Academic Writing Tips: Choosing a Topic for Your Paper

Writing is fun for a lot of people. It's the chance to pick a side and create an argument, or present a unique issue to an audience of people who may have never saw that side of the issue before. It's your chance to convince them that they have a stake in the topic at hand, and help them understand your stance on the issue. While writing is for the passionate at heart, it can be difficult for some to compete, with that being said the only place to start is choosing the topics for your paper.

Sometimes the professor will choose the topic for you. If that is the case then there is no work to be done in choosing a topic for you, if not then you have some work ahead. In order to choose your topic you must do a few things to include:

  • Define your purpose.
  • Brainstorming subjects that interest you.
  • Evaluation of the potential topics you have chosen.

Defining your Purpose: Sometimes the purpose is given to you by the professor. It can be to write an evaluative paper, or a subjective paper based on an experience you had, etc. When thinking about topics be sure that they fit the purpose of the paper that you are constructing.

Brainstorming subjects that you are interested in: The best papers come from a person having interest or passion about the topic. With that being said you should take note of all the subject matter than you take an interest in after you have identified your purpose for the paper. If you cannot think of subjects that interest you, you can always take to the internet, as well as people around you, or observe your surroundings for help.

Evaluating the potentials: Your evaluation should start relating back to the purpose of the assignment. If not throw it out. Next you should ask yourself what you know about the topic. Will you be able to write about the subject matter without consulting major research, or will you need to do extensive research before you begin to put the paper together? You want to make sure you can map out the paper well. If an abundance of information doesn't come easy enough for you to fill out an outline or mapping tool, you should throw it out.