In many cases, your professor will ask you to choose a research topic on your own. And in case you're wondering how to select a good research topic, this article will help you greatly. When asked to come up with your own research topic, we advise you to do the following:
- brainstorm ideas, but remain focused on the topic that you're interested in
- make sure that there are enough literature available to cover it
- create a list of key words
- make a thorough research
- formulate a solid thesis statement
A good topic is not easy to come up with, because it should be focused and narrow to be interesting, but not too narrow, so that you can find enough materials to research it. Use these five steps to select an excellent essay topic:
First step - brainstorm ideas.
When brainstorming ideas think about the following:
- What are the actual controversial topics?
- What topics are you interested in right now?
- Do you remember a news story that made you feel interested, angry or happy?
- Is there a topic in your class, that you're interested far more than in other topics?
- What is the least researched topic?
Answering these questions will help you to generate good research topic ideas. Remember that overused topics should be avoided.
Second step - look for the information sources.
See if there is enough information on the topics that you find most attractive after the brainstorm. Read encyclopedia articles and broad summary to get a decent overview of the topic or topics that you have selected. Also try to find the keywords that are used for topic description. These keywords will be very useful and important in the future. We advise you to use Encyclopedia Americana, Google or Bing to search for articles on your topic.
Third step - focus but be flexible.
Focusing on the topic basically means narrowing the topic. You can narrow the topic by geographical area, by culture, by time frame, by discipline, by population group or by other characteristics. On the other hand, it is advisable to be flexible, which means that you should be ready to modify your topic while working on it. Often times, when working on research topics students discover interesting facets of the issue that they're researching which makes them change the angle of their research a little bit. Be ready for such changes.
Fourth step - make use of keywords.
Keywords are the main words that describe your topic. You can look them up in articles and books. These words will be very helpful for your research, because they will help you to find the information faster.
Fifth step - research and formulate a thesis statement.
Use keywords to research your topic and search for the relevant info in search engines, article databases and catalogs. When you have enough data, proceed to writing a thesis statement. Remember that it should be solid and striking to capture the attention of your audience from the very beginning of your paper.
Selecting a research topic is easy when you follow these five easy steps.