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When you pick a topic to write about, you often pick a large topic, like the French Revolution or the Treaty of Westphalia. Large books and multi-volume sets have been written about those. You have much less time and far fewer pages. You need to focus on narrowing your topic into a workable topic that can be done in a semester and within the page limits set by your professor.
Finding a Topic
It is important to do some initial research before committing to a topic in European history. One of the most effective ways to find a topic is to start broad on a general topic that interests you, do some reading, and then focus your topic.
Course Textbooks – to familiarize yourself with your general topic.
Encyclopedias – to familiarize yourself with your general topic.
Bibliographies - Academic texts will ALWAYS have bibliographical references (footnotes, endnotes, works cited, etc.) that cite source material. If a scholalry work you are using lacks any references, chances are, it's NOT scholarly.
Your Professor! - No one has a better understanding of this area and no one wants you to choose an effective topic more than Dr. Wargelin.