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Politics and Sex: Developing Your Research Topic

Useful Links

Locating Literature Reviews

A review of previous studies can be a good place to begin. These can be easily located by searching for "literature review" or "essay" as a search term. Some databases will also include literature reviews as a document type.

Browse Recent Issues of a Journal

Browsing hte table of contents of a good journal can also help your develop your research topic. In this example, the journal Violence Against Women can be found from the Journals A to Z tab. This will link you to either a database or the publisher's webpage where you can review recent issues.

Here are the titles of some of the articles in the March 2012 issue

  • To Whom Do College Women Confide Following Sexual Assault? A Prospective Study of Predictors of Sexual Assault Disclosure and Social Reactions

  • School-Based Sexual Violence Among Female Learners With Mild Intellectual Disability in South Africa

  • An Intergenerational Women’s Empowerment Intervention to Mitigate Domestic Violence: Results of a Pilot Study in Bengaluru, India

Use Background Sources

Subject encyclopedias, textbooks and recent books can all provide a good place to generate ideas for a research topic. Most of these sources will provide suggested sources to help you get started. Things to look for...

  • Chapters in a book (newer books in the Cheng Online Catalog will include and search table of contents)
  • eBooks will allow your to easily skim the content of a book
  • The Online Catalog may also suggest similar titles for you to examine
  • Click on the book title to view the descriptive information. Notice the subject headings and click on those.

In this example the book, Gender and Sexuality: Sociological Appoaches includes a chapter discussing patriarchy.