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Research Paper Help: Working With Topics

Topic Ideas

Narrowing / Broadening Your Topic

Viable Research Projects

The topic of your research paper may be given to you by your instructor. Or, you may need to come up with one of your own. The links to the left in the Topic Ideas box are good places to start. Don't forget to look at the Table of Contents in your textbook, which may also be helpful in selecting a topic.

Choose a broad topic that interests you, for instance, video games.

Then select a narrower subtopic like violence in video games. The links under Narrowing/Broadening Your Topic can help you drill down to a more specific topic. 

The links under The Thesis Statement will help you write a working thesis, which will help you decide on the type and content of your research materials.

Remember, if you have any questions about your topic selection, ask your instructor. Your instructor is the final authority on whether or not a thesis statement is appropriate for the paper he or she has assigned.

The Thesis Statement

A Good Thesis Statement

  • Is one interesting idea.
  • Expresses your opinion about that idea.
  • Is specific enough to be explored completely in your paper.
  • Is a complete sentence with correct punctuation, grammar and usage.

The Writing Process

Steps in the Writing Process

  1. Gather ideas.
  2. Arrange the ideas in a logical order.
  3. Write down ideas in sentences and paragraphs.
  4. Check and revise your work.