Basic Principles Of Narrowing A Topic For A Research Paper

This is a question that almost anybody who has been in academics for long enough has asked themselves a couple of times; what topic to pick for their paper. Even though this sounds like a daunting task, if you follow these basic principles you will realize soon enough that it is not that difficult.

How to pick your topic

  • The first rule to follow is, of course, to make a list of all the topics that you are most familiar with. Within the subject that you are expected to write an essay on, there will be keywords or topics that you are personally aware of, have read up about or have been most interested in.

  • Now that you have a list prepared of all the topics or keywords that you are most familiar with try and do some investigation into their various aspects.

  • By aspects we mean - look up their advantages, disadvantages, and the various methods of modes of their existence or creation or how they are practiced or used by people. There can be hundreds of aspects associated with just one topic.

  • The next step is to look at an aspect that not only interests you but has scope for becoming an academic topic. This depends entirely on what standard of research your essay is supposed to meet. If you are writing a dissertation of the highest academic standard where you are supposed to conduct your own investigation into your topic and make new discoveries - it would make sense to pick an aspect of your topic that does not have enough prior material. On the other hand, if this is an essay that you need to conduct only primary studies for - you can pick an aspect of your topic that will already have a lot of sources and written material available. This way you can study all the sources and then use them to come to your own conclusion.

It is always a better idea to pick a subject for your dissertation that you are not only familiar with but also have some interest in. Writing a research paper is not only interesting but can also take up time and be taxing on your brain. You wouldn’t want to be stuck working on an essay that doesn't interest you, it will only lead to you quickly getting bored and not being able to work on your dissertation properly.