is Research

Picking your topic is intertwined with finding and reading sources as well as writing and editing your paper.
Essentially, picking your topic and testing it through searching is part of the research cycle.

  • Look for a few published articles or books relevant to your topic.
  • Understand that quite often, your initial research leads you away from your original topic.
  • That’s more than okay; that is expected.
  • Most writers go through this cycle multiple times before writing/editing a paper. 
  • Most likely, you will need to go back and consider additional resources.



Use the online reference sources listed here to get brief background information on your topic.

Look for important keywords, people, places and dates that you can use in subsequent searches.

Remember to follow the references/bibliography at the end of the pages to find more sources.

Electronic Resources from the Library