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COMM 1700 Interpersonal Communicaiton

List of possible topics for research

A list of topics taken from "Choose a Topic" in the University of Illinois LibGuide: www.library.illinois.edu/ugl/howdoi/topic.html#resources:

Business

  • Cybersecurity
  • E-business
  • Ethics
  • Glass ceiling
  • Online retail
  • Outsourcing
  • Sweatshops
  • White collar crime

Crime and Law

  • Acquaintance rape
  • Animal rights
  • Assisted suicide
  • Campus violence
  • Capital punishment
  • Civil rights
  • Drinking age, legal
  • Drug legalization
  • Gun control
  • Hate crimes
  • Insanity defense
  • Mandatory Minimum sentencing
  • Patriot Act
  • Police brutality
  • Prisons and prisoners
  • Roe vs. Wade
  • Serial killers
  • Sex crimes
  • Sexual harassment
  • Three Strikes Law

Drugs and Drug Abuse

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Doping in sports
  • Drug testing
  • Drunk driving
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Nicotine

Education

  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Charter schools
  • College admission policies
  • College athletes
  • College tuition planning
  • Distance education
  • Diploma mills
  • Education and funding
  • Grade inflation
  • Greek letter societies
  • Hazing
  • Home schooling
  • Intelligence tests
  • Learning disabilities
  • Literacy in America
  • Mascots in Sports (Chief Illiniwek)
  • No Child Left Behind
  • Plagiarism
  • Prayer in schools
  • Sex education
  • School vouchers
  • Standardized tests

Environmental

  • Acid rain
  • Alternative fuel/hybrid vehicles
  • Conservation
  • Deforestation
  • Endangered species
  • Energy
  • Global warming
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Landfills
  • Marine pollution
  • Nuclear energy
  • Oil spills
  • Pesticides
  • Pollution
  • Population control
  • Radioactive waste disposal
  • Recycling
  • Wildlife conservation

Family issues

  • Battered woman syndrome
  • Child abuse
  • Divorce rates
  • Domestic abuse
  • Family relationships
  • Family values

Health

  • Abortion
  • AIDS
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Alternative medicine
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Artificial insemination
  • Autism
  • Birth control
  • Bulimia
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Dietary supplements
  • Drug abuse
  • Dyslexia
  • Exercise and fitness
  • Fad diets
  • Fast food
  • Heart disease
  • HIV infection
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Medicaid/Medicare reform
  • Obesity
  • Organic foods
  • Prescription drugs
  • Plastic surgery
  • Sleep
  • Smoking
  • Stem cell research
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Vegetarianism
  • Weight loss surgery

Media and Communications

  • Body image
  • Censorship
  • Children's programming and advertising
  • Copyright Law
  • Freedom of speech
  • Materialism
  • Media bias
  • Media conglomerates/ownership
  • Minorities in mass media
  • Political correctness
  • Portrayal of women
  • Reality television
  • Stereotypes
  • Talk radio
  • Television violence

Political Issues

  • Affirmative Action
  • Budget deficit
  • Electoral College
  • Election reform
  • Emigration
  • Genocide
  • Illegal aliens
  • Immigration
  • Impeachment
  • International relations
  • Medicaid/Medicare reform
  • Operation Enduring Iraqi Freedom
  • Partisan politics
  • Prescription drugs
  • Social Security Reform
  • Third parties
  • Taxes

Psychology

  • Child abuse
  • Criminal psychology
  • Depression
  • Dreams
  • Intelligence tests
  • Learning disabilities
  • Memory
  • Physical attraction
  • Schizophrenia

Religion

  • Cults
  • Freedom of religion
  • Occultism
  • Prayer in schools

Social Issues

  • Abortion
  • Adoption
  • Airline safety/security
  • Affirmative Action programs
  • AIDS
  • Apartheid
  • Birth control
  • Child abuse
  • Child rearing
  • Discrimination in education
  • Employee rights
  • Gambling/online gaming
  • Gang identity
  • Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender
  • Gay parenting
  • Gender discrimination
  • Genetic screening
  • Homelessness
  • Identity theft
  • Interracial marriage
  • Poverty
  • Race relations
  • Reverse discrimination
  • Suffrage
  • Suicide
  • Test biases
  • Textbook biases
  • Welfare

Terrorism

  • Bioterrorism
  • Homeland Security
  • September 11

Women and Gender

  • Abortion
  • Birth control and Pregnancy
  • Body image
  • Cultural expectations and practices
  • Discrimination
  • Eating disorders
  • Education
  • Feminism
  • Health
  • LGBT issues
  • Marriage and Divorce
  • Media portrayals
  • Parenting
  • Prostitution
  • Sex and Sexuality
  • Sports
  • Stereotypes
  • Substance abuse
  • Violence and Rape
  • Work

Steps to maximizing your time researching

1. Identify a research topic/thesis

  • Does your topic meet the requirements of the assignment;
  • Is your topic possible to complete given the available resources and services?
  • Do you need to broaden or refine your topic? 

2. Next, identify types and extent of information needed

  •  Do you need: Books, journal articles, newspapers, websites, videos, music, podcasts, blogs, interviews, radio shows, mashups, social networking sites, government documents, reports from non-profits, statistical data, experiments, etc. ?

3. Do you know where to look for your information?

  • Through Library Search?

  • Electronic databases – journal articles and other information

  • Public websites? 

4. Finally, don't start searching empty handed.  Create a brief research plan that includes

  • a list of keywords

  • types of information you are looking for

  • a working outline that identifies subtopics/specific questions of the bigger research project

Keyword Search Strategies

1) Use the AND connector to search for different concepts

     Example:  prisons AND animal training programs

2) Use the OR connector to search for variant words for the same  concept

     Example:  cars OR automobiles

Note: To use the AND connector and OR connector in a single search string use parenthesis around the similar words

    Example: (white collar crime* OR corporate computer fraud) AND whistleblowing

3) Use truncation to capture different possible endings for a word

     Example:  child* (captures child, children, childhood)