Getting Started with Academic Research: Developing a Topic
Welcome to the University Libraries at Virginia Tech! The libraries are a hub of research and learning for Virginia Tech, and we are here to help you! Explore the pages of this guide for guidance on beginning your academic research.
When you're given a research assignment, it can be helpful to map out the steps you need to take to successfully complete it. Check out the University Libraries' Assignment Calculator to help you figure out the steps you need to take for research assignments, presentations, and video projects, along with resources to help you along the way.
Developing a Topic
Developing a topic can be challenging. Check out the video below for more information and tips on developing a topic.
Some students find it helpful to brainstorm in a visual way. Here are some free tools that can help:
LucidchartLucidchart is a free tool available as an add-on to the Google suite of tools. It allows you to create flow charts, mind maps, and other visual representations of ideas, with easy integration with other tools.
PadletPadlet is a free tool that allows you both to collaborate with others and create maps of your thought process. You can also add links and documents for an even richer collection of material.