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Getting Started with Research Tutorials

Databases for Background Research

Mind Mapping Tools

If you want to create a digital mind map here are a few tools to try!

Mind Meister (free basic account or paid accounts)

Padlet (free basic account or paid accounts - use the Canvas template for a mind map) (free basic account or paid accounts)

Librarian Contact

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Melissa Gomis
UNL Libraries is here to support your research and learning needs - please contact me for help.

Choosing a Research Topic

Sometimes instructors assign research topics and sometimes you get to select your own topic. Selecting a research topic shouldn't be the most stressful part of the assignment. The concepts and strategies in the module will help you select and refine a research topic for any assignment.

 Part 1: Watch the video Choosing a Research Topic and complete the knowledge check

Running time 3:49 | 


Knowledge Check

Part 2: Try out choosing a research topic through background research and the 5 W's.

For Instructors

Choosing a research topic learning outcomes:

  • Identify ideas and language on a topic using online tools and techniques.
  • Utilize techniques like mind mapping, the 5 W's, and freeform writing to narrow a research topic. 

ACRL Framework for Information Literacy: Research as Inquiry

The video can be added to your Canvas course using the embed code.
<iframe title="Choosing a research topic" width="640" height="360" allowTransparency="true" mozallowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen allowfullscreen style="background-color:transparent;" frameBorder="0" src=""></iframe>

The knowledge check and narrowing your research topic activity can be added to your Canvas course using the embed button for each item.

Contact Melissa Gomis ( with any questions.

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