Research papers, as the name suggests, involve a good deal of researching, looking into minor details, and asking questions. Therefore, when choosing a research paper topic, make sure you choose something that you feel up to immersing yourself in and thoroughly exploring.
In other words, don’t pick something that bores you or that you have no knowledge of whatsoever. Instead, choose one that you know a little bit about but still have questions on, or maybe something that you don’t know much about but that really sparks your curiosity.
It would also be a good idea to pick a topic that’s important or that has an effect on people’s everyday lives. This will both keep you interested as you continue your research, and ensure that your paper will be interesting to others (aka your professor) as well.
So, how do you come up with a really interesting research paper topic?
A lot of times it helps to just have a big brainstorming session. Think of all the weird questions you’ve ever wanted to ask - the important ones, not the ones like What makes my belly button smell? - and pick one that you really want to learn more about. (Of course, it needs to be relevant to your assignment.)
Keep in mind that it would probably be smart to avoid topics you’re already well-versed in. After all, you do want to learn something by writing this paper, and, on top of that, if you write a paper completely from your prior knowledge, you might leave out details or misremember something, as nobody has a perfect memory. In addition to all that, if you try to go back and re-research it, it won’t be nearly as interesting.
So, in short, don’t pick a topic that you know nothing about, because it’ll take you forever to find and digest all the information you’ll need to teach yourself - but also don’t research something you already know too well to have to research.
The best approach is to start with something you know, but that you’re a little fuzzy on, and then branch off from that. Research papers can actually be really fun if you pick a subject you like.
Here are some examples of really interesting topics from an expert to get your creative juices flowing:
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