Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Bits of Advice for Choosing Research Paper Topics. Part II

  • Do not choose research paper ideas that can turn into reports with a scholarly argument and no emotions expressed or any hint of underlying issues involved. Remember that such research paper topics will require too much research and background to follow.
  • Be careful not to choose a topic where your personal biases are so strong that you cannot see the logic of another side. Everyone will be better at taking apart from the side they disagree with.
  • Try to pick a topic where you will be comfortable and interested in learning about both sides.
  • Focus on topics where your interests are dispassionate and intellectual enough that you will be able to research and understand both sides of the argument.
  • Beware of research paper topics that are based only on opinion and belief structures.
  • Remember to be inventive checking all possible sources of information on your topic. Do not just look at expanded academic index and info-track; also consult print indexes such as popular periodicals. Try a variety of keywords, including names of people and places. Also be inventive with cross searches.
  • Select topics for research papers you know something about, or at least somewhat oriented in deciding what the sides are and in knowing where to go to look for information.
  • Pick research paper topics that tie in with your other areas of interest so that you can feel the work you will be doing will serve your larger interest in college.

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