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PSY101 General Research: Selecting a Topic

Use this guide to locate resources for PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology

Find a topic

Psychology in the News

From APA (American Psychological Association)

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Identifying Keywords

After identifying your topic, begin selecting keywords to use in your research.

1. State your topic as a question. 

2. Identify keywords from your research question.

3. Identify synonyms for your keywords, examples of your concept, as well as closely-related concepts.  

4. Use keywords and synonyms to find relevant books, articles, and websites about your topic.  As you read through articles and books, write down any additional related keywords that may be relevant to your topic.


Sample Research Question Keywords Synonyms, BT, NT, Related Terms
Can childhood abuse lead to post traumatic stress disorder in adulthood?

Post traumatic stress disorder





Physical abuse (NT), emotional abuse (NT)

Children, youth


How does diet affect teens with ADHD?




Teenagers, adolescents


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Finding General Topic Information

Get up-to-speed on unfamiliar concepts.  These online encyclopedias give overviews and key facts.

Films On Demand

PCC Library database Films On Demand has over 1,000 videos related to sociology that you can watch online. If you are accessing them off-campus, you will be asked to provide your MyPima username and password.Films onDemand logo