cloning of animals, unexpected social problems that might result from cloning, technical aspects of cloning, moral or religious issues related to cloning, cloning my girlfriend or boyfriend, etc.). Otherwise, those interesting related issues you delved into might end up looking like window dressing, added only to bring the paper up to its required minimum length. A good library always has a good professional staff, trained to be courteous and helpful, and bright enough to genuinely care about a LOT of topics, and who will expertly direct your search to the right place.
Profs see enough fluff that they generally smell it a mile away. Unfortunately, librarians are merely human, working long thankless hours for low pay, so a little patience on your part will go a long way.
Professors almost always provide specific written guidelines for length, focus, format etc. If they don't, they pay major dues when it's time to grade them. Fit the idea to the space provided, and be concise.
These requirements may vary dramatically from class to class, and from semester to semester. Skim Your Textbook, look over the syllabus, read the newspaper, look through recent issues of relevant journals and magazines, surf the net, watch the evening news, talk to your classmates and friends, find a spare half hour of peace and quiet to just sit under the stars and think - these are all good potential sources for paper topics. On the other hand, don't turn in fifteen pages on cloning Elvis.
But most of the time, what you have is a genuinely fuzzy idea, and that's where keyword searches come in real handy.
Every library has at least one keyword-searchable index of magazines and journals, and may even have a special index that covers your subject area. Try typing in the words that come closest to your topic, and see what happens.
Consult the online catalog first to see what's available. Sign out those library books and copy those journal articles early on in the process, or you may find some prof has absconded with the only copy of your best source, and good luck getting it back before Christmas.
Or some bozo has neatly cut out every article on your hot topic (which, by an odd coincidence, was the hot topic for thirty other students just last semester). If you have a specific title or author, it's pretty easy to type it in an online catalog or database, and see what happens.
The rules and fees vary, and there may be photocopy fees or other restrictions.
BUT remember that these ILL transactions take lots of time.