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ENGL. 2160: Monsters, Apes, and Nightmares

First Steps

To decide on a topic:

Choose a topic that interests YOU. 

  • Narrow your topic to something manageable. (More on this further down)
  • Background reading (quick, you can skim until you are interested. See links below for access to this.)
  • Review the guidelines on topic selection outlined in your assignment.  
  • Refer to lecture notes and required texts to refresh your knowledge of the course and assignment.
  • Talk about research ideas with a friend who may be able to help focus your topic by discussing issues that didn't occur to you at first.

The best way to get this right is to really use your own imagination to see what you respond to. Your first tries are important. You can narrow them down later.


Once you start to narrow your topic, finding the right keywords is important. Don't be afraid to let your topic change as you do more research. Note: when the narrator says "one search" what she really means is "Article Quick Search"

If you cannot access the above video, you can watch it here