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FYWS Cults & Controversies: Topic/Research Question

Choose a Topic

Find ideas in:

  • Your syllabus
  • Your text
  • Class discussion
  • Your life
  • Current events

Keywords to Try When Searching

Place quotation marks around phrases of more than 1 word when searching. (EX: "classroom management")

Possible topics taken from your syllabus:

  • Adonism
  • Aetherius Society
  • Ahmadiyya
  • Amica Temple of Radiance
  • Ananda Marga
  • Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis
  • Antoinism
  • Arica School
  • Aum Shinrikyo/Aleph
  • Babism
  • Baha'i
  • Branch Davidians
  • Builders of the Adytum
  • Candomble
  • Cao Dai
  • Chen Tao
  • Chendoism
  • Christian Science
  • Church of All Worlds
  • Church of Aphrodite
  • Church of Divine Science
  • Church of Light
  • Church of Satan
  • Church of World Messianity
  • Creativity Movement
  • Dianic Wicca
  • Eckankar
  • est
  • Falun Gong
  • Fellowship of Isis
  • Freedomites
  • Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church)
  • International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
  • Jediism
  • Jesus Army
  • Jews for Jesus
  • Kemetic Orthodoxy
  • Konkokyo
  • Mazdaznan
  • Moorish Science Temple of America
  • Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God
  • Nation of Yahweh
  • New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Goden Dawn
  • Nuwaubian Nation
  • Oahspe Faithists
  • Order of the Solar Temple
  • Raelism
  • Rainbow Family
  • Rathma's School of Enlightenment
  • Rastafari
  • Santeria
  • Shakers
  • Soka Gakkai
  • Umbanda
  • Unarius
  • Vedanta Society
  • The Way International
  • Transcendental Meditation (TM)
  • Universal Medicine
  • Voodoo/Vodou/Vondon

Find Background Information

Background information helps you: 

  • Start thinking about your topic
  • See the big picture
  • Identify major issues
  • Discover something that interests you

Use quality, professionally produced sources to familiarize yourself with the topic (not just Google and Wikipedia).

Try some of these:

Additional Encyclopaedia Britannica Entries:
Use information found within these links to build keywords to help with your peer-reviewed searches in our databases. Encyclopedia entries as sources should be discussed with your professor.

Narrow Your Topic

Consider these questions:

Ask yourself open-ended questions to focus your topic. You don't have to answer all of the questions. Some might not apply or be helpful.

Use the five w's: 
  • Who: demographic focus (gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status
  • What: aspects and impacts of the topic (sociological, psychological, economic)     
  • Where: geographic location
  • When: either present day or a particular time period in the past
  • Why/How/So What!: importance, significance (societal, individual)