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POLT 403 - US in World Affairs (UNH Manchester): Reference Sources

Ideas for picking a paper topic

Deciding on a paper topic that interests you can sometimes be challenging.  Here are some tips for picking a good paper topic.

  1. Look at your family history.
  2. Think about movies or t.v. shows you have watched about historical time periods, people, places, or events.
  3. Think about books, and newspaper or magazine articles that you've read.
  4. Talk to family members and friends.
  5. Look through reference sources.

Why use reference books?

What are reference sources?

Reference sources are available in general or subject specific contexts and in print or online formats.  You need to evaluate each source and determine which are helpful to you and appropriate for you to use.


  • Encyclopedias
  • Dictionaries
  • Almanacs
  • Glossaries
  • Handbooks
  • Atlases
  • Bibliographies
  • Indexes