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Women, Gender, and Sexuality

This guide is designed for the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at San Jose State

Choosing a Topic

Choosing a topic can be the most challenging step in writing a research paper. It can be particularly difficult in a multidisciplinary subject such as Women's Studies. You may change your topic, subtopics, scopes, and approaches frequently until you find the right combination of your interest, the available literature, and the assignment's requirements.  Here are some resources to help:

  • The library's step-by-step guide to choosing topics;

  • An-easy-to-navigate video tutorial on choosing your topic;

  • The Encyclopedia of Gender and Society: Browse this seminal work to generate ideas; you may cite this source in your bibliography;

  • Wikipedia: Browse this source to generate ideas, but in general, instructors do not consider Wikipedia a substantiated source. We recommend you browse it for subtopics, then locate substantiated sources in the library's holdings.

  • Women's Studies journals and websites: These sources contain some of the most current topics within the field. Use the sites listed on the Journals and Websites section of this guide. 

  • Visit the Women's Studies section of King library. There are few more inspiring ways to choose a topic than to browse books on the shelves. Stop by King and visit call number HQ - Family, Marriage, and Women.

Choosing a Topic Process Example

Common approaches in scholarly papers

Ways to approach a scholarly topic: