Choosing a Research Paper Topic

There are plenty of considerations to make when creating your research paper topic. The hardest part is thinking up the considerations to apply, so here they are to make your life easier. If you can answer these questions and abide by the statements, then you will find it a lot easier to pick your research paper topic.

One that is not being covered by your classmates

It is not terrible if you cover a topic that is being covered by a classmate or two, but you run two risks if you do. Firstly, if one of their research papers is fantastic, then you are going to look bad by comparison. Secondly, your professor is only human and there are only so many times per sitting that your professor can read the same thing written a different way. He or she may have a negative attitude if your essay is the third one he/she has read that night with the same core content.

Did your professor give you a choice?

If your professor didn’t give you a choice, then there is no amount of topic choosing to be done. If there is the choice between a few, then pick the one on the topic you know the best. If there is an open field for topics, then look through your textbooks and pick a topic you think may please your professor.

One that you know a fair amount about already

If you pick a topic about which you already know a lot, then you set yourself up for an easy writing session. It literally involves less research and less comprehension, meaning less work.

One that you know nothing about, so that you learn more

You can go the opposite direction to the tip above tip and go for a topic on subjects and content about which you know nothing. You can then use the researching process as a way of educating yourself about the subject and topic. It is going to be a lot of hard work, but if you are in it for the education and do not want an easy ride, then this may be the way to go.

Pre-research to see if there is lots of data on the subject

Before you commit to a topic, you should do a little preliminary research. Check to see if there is a lot of content and to see if there are a lot of sources for you. If you spend fifteen minutes doing a little preliminary research and you come up with very little, then you are really going to struggle when it comes to doing your research paper–so you should pick another topic.

Pre-research to come up with some preliminary ideas and conclusions

Some preliminary ideas will help you set a direction for your research paper. It may even give you a few ideas around what topic to cover. You may also come up with a few conclusions. You may do a little research and start considering eventual possibilities that you may turn into conclusion points. To pick your topic you would simply gear it towards directing you to the conclusion points you thought up.

Are you going to copy other essays?

You are not going to plagiarize, but there are plenty of essays on the Internet that you can take inspiration from. If this is something you are planning on doing, then you need to consider taking their research paper topic too. You can reword it or change it a bit if you wish.

Consider how precise and how vague it should be?

It is possible to come up with a slightly vague topic so that your research paper becomes more of an analytical piece. On the other hand, you can write one that is quite precise and turn it into an argumentative research paper.

Is it geared towards the idea you have for your thesis?

Coming up with your thesis may be easier than coming up with the topic. If this is the case, then why not come up with a thesis or two first and then find a topic that fits them.

Do you want to start the research now and form a topic later?

This is possible if you are really stuck on topics. You can start researching a general idea or a subject area, and once you have done enough you may like to come up with a topic.

If you are truly stuck, you can just leaf through your textbooks and find something that interests you a little. It is easier to do a research paper around a topic that interests you, so look through your textbooks and see what catches your eye. Have a look online at the other research papers that people have done and see what their topics are. Do any of those interest you? You could reword their topic and make it your own.