Good Advice On How To Find The Best Topic For A Research Paper

The most important first step in writing a research paper is to choose a great topic. It should be focused, unique and interesting. Consider the following:

  • It should meet the requirements of your assignment. Read your assignment carefully and ask your teacher or professor if you have any questions about it.
  • It should be interesting to you. This will make the process more fun and you will be able to engage more with it.
  • The scope of your topic is critical. If it’s too broad, you will find it difficult to locate the information that’s both relevant and focused, because there will simply be too much information to sift through. If your topic is too narrow on the other hand, you will run into problems finding enough information.

Once you have a broad topic in mind, there are some steps you can go through in order to narrow your topic and finalize it into something you’re happy with.

  1. Do some background research – this will help you to develop your topic a little and hone it down a bit so it’s not so broad. Don’t consider this as too much work, because it will actually save you some time later. It’s a great way to identify how broad your topic really is and how much narrowing down you need to do.
  2. Brainstorm some concepts. Write down all the words or ideas that come to your mind.
  3. As your topic continues to narrow down, start developing a research question. This is a question you will answer with the research in your paper. This question will help you discover if your topic is narrow enough.
  4. Know what your general approach is going to be. For example, are you going to focus on a certain time period or geographical location? Are you going to use a sociological perspective or focus on a certain community of people?
  5. Start with some in-depth research to explore your topic more in depth.
  6. Remember that research is a dynamic process and you will discover as you go along. You may find out that changing one word in your research question is all you need to do to arrive at the perfectly focused topic. You will get more and more excited about writing as you go through these steps and see where they lead you to.