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How to Choose a Research Paper Topic

Get aquainted with background information

❶If your knowledge is not sufficient in a certain field, first — enrich it, and only then start writing a research paper.

Collect your ideas.

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Try to choose the topic for your research paper and with the help of following questions, generate your ideas regarding the topic: Do you have some thoughts regarding political or social discussion?

When you were watching some news or television, did something picked up your feelings or attention? Do you have some personal interest or issue that you would like to know more about? Is there some certain aspects in the class that you would like to know more about?

Get aquainted with background information Before considering the topics, read few articles on each topic from encyclopedia in order to get just general overview and get broader picture of certain topics and it will give your more ideas.

Focusing on topic You need to focus only on the certain question, as it will be very complicated to open the topic fully if it is too broad. There is some ideas on how you may divide your topic: Make a keywords list Keep on looking for the words that describe the discipline or the topic of your paper. Read over the objective of the course and review the assignments to date to get some ideas flowing. Use this as a guide to begin brainstorming potential ideas. Do a timed writing exercise to create a list.

Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down as many potential topics as you can think of in that time. You may find that your brain makes unexpected and pleasant connections. Just start creating a base of ideas. For a class on architecture, you might write down: Frank Lloyd Wright, midcentury modern, changes over time, Chicago, urban planning, influential architects, Mies van der Rohe, lots of windows, Prairie Style, nature. Look for patterns or areas of interest.

Go through your list and use symbols, such as stars or asterisks, to note related ideas. Consider which ideas have lots of directions to choose from and which have fewer. Did you have a lot to say about one topic but struggled with others?

Look for patterns to better understand where your interest lies. Narrow your list down to three potential topics. Using your brainstorm list as a guide, eliminate less interesting ideas until you have three potential topics or related keywords you might like to tackle. For instance, using the architecture example above, three ideas might be: Delve deeper using the encyclopedia. Use the Encyclopedia Americana, Encyclopedia Britannica, or another reputable encyclopedia to search for the key terms in the three broad topics you outlined.

This will give you a more thorough understanding of the topics at hand. Read current newspaper articles about your potential topics. Search the databases of reputable newspapers, such as the Washington Post and the New York Times, for your topic keywords. This will bring up any current articles about your topics. This will also help you understand if there are any new or critical developments to consider as you choose an area to write about.

Save the URLs of any particularly good or helpful articles, as they may be useful sources for you later on. This information can help you put together a Works Cited list as well. Ask a librarian for help.

It is natural to stand at the beginning of a research project and feel overwhelmed by the amount of published research that exists in databases, literature reviews, and reference pages.

At the same time, each new research project brings the hope of discovering something new. Overwhelming though a project may be, starting at the foothills of a new thread of research is a great privilege, and is best approached as an opportunity to learn rather than a drudgery. Depending on the topic or scope of your research, it is also natural to spend many days and weeks - and in some cases months and years - searching.

No matter how great or small the scope of research is, the serious researcher needs to reserve adequate time to perform a thorough survey of published articles. For an undergraduate course project, finding five or six sources might seem like plenty of material to review, but graduate-level writing projects typically involve up to 20 sources minimum. Please note that the main point here is not to say that it is only the number of research articles matters most, but rather that having a broad spectrum of papers to choose from helps you choose your topic for at least the following two reasons: So, one particularly effective way of viewing research is not finding the absolute minimum sources to "get by", but rather to find a variety of sources that you can use The good news is that as you research you may find that some of your sources that were published in the same decade or so will cite and reference each other.

One of the joys and privileges of research is being able to follow your curiosity; if you are truly curious about your topic, and authentically driven to find out as much as you can, then even the articles you don't find interesting will be useful for a future project, and no energy will be wasted.

Well, you've been researching for a while now, and you are now ready to settle down on a specific topic. You can do this easily by moving through the following steps. For the purposes of this learning packet, let say that you are writing on the subject of decomposition. Choose any topic or topics in the universe. Be a lot more specific about your topic - "e. Repeat these three steps three or more times to give yourself a few examples of topics to choose from.

Once you feel terrifically solid about the topic you have chosen, you are ready to Narrow Down Your Topic. Always remember that you can go back to research at any time of your writing process.

During the first three steps, you chose a topic.

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Make sure your topic meets the assignment requirements. Read it closely. Ask your professor for feedback if you are unsure. Choose a topic that is interesting to you. It may seem obvious, but this will make the research process more fun and engaging for you. Consider the scope of your topic.

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Choosing a Specific Topic in Three Steps. 1. Choose any topic or topics in the universe. - "e.g., something about organic matter" 2. Be a little more specific about your topic. - "e.g., compost and soil" 3. Be a lot more specific about your topic - "e.g., soil nutrients released by organic matter decomposition" 4.

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One of the most complicated and deciding parts in writing a research paper is actually choosing the topic of the research paper, as from it depends how well you will write it and how good and interesting you can open the topic . HOW TO CHOOSE A RESEARCH TOPIC? Dr. Kent Seamons Brigham Young University • Read a research paper each day and summarize it Define a Research Topic When you can answer the following questions, you are ready to conduct research that leads to a paper.

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Teachers always emphasize the importance of choosing a strong research topic. But sometimes it can be confusing when we try to understand what makes a topic a strong topic.. Additionally, you should consider that you’ll be spending a lot of time on a research paper, so it is particularly important to select a topic that you really enjoy . Choose a topic that you are interested in! The research process is more relevant if you care about your topic. Narrow your topic to something manageable. If your topic is too broad, you will find too much information and not be able to focus. Background reading can help you choose and limit the scope of your topic.