Skip to Main Content

Topic Development: Tools for Topic Development

Choose a Topic - Databases for Topic Selection

Choose a Topic - Subject Guides for Topic Selection

Plus Minus Chart

Use the Pluses, Minuses and Interesting/Implications (PMI) chart to evaluate an issue, compare advantages and disadvantages, and make decisions. In the Pluses column enter all the positive elements, in the Minuses column enter all the negative elements and in the third column enter the elements that cannot be classified precisely as positive or negative (Interesting) or potential outcomes (Implications). A scoring system can be added to this chart to inform decision-making.

Narrow by Feature

1.    Go to SIRs or Gale Opposing Viewpoints

2.   Skim the Topic Overview in either database.    Look for keywords or areas that might apply to the four areas below.  


(Specific time period?)

(Specific country, region or continent?)

(Specific age group, ethnic group, species, nationality or educational level?)


(Social, legal, medical, ethical, biological, psychological, economic, political, philosophical


[if your keyword is not in any of the categories!]
















Inverted Triangle

Topic Ideas Listing