Take a few moments to actually sit down and spend time thinking and writing about your topic.
Ask yourself questions like:
|What do I already know about this topic?||What don't I know?||What do I assume?||What questions do I want to answer?||What do I want to say?|
Once you've done that, go back and review what you've written and look for keywords, ideas, and themes that interest you the most.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! Use your school Gmail account to start a GoogleDoc to track your notes and research. Keep it open as you work and copy/paste URLs and citation information, make notes on ideas and keywords, and organize your thoughts. Log in to your account here: http://mail.my.smccd.edu/
Think about topics, make notes, look for recurring themes, look for what interests you. Write it all down.
After you brainstorm do some Google searches and see what's out there, how people are talking about your topic, and other ideas related to your topic. Write that down, too.
Sketch out an outline of what you hope to say and find. What major points do you want to touch on? Write it down.
4. Ready for Research
Go to the tools you think are best suited for what you need and start searching. Don't be disappointed if you have to rewrite things, change your outline, or adjust your topic. It's all part of the research process.