When you've chosen a pretty broad topic, like homelessness, or race, or health care, it's a good idea to simply start reading about the topic on the web.
Reading some general info from websites (that is, doing background reading) will help you get a general overview of your topic. It can also help you begin to think of ways to narrow your topic.
For example, while reviewing a few websites about homelessness, you may find facts about how women are affected by homelessness. That could spark your interest and become the topic for your projects in this class: homelessness and women.
Of course, not all information on the web is created equal. You should avoid websites that may be publishing misinformation. The library has a guide about judging the credibility of information sources.
A good way to search Google is to limit your search to government websites (.gov) or the sites of big organizations (.org)--they normally have trustworthy, useful info on societal issues. To limit a Google search to government or organizational websites, use site:.
Here are examples of Google searches that limit the search to either .gov or .org websites.
Even though your projects in this class emphasize the use of scholarly articles from library databases, it's still a good idea to learn about your topic in a general way first! You'll find more tips on background reading in this guide from our library.