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College 1 Research Guide

Find resources to help you conduct research for your final project.


Topic Ideas


Suggested Research Topics

The list below includes topics that are connected with Olympic Boulevard and other College 1 course themes. You can choose from this list or come up with your own topic from the book or other course text.



Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Experience 

  • history
  • presence/history in San Gabriel Valley
  • anti-AAPI violence
  • AAPI allyship
  • history of AAPI businesses in LA
  • AAPI pop culture
  • multigenerational households
  • Japanese internment during WWII
  • Chinese exclusion act
  • China / Taiwan relations
  • AAPI cultural celebrations
  • AAPI food and culinary traditions
  • anime
  • AAPI representation in media
  • AAPI first-gen college experience
  • AAPI adoptees
  • AAPI stereotypes
Significant AAPI Figures                                         Immigration                                       Alcoholism
  • Historical and contemporary figures/movements
  • politicians
  • artists
  • musicians
  • activists
  • authors
  • chefs
  • actors
  • athletes
  • scientists
  • influencers
  • fashion designers
  • film directors
  • immigrant communities
  • immigration history
  • immigration status and prejudice
  • immigration policy
  • the "American Dream"
  • dangers
  • drinking and driving
  • alcoholism and mental health
  • peer pressure
  • treatment
  • prevention
  • binge drinking 
  • health impacts
             Domestic Violence                                             Law Enforcement                          Other (Misc.)
  • domestic violence and relationships
  • spousal abuse
  • intimate partner abuse
  • domestic violence and police intervention
  • characteristics of healthy and abusive relationships
  • intervention for perpetrators
  • supporting survivors
  • sexual abuse
  • police training
  • police policy
  • community policing
  • corrections and crime
  • legacy of oppression in the US
  • food insecurity
  • emergent bilingualism and language learning
  • discrimination
  • mutual aid
  • mutual aid networks
  • work/life balance

From Keywords to Research Question to Thesis Statement

Search Strategies

1.   Brainstorm keywords, related terms and synonyms. Examples:

  • Latino, Hispanic, Chicano
  • protest, demonstration, activism
  • drugs, addiction, substance abuse

2.   Use AND to focus your search on a smaller result set. Examples:

  •  police brutality AND racial profiling
  •  bilingual education AND benefits 

3.  Use OR to link synonyms and gain a larger result set. Examples:

  • pregnancy AND (teenagers OR adolescents)
  • media AND (bias OR sensationalism)

4.  Put quotations around your terms for exact searches
  Examples: "domestic violence"
                            "Manifest Destiny"

The keywords you come up with represent the concepts and themes you're exploring. You can incorporate keywords into a research question. As you explore your topic in more depth, you will answer the question by reading the sources you locate while conducting research. Eventually, you will develop a central claim or thesis statement about your topic. 

Example 1:

  • Keywords: Los Angeles, gentrification, protest
  • Research Question: Why are activists in Los Angeles neighborhoods such as Boyle Heights protesting gentrification?
  • Thesis: Gentrification can reduce affordable housing and result in displacement of long-time residents and families from neighborhoods.

Example 2:

  • Keywords: censorship, controversial art, Latino
  • Research Question:  Have Latino artists faced censorship when their work is deemed "controversial"? 
  • Thesis: Murals by Latino artists have been censored or vandalized due to their depictions of police brutality and the Japanese internment during World War II.