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Graduate Student Research Guide

Appropriate for all SNHU graduate students or individuals conducting research for graduate or scholarly papers with Shapiro Library resources.

Choosing a Topic

When selecting a topic for your research, ask yourself the following questions before selecting a topic:

  • Will it sustain my interest?
  • Am I choosing a topic because it seems easy or my friends are doing it?
  • Does it fit the parameters of my assignment?
  • How much time do I have, and how long does the assignment need to be?
  • Is credible information on this topic readily available?

Check out these resources for more information:


Brainstorming is a way to come up with topics or ideas. It allows a person to casually consider multiple topics, ideas, theories, etc. without judgment and to take some ideas further into actual projects or as tools to consider more topics, ideas, theories, etc. For more information, see this MindTools article on Brainstorming.

Mind Mapping

A mind map is a visual representation of your issue or topic. It is a tool which is used to visualize ideas and opportunities for broadening or narrowing down search topics. For more information, see the MindTools article on Mind Maps.

There are a number of free brainstorming and mind mapping tools available online like and Popplet. Alternatively, try the mind map available via Credo Reference (click "Mind Map" on the Credo Reference homepage).

Sources of Inspiration