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DS 1501 - A. Abbott: Topics & Background Info

A guide to Disability Services 1501: Introduction to Disabilities

Identify a Topic

Finding a research topic that is interesting, relevant, feasible, and worthy of your time may take a lot of time and effort. Remember that as you are searching for a research topic, you will need to be able to find enough information about your topic(s) in a book or scholarly journal. If you can only find information about your topic(s) in current event sources (newspapers, magazines, etc.) then the topic might be too new to have a large body of published scholarly information. Do some background work on a couple of topics before choosing one that may not have a lot of sources.

Sample Topics

  • Addiction
  • ADD / ADHD
  • Autism
  • Blindness
  • Cognitive Disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Deafness
  • Down Syndrome
  • Dyslexia
  • Epilepsy
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Paralyzation
  • Spina bifida
  • Tourette syndrome

Finding background information

Library reference sources, such as encyclopedias, are a great place to find objective background information on your topic. They can also help you narrow your topic and discover keywords for further searching.  A great source for background information is biographical works of the author.  These sources provide cultural, political, and religious perspectives that help you understand why the author wrote the story.

You can search by author's name and/or title of the book in Literature Resource Center: it provides biographies of contemporary authors.