updated 9 months ago

How can one choose a good research topic?

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1 Answer
updated 10 months ago


The choice of a topic for your research paper is crucial since it defines all the further progress of your work. You can be a hell of a researcher but if a topic you’ve chosen is too vague, too broad or, visa versa, is too narrow, your work won't get much of appreciation.

So first of all, you need to define what type of a research paper you need to write. Is it an essay, term paper or maybe a case study? If it’s an essay you should know what type of an essay you should write exactly. There are lots of these, e.g. argumentative essay,  compare and contrast essay, cause and effect essay, etc. At StudentShare there is a separate section dedicated to the good topic choice for your paper. There are lots of useful and working advice there with numerous examples.  

My first general tip is to ask your professor or supervisor for advice. Ask her or him to explain the details of an assignment ( a type of paper, scope, purpose). Then ask their opinion about the list of topics you’ve come up with. Ask to point out good and bad topic examples. In other words, make it usual to ask your professor for feedback, don’t be afraid to bother your research adviser. It’s the key to a successful research paper writing.

The second tip I’ve already mentioned, but still, it’s worth to repeat. Define a type of work you need to write. Roughly there are two types of research papers: historical and analytical. For the first type, your goal is to dig deep into the history of some problem, the argumentations, positions. For the second, you no only need to outline some historical adventures of your research subject. You should develop your conception, your own attitude to the researched topic. If your paper is supposed to be historical, you should choose an issue that has a lot of materials on. Evaluate a scope of a material and if it seems not feasible to elaborate the most important ones of them, narrow the topic.

If you need to write an analytical paper, you should opt for a topic that is thought-provoking and interesting for you to research. It also must be feasible for you to cope with.

So generally, your topic must excite you, at least a little, and it’s must correspond to your academic level.

After you’ve defined a type of your work and learn all the details about an assignment, make a list of topics you think can be a match. List 20 subjects minimum. Brainstorm them. Then reduce those that are trivial and those that are too hard to write about. From what is left choose the one you like the most. The brainstorm can be more fruitful made together with your friends or classmates.


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