Choosing a Good Topic for your Research Paper or Essay

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some of the academic writing assignments come with topics, whereas, some of them leave the option of choosing the topic, to the student. If you are allowed to pick the topic for your research paper or essay, you should make use of the opportunity to choose one that suits you the best. There are a few things you should keep in mind while searching for the suitable one.

First and foremost, you should read and understand the given guidelines regarding the topic. If you have been allowed to choose a topic, your ability to choose the most appropriate one will also come under scrutiny. Hence, you have to go through the guidelines over and over again, till you have understood all the clauses well.

Elimination method has proved to be the most effective one to choose the best. It applies for your academic assignments as well. Instead of looking for the best topic straight away, it is always advisable to short list a few and then choose the best out of it.

Most of the assignments, even when the topic is not specified, come with instructions on which particular sector or genre of the subject the topic should be from. Keeping those points in mind, you should short list a few topics which appeal to you at first sight. Once you have done that, it will become much easier for you to close in on a good topic which not only suits your interests and skills but also adheres to the allowed limits.

The topic you choose should be something that you can handle within the given deadline. There are certain factors which will help you determine this. To find out whether the topic will fit into the permitted time for the project, you should consider:

• The given deadline
• Your knowledge of the topic
• The suitable research methodology
• Accessibility to the research materials
• Availability of sources

You will have to put all these facts together, to find the best topic for your assignment. Once you have figured out a few which fits into all these, then it is time to make the final choice. Out of the list, choose a topic which you feel most interested in. Your interest in the subject will, most certainly, reflect in your thesis. If you choose something that is not of any particular interest to you, it is possible that the long procedure of research will become a harrowing experience for you.

Try to pick a topic that has not been discussed very often. Fresh topics have the advantage of being able to raise the curiosity in the readers or audience. But make sure that you will be able to find enough research material if the topic of your choice is not a common one.

While looking around for the topic, you should always remember that the topic has a big part to play in the outcome of your research paper, term paper or essay project. Choosing the topic is only the first part of your assignment. Hence remember not to waste too much time on it.

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