GOOD TOPICS FOR A RESEARCH PAPER: USEFUL HINTS FOR NEWCOMERS
Choosing a research paper topic can sometimes be the hardest part of a paper. You have to pick something edgy, but within reason. Something you know about, but something that strains your borders. Something new, but not completely unknown. So here are a few key tips for those new to the game to help you find the topic for you.
- Choose Something You’re Passionate About
- Choose Something You Know About
- Find Your Slant
The worst thing you can do is to choose a boring paper, or to do it because someone else told you to. You have to believe in what you’re talking about, otherwise your writing will be poor, you’ll lose faith and focus, and you won’t do yourself justice.
Don’t spend the first three months getting up to speed on the subject matter you’re trying to write about. You should choose something you have a decent basis in. That way, you’ll have a good general idea of what you want to talk about.
While you should be writing what you know, you should also be discovering something new. A paper should highlight an issue no one thought before, or it should approach an issue in a way no one saw before, or it should ask questions no one has asked, or find answers no one knew. Whatever you decide, find your slant. Find what makes this paper stand out from the others.
Before you even write your first word, you should make a detailed plan of what you think you’re going to talk about. If you find yourself struggling with your plan then there is no way you’ll be able to finish your paper. A good plan makes all the difference, and in these early stages you can smash out a plan for a multitude of ideas. Take your topic ideas and flesh them out to wild proportions, just make sure you have enough solid material to do the whole paper. Don’t choose a title because it sounds cool or risky or quirky, and then halfway through realize it was a total mistake and you’ve got nothing left to say. Find five or ten ideas, hash them out, see where the dead ends lie and then pick the one that you like the most, that has the most to say, that is different.