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The Research Paper Topics Took Me Back In Time

January 29th, 2010

The Research Paper Topics Took Me Back In Time

I have been a English composition professor for the past five years. I really enjoyed it. I was fairly new in this profession therefore I dealt mostly with freshman. I loved my college days. It still stands as literally the best years of my life. I was so happy in college I had ton of friends and there was never a dull moment. So when my first job out of graduate school was as a professor at my alma mater. I was beyond ecstatic. Everything came fairly easily to me. I love the kids I taught, I really enjoyed grading term papers but my biggest problem was coming up with research paper topics.

The dean of the English department came to me one afternoon and told me I would need to take over Prof. Kohler’s advanced writing class which mostly contained seniors who’s major was journalism. Prof. Kohler had a very sick parent and needed to take a leave of absence mid year. I was shocked Prof. Kohler had not only taught me but was my advisor when I graduated from college. It would be very difficult to fill his shoes. I knew if I had a hard time coming up with interesting research paper topics for freshman it would be nearly impossible to do it for seniors.

That evening I was wrote out ways to obtain research paper topics and tips on how to write great term papers for my freshman class:

1.When choosing your research paper topics focus on what you know.
2.Pick a topic that is not too narrow or too broad.
3.Make sure you know how to site sources and remember for MLA use footnotes and APA requires endnotes.
4.Be sure to have a thesis statement

I knew the above list would not be much use when it came to the new students I would be taking over. I thought back as to what I wanted when I was senior. I really wanted to be left alone and to do my own thing. I decided to take this approach. When it came to picking research paper topics I would allow the students to pick what ever they wanted. I would think four years of college should justify that.

I walked into the classroom the next day with my head held high. Determined to not let these students intimidate me as I had tried to intimidate Prof. Kohler. I sized up the class immediately. I recognized almost all their faces. I had taught them freshman english. I was surprised how much their looks had been altered. Some looked taller, others had gotten a really bad case of acne and almost all of them looked like they were using the University’s unlimited meal plan.

I stayed true to my thoughts and allowed the students to set the course of their own research paper topics. At this point in their college career they had earned the right to not be edited for their format but for their content. It turned out I much rather enjoyed teaching the Advanced Writing class than my freshman. The research paper topics were interesting they had a lot to say and a lot to offer in group discussions. I think I like it mostly because I was watching myself, ten years ago.

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