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Research Paper Writing: Choosing a Topic

The topic of a research paper is going to be the first step in determining just what type of paper you will be writing. Since choosing the topic is the very first step in the writing process it needs to be done before the paper can be written, or research can be done. This is a difficult thing to do for some people because there are a wide variety of topics to choose from and finding the exact right one can be similar to finding a needle in a hay stack. However like most things in life if you break it down into a system then picking the exact right topic is simply a matter of following a simple predesigned system to find the one that works for you and will produce the best research paper. The best part is that there is no singular system that will work.

Brainstorm and Win

The process of brainstorming is a way to find a solution to any problem. You can do it by yourself or include others, and the process is the same. On a piece of paper or a whiteboard, you start to collect a bunch of ideas. So as you sit down to think about your research paper, you start to just make a list of all topics that pop into your mind or the mind of anyone there. They are listed without prejudice and they should not be judged in anyway. The list can accept any idea because it may be an idea that seems silly at first that can be tweaked and turned into the best idea in the end.

This list is then going to be analyzed. Each of the topics are evaluated and then either rejected or moved into a potential list. The requirements should be that the topic is interesting to you and that you either know a lot about it or are passionate about investigating it. Compare those factors with any of the requirements of the instructor and that is the formula that will eliminate topics. Whittle the list down to five to ten potential topics and then the rest is easy. Test your topics and write a preliminary thesis statement for each. This will tell you for sure if the topic can carry an entire research paper or not. Then the final decision will be made by ranking each of the topics by both interest one through five and then by how much knowledge you already possess one through five. The topic that is highest on both lists should be a winner. That is the most efficient manner to choose a topic for a research paper.

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