One of the major frustrations for first-year students doing research is to have picked a topic on which there is either too little or too much information. Sometimes it is because the topic is just too broad. Take, for example, the topic of water pollution in the US. There is just so much information that the student can become quickly overwhelmed. Sometimes, the topic is just too narrow. For example, the topic of aquifer pollution in nineteenth century New York City might be more suitable for a master's thesis or dissertation than a freshmen assignment.
If you have time before our session, take a look at your students' topics. "Water pollution in the US" might become instead a search for "water pollution in Lake Michigan" combined with a keyword search for "EPA" or "legislation." "Aquifer pollution in nineteenth century New York" might become a search for "water pollution" with keywords like "New York City", "history" and "causes." The student can always broaden or narrow the topic later.