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Top 10 tips to choose an essay topic

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Look for patterns or areas of interest. Go through your list and use symbols, such as stars or asterisks, to note related ideas. Consider which ideas have lots of directions to choose from and which have fewer.

Did you have a lot to say about one topic but struggled with others? Look for patterns to better understand where your interest lies. Narrow your list down to three potential topics. Using your brainstorm list as a guide, eliminate less interesting ideas until you have three potential topics or related keywords you might like to tackle.

For instance, using the architecture example above, three ideas might be: Delve deeper using the encyclopedia. Use the Encyclopedia Americana, Encyclopedia Britannica, or another reputable encyclopedia to search for the key terms in the three broad topics you outlined.

This will give you a more thorough understanding of the topics at hand. Read current newspaper articles about your potential topics. Search the databases of reputable newspapers, such as the Washington Post and the New York Times, for your topic keywords. This will bring up any current articles about your topics.

This will also help you understand if there are any new or critical developments to consider as you choose an area to write about. Save the URLs of any particularly good or helpful articles, as they may be useful sources for you later on.

This information can help you put together a Works Cited list as well. Ask a librarian for help. Make an appointment with a librarian at your school or public library.

Talk through your potential topics with the librarian and see what unique books or databases they think might be relevant to your research. This may introduce you to new angles on your potential topic.

Write down any important passwords or usernames you need to access the resources your librarian makes available. Speak with an expert. Think about whether you know anyone who works in the field you are researching. If not, ask friends and family members if they know anyone, or do an online search for experts in that field. In many cases, you may be able to contact them by phone or email to ask them questions.

A survey of microbrewers suggests that beer taste is equally affected by the health of yeast used during fermentation as it is by the quality of the grains used. This audio file describes the process of choosing and narrowing a topic that is demonstrated in this learning packet. This audio file is a supplement to the text portion of this packet, and is meant to be listened to the powerpoint slide. This narrated slide show provides a brief overview and an example of the topic-selecting process described in this learning packet.

This learning packet should review:. By this point, a student should have been exposed to basic research techniques and have a minimum of sources to begin to write from.

A few terms that may be new are:. For best results, the method described in this learning packet should be practiced several times in order to develop confidence and consistency. Create Account Sign In. What do you want to learn? Are you a student? Introduction to Choosing a Research Topic Introduction: Steps 1, 2, and 3: Choosing a Topic Well, you've been researching for a while now, and you are now ready to settle down on a specific topic.

Choosing a Specific Topic in Three Steps 1. Be a little more specific about your topic. Steps 3, 4, and 5: Narrowing Down Your Topic During the first three steps, you chose a topic. The forms of nitrogen released by the decomposition of food waste is poorly understood.

Woodruff Library Ask a Librarian. Your browser has javascript disabled. Without javascript some functions will not work, including question submission via the form. How can I choose a good topic for my research paper? Here are some things to consider: Make sure your topic meets the assignment requirements. Ask your professor for feedback if you are unsure. Choose a topic that is interesting to you.

It may seem obvious, but this will make the research process more fun and engaging for you. Consider the scope of your topic. If your topic is too broad it may be hard to find information that is focused and relevant; if your topic is too narrow it may be hard to find any information at all.

Background research will help you develop your topic and hone or change it in more appropriate ways. Though this seems like extra work, it is actually a vital, time-saving step. Knowing more about your topic's background can only help you develop a more effective topic, and therefore, research paper.

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Make sure your topic meets the assignment requirements. Read it closely. Ask your professor for feedback if you are unsure. Choose a topic that is interesting to you. It may seem obvious, but this will make the research process more fun and engaging for you. Consider the scope of your topic.

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Choosing a Specific Topic in Three Steps. 1. Choose any topic or topics in the universe. - "e.g., something about organic matter" 2. Be a little more specific about your topic. - "e.g., compost and soil" 3. Be a lot more specific about your topic - "e.g., soil nutrients released by organic matter decomposition" 4.

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One of the most complicated and deciding parts in writing a research paper is actually choosing the topic of the research paper, as from it depends how well you will write it and how good and interesting you can open the topic . HOW TO CHOOSE A RESEARCH TOPIC? Dr. Kent Seamons Brigham Young University • Read a research paper each day and summarize it Define a Research Topic When you can answer the following questions, you are ready to conduct research that leads to a paper.

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Teachers always emphasize the importance of choosing a strong research topic. But sometimes it can be confusing when we try to understand what makes a topic a strong topic.. Additionally, you should consider that you’ll be spending a lot of time on a research paper, so it is particularly important to select a topic that you really enjoy . Choose a topic that you are interested in! The research process is more relevant if you care about your topic. Narrow your topic to something manageable. If your topic is too broad, you will find too much information and not be able to focus. Background reading can help you choose and limit the scope of your topic.