How To Select A Topic For A Research Paper

18 Jul 2023


A reliable topic choice for a writing task is half the battle as it defines the direction you choose to go. Such is the first step which can either help you in writing or bring you down with every new word turning the assignment into the unbearable activity with low results. A research paper topic weights a lot when writing a research paper.  To make an impact you need to take it seriously. If you are eager to simplify the writing process and spend less time on the thesis statement you must not neglect this obligatory step.

Step 1: Brainstorming

This technique allows you to find which topics represent some interest to you to optimize your effort. Working on the topic for a research paper which does not seem engaging is a waste of time since you will fail to cope with it within the minimal timeframe. Be wise! Give your responses the following questions to determine what you need:

  • Is there any individual problem or sphere of interest you would eagerly learn more about?
  • Is there a topic connected with the curriculum you want to know more detailed information about?
  • Can you name a topic that represents the common interest for the whole class?
  • Can you name an event, book, or piece of news which greatly impressed you?

If none of the questions gave you a valuable hint you can research credible sites for an impressive idea. Pick out modern issues for discussion. Don’t waste time on overused topics (suicide, environmental protection, abortion, the death penalty, gun control, etc.). It is only possible when the topic is narrowed down.

Step 2: General information collection

To choose between several research paper topic ideas representing some value, you need to read general data about the subjects for discussion in each separate case. There are multiple resources such as encyclopedia articles. Most universities do not accept Wikipedia but you may use it to find additional sources at the bottom of their articles.  Wikipedia can also be a source of the vocabulary words to make your paper rich. You may also ask your librarian to find magazines and journals for supplemental information.

Step 3: Modify the topic

To research a broad topic is just as difficult as a narrow one. Determine the limit of your scope to simplify the process and take into account factors to choose the qualification criteria:

  • location,
  • culture,
  • time period,
  • subject,
  • and audience.

If you don’t know how to write research paper you can face the difficulty to find needed data on the chosen topic if it is connected with some local issues which are not widely researched. If it is too fresh and few discussions have taken place in this concern it’s also not an option. If the topic is extremely popular which prevents you from adding new data,  you should also avoid this. Having started the search for information covering your topic, you can find there is a need to change it a little, so just narrow or broaden it. You can never predict how much useful information you will find. You can also find aspects related to your topic which is of great importance.

Don’t be too stubborn to waste time on an initially planned topic or an endless search for new sources. For a paper consisting of one or two pages, you will need no more than two or three articles or web resources. For the task including from three to five pages you should find from four to eight sources (articles and books), and web resources, and for a research paper of up to fifteen pages you should take from twelve to twenty items (articles and books).

Such are the important steps of solving your problem with choosing the topic for your paper. Pay attention to them to make a good beginning and just as good ending.

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