Once you've done some initial background reading, it's time to narrow down your topic to what you really want to focus on. Remember your assignment requirements and consider what you've read thus far.
What aspect of Heart of Darkness do I want to focus on?
What interests me about the topic?
What do I want to write about?
As you start to narrow this down into a topic/thesis, you'll want to continue to look for more sources. As you research, you might tweak or adjust your topic/thesis. In order to help you find more related sources about your topic, you'll want to identify keywords to help you search.
As you think about what concepts you want to research, think about what particular words might be found in a good article about that topic. For instance, if you are writing about the theme of insanity in Heart of Darkness, think of the following keywords:
You can also combine different search terms to find articles connecting the two ideas. Unlike Google, library databases work best using connector terms, such as AND, OR, and NOT.
Keywords work best by trial-and-error. Never do only one search. Some keywords will work better than others, and some keywords may lead you to different articles than you found in your first search. Search the databases with the keywords you selected to find relevant articles. And remember to ask a librarian if you need assistance coming up with keywords or looking for sources.