COE 208 | Baseball: Social and Cultural History: Choose a Topic

Resources for Professor Boyer's COE 208SS course. Fall 2018.

How to Pick a Topic

  1. Choose a topic that is interesting to you.  Research is much more enjoyable if you care about your topic.
  2. Look at your class notes or textbook--sometimes these will provide ideas for topics.
  3. Talk with friends or family; often they can help you focus your ideas or suggest topics you haven't considered.
  4. Browse the table of contents of relevant journals or magazines:Baseball Research JournalJournal of Sport HistoryBaseball MagazineNINE: A Journal of Baseball History and CultureSporting Life, Black Ball: New Research in African American Baseball HistoryNational Pastime, or Sport in History.
  5. Consider a controversial topic.
  6. What drew you into this class?  Is there something in particular that interests you?
  7. Is there an issue within the class that is currently sparking interest or conversations?

Once you've thought of a few topics, you'll want to test drive your topic.  

Running a trial search (test drive) for information in the library's article databases is part of the research process.  If your test drive shows that there's too much or not enough information, you can tweak your topic.  

Explore the library's article databases--under the FIND tab on this LibGuide, choose journal articles for a listing of the databases most appropriate for baseball. 

Topic Evolution

Choosing a research topic is rarely a straightforward process.

When you begin looking for information, you may find too many or too few articles on your topic.  If this is the case, your research topic will need to evolve.

Adapting to the amount of information you find by tweaking, focusing, or broadening your topic is a normal part of the research process. 

Video from NSCU on the research process: