Sources for Ideas

Sometimes the topic you write about will be assigned to you by your professor. If not, you will originate some ideas yourself. There are many sources for ideas all around you. One place to look is the Internet. The end of this manual lists a number of psychology related sites that should be useful for this purpose.

Another source for ideas is your textbook. Look at the subject section to find an area that might be of interest to you or go to the reference section and review the studies which are cited used in the text.

A third source of ideas for research topics is the library. Look through the numerous psychology journals to see what type of research is currently being conducted in your area of
interest. This is a great networking source because once you find an article that is useful, you can identify the studies that are cited in the reference section, which will direct you to more related articles and so on.

A fourth source of ideas is the world around you. Ideas can come from TV, movies, newspapers, books you read or just from observing others. For example, are women more likely to self disclose than men? Are shy persons always quiet? Paying close attention to the social world around you can provide an infinite number of research topics.

A fifth source of ideas is the research completed previously by students. The Psychology Department maintains a file of research reports completed by previous students as well as research posters. Ask one of your professors to help you use this resource. Similarly, all of the professors in the department are currently involved in some research. Talk to them about what they are doing. They might be able to give you some ideas or perhaps include you in their research.

There are no hard and fast rules for choosing topics to write about. Try to find something that interests you. As Menchen said, "There are no dull subjects. There are only dull writers."