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Nursing: Scholarly Inquiry: Develop Your Topic

Coming Up with a Topic

Coming up with a topic can be challenging, so here are a few places to look for ideas:

  • Course readings
  • Article abstracts
  • Current events
  • Background and reference sources

Any of these will give you hints about topics you're interested in, and words you can use to search for more information on them.

Websites for Background Information

It's important to closely evaluate health-related resources on the Internet.  These are a few high-quality sources to get you started.

Learning About Your Topic

Before you try to find scholarly information for an assignment, it can help to do some background reading on your topic.  The more you know about your topic, the easier it will be to find relevant articles and other types of information.

Skim through your textbook, reliable websites, and the resources below to familiarize yourself with your topic.  Keep an eye out for:

  • The main concepts that are related to your topic

  • The terminology that is used to describe different aspects of your topic (you can use these as keywords later when you're searching for articles)

  • Anything that you want to learn more about!

Library Resources for Background Information

These resources are a great place to start when you're starting to explore your topic.

  • Nursing Reference Center PLUS
    • Why search here?
      Nursing Reference Center from Ebsco provides nurses with a wealth of resources right at their fingertips. Nurses can quickly access point-of-care material, strengthen their nursing skills and access nursing literature.
    • What's included?
      It provides nurses with evidence-based resources that they can access for quick reference at the point-of-care.
  • DSM Premium
    • Why search here?
      The DSM Premium collection covers diagnosis and differential diagnosis, case vignettes to bring abstract concepts to life, multidisciplinary treatment guidelines, the latest research – all within a single search and navigation interface that integrates journals and books.
    • What's included?
      This database contains DSM-5, DSM-IV-TR® Handbook of Differential Diagnosis , DSM-IV-TR® Casebook and its Treatment Companion , several self-assessments, and 5 APPI journals.
  • Merck Manuals
    • Why search here?
      First published in 1899 as a small reference book for physicians and pharmacists, The Merck Manual grew in size and scope to become one of the world's most widely used comprehensive medical resources for professionals and consumers.
    • What's included?
      As the Merck Manual evolved, it continually expanded the reach and depth of its offerings to reflect the mission of providing the best medical knowledge of the day to a wide cross-section of users, including medical professionals and students, veterinarians and veterinary students, and consumers.