Basic Rules To Follow When Choosing Research Paper Topics

Choosing a research paper topic is a very important aspect of the writing process of the paper itself. Why? Because you want to pick something that you really want to throw your efforts into and that you will be proud of when you finish. Why? This enthusiasm and care for your subject matter will show in the writing, just as much as strong writing skills will.

In general, you want to strive to pick a topic that is

  • interesting to you
  • Not difficult to research and that has recent research published on the topic and that has both internet and scholarly resources available to you
  • That you can get motivated to both READ and WRITE about—because you’ll have to read just as much as you’ll have to write.

First, pick a topic that really interests you.

If you are really enthusiastic about cooking, for example, you might want to research a popular cooking technique amongst chefs today, such as the Simple Foods movement or the new L.A. trend in cooking called Japanese kaiseki cookery. You will enjoy learning more about your favorite topic to read about, you will learn more about an interest you may one day specialize in, you will enjoy the writing more, and you will write more authentically and well. Plus, your enthusiasm will glimmer through it like a diamond.

Second, pick a Topic With Enough Recent, Extant Research Published Upon It from Journals and Web Articles Alike

Your professor will probably demand some scholarly articles, especially for a college-level research papers. Recent research is always relevant, as people want to know what is being said both now and in the past about any topic—but more likely recent research – from the past ten years, unless you are writing a historically or literature type essay in the humanities. Then, older research—think Shakespeare or research on the French Revolution – is viable as well.

Third—Pick Something You Can Get Motivated to Both Read and Write About

You want to pick something you will really get excited about reading about—especially. You don’t want to sift through journal articles that bore you—your mind will drift and you will find yourself only sluggishly plodding through the research—and the writing. But if you find yoga fascinating, for example, you might want to research a topic like “New Findings in How Yoga Really Benefits Anxiety” or something similar. Then you’ll find yourself researching and writing this essay because you want to – not have to.

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