Steps to select a topic for the research paper
Selecting a suitable topic for the research paper is not an easy task. Occasionally, teachers allot a topic for a research paper, but generally they prefer students to select their own topics to write a research paper. For the students this is not an easy task. If you are a student, and you are panicking because you find it difficult to select a topic, take a deep breath and you may find some of the steps given below helpful.
- Step One: Relax select topics of you are interested in and brainstorm. Jot down all the ideas as they come into your mind. You can filter them and weed out the ones that are difficult or unwieldy later.
- Step Two: After you have enough ideas that you find interesting, select two or three promising topics and start researching on the internet, in the books, or libraries. At this stage it is not important to do serious research, you only need general information on the topic. After you have selected the topic you can go for a thorough research
- Step Three: Now you have some idea of the topics you have selected, you need to further whittle them down to one or two. Spend some time, reflect on the nature of the topic, do you feel comfortable with the idea, do you feel interested and can you find enough material, after a thorough research, to write a complete project on it. Some topics are interesting, but it is difficult to find information on them, even after a complete research. Take a little time to analyze the various aspects, availability of information, and the prospect of expanding the research topic to include fresh information.
- Step Four: You have selected the topic; you have done research and have information related to it; now it is time to start focusing. Fine tune the ideas, reject weak topic related ideas, and select ones that are strong ones. Be thorough in this exercise, edit, ponder, if possible discuss with your peers or teachers. Use keywords to make an outline of your research paper.
You have pondered, researched, picked up and discarded interesting topics, selected background details and information and now you are ready to work on your research paper. During all this exercise, there is no need to be rigid, and follow steps as given above, you can make your own schedule and follow it. Good luck!