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WR122 - Garbology Topics: Topic Selection

This guide is designed to help students select and research topics related to the shared course reading Garbology : Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes.

Picking Your Topic IS Research

Video created by NCSU Libraries.License, credits, and contact information can be found at http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/tutorials/picking_topic/.

Browsing in Journals for Topic Ideas

One way to pick out a topic is to look at the titles of articles appearing in a journal that deals in that broad subject area.  Here are some you can try for topics relating to waste and recycling:

Gather Search Language as You Explore

As you are reading sources and refining your topic, write words and phrases that you could use to find more information on your topic. Search terms can be the names of people, important events or legislation related to your topic. There may be a preferred term or label used to describe your topic.

To collect keywords, subject terms, topic language, and research ideas, you might: 

  • Take out a piece of paper and a writing utensil and take handwritten notes
  • Open a word document and save it to the desktop. Copy and paste or type your notes. Save your work as you go! 
  • Go to your Google Drive and create a Google Doc then copy and paste or type your notes as you go

Browsing in a Database for Topic Ideas

The GREENR database lets you browse topics by selecting on of the general subject areas on the home page: 

Pollution
Resource Management
Environment and Ecology
Science and Technology

all include links to waste and recycling topics. When you click, you will find a page that has a variety of resources organized by type.

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Subject Encyclopedias for Topic Selection

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