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Creative Writing Research Guide: Research Help

Writing resources and your next great idea are available at the library.


This guide is designed to help students in the Creative Writing program find starting research and publication materials. This page provides help in developing research questions and a few databases to help you get started. For more resources, check out the "Resources for Writers" tab.


Find books, articles, DVDs, CDs, and more:   


Start here! Useful databases for getting started on your research. Visit the tab on "Finding Sources" for more subject specific research resources.

Search or browse all databases. Recommended databases are listed below.

Developing a Research Question

As you're working on your writing, you may need to complete historical research or research that can help you write from a different perspective. Developing a research question can help you focus you research, here are some things to think about during this process: 

1. Select a topic that genuinely interests you. Look at course readings, class notes, Google, Wikipedia, CQ Researcher or Credo Reference for initial ideas.

2. Consider the scope of your topic. If it is too narrow, you might have trouble finding enough information. If it is too broad, you might be overwhelmed with information.

  • Think about your assignment prompt while determining the scope of your topic. It is important to consider the size of the assignment and the length of time you have to complete it when thinking about scope. 

3. Turn your focused topic into a research question. Know that your research question may change depending on what sorts of resources you find. While you should have a topic or question in mind, allow the sources you find, along with your interests, to help shape and refine your topic further.

Questions to guide the development of your research question:

  • Is it focused enough to be covered in my paper or project?
  • Is there enough literature available on this topic?
  • What is the question that my research is answering?
  • Am I genuinely interested in this topic?
  • Is my topic going to be new and interesting to my audience?

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