Tips for Choosing Research Paper Topics

As you make your way through school, you will find yourself writing a multitude of research papers. This is done to enhance your knowledge of the topic and to expand upon your writing skills, research skills, and your ability to think critically. One of the hardest things to do is find a topic. There are a few things you can do to help yourself quickly and effectively narrow down your choices.

Consider Your Interests

When you are writing a research paper, you want to make sure that you have at least some interest in the topic. Jot down a few general things that you are interested in that would fit well with the class you are taking. This will become your starting point.

General Research

You want to make sure that the topic you choose has sufficient research so that you can craft a paper. Just take a few minutes and look for things like studies and background information on your topics, according to the Regents of the University of California. If you find topics that either have way to much research or very little research, toss these as it will be too difficult and time-consuming to craft your paper.

Narrow it Down

Once you have a few decent topics, it is time to narrow these down significantly because you need a relatively narrow focus to make your job easier. A focus that is too broad will result in a paper that is excessively long. An example of a way to narrow down would be to choose a topic like “organic matter” and then think of a subtopic like “compost and soil.” From here you will further narrow it to something like “soil nutrients that come from organic matter.” You can continue with the process until you have a narrow topic you are comfortable with.

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