It Can Be Quite Difficult to Come up with Topics for Research Papers
September 22nd, 2010
Topics for a Research Paper Need to Be Broad Yet Specific
Last week I went to a party with my boyfriend Mike college friends. It was a surprise party for one of his best friends and I was totally looking forward to meeting the people he had been talking about for the past year. When we got there it was instantly weird. Everyone was sitting around in a circle and things just seemed over all awkward. It seemed that Mike didn’t know anyone but his best friend but everyone else knew each other. Mike’s best friend had recently graduated from law school and the party was filled with lawyers. The hardest thing about it was that they all seemed content with each other and didn’t want to get to know us. Even I always being somewhat of a social butterfly felt really uncomfortable around this snobby little group. What made it worse was that all we did was play drinking games. Everyone at the party was on the cusp of thirty but instead acted ike they were on the cusp of twenty. There was was no intellectual conversations. No talk of politics and religion, I prepared myself for a eight hours of beer pong, bags and flip cup. That was when I realized that this group of lawyers who needed to revert back to their twenties to have fun would really be great topics for a research paper. I used the following tips to help me write a great paper.
1.When picking topics for a research paper make sure you pick a topic that is broad yet not too specific. I realize that this is much easier said than done. When you finally find a topic check to see the amount and what sources are available to you. Focus on quality books and journals and limit the amount of internet sources. At times the latter can be unreliable.
2. After you have picked your topics for research papers consider a research paper outline. It is a great tool to utilize when trying to write any term or research paper. An outline will pretty much write your paper for you. On a sheet of paper label each paragraph respectively leave about ten lines in between each header. Next plug in the main points you hope to make in that paragraph. You can even include the citations you will be using. This will help you when you go to write your paper. It will also allow you to have a better handle on where each point will be made so you don’t repeat yourself.
3.After you have picked your topics for research papers make sure you know how to cite. The greatest paper in the world means nothing if your citations are not correct. Each professor has their own preference from Chicago, Harvard to APA and MLA. Each citation method is distinct. The latter two, APA and MLA, are the most used. You can use the key below to help you differentiate between the two:
For APA use this:
Last name, first name. (year published).Title of Book. City published. Publisher
For the in text citation use this method:
(Last name, year, pp. numbers of pages)
For MLA use this:
Last name of author, First name of Author. Title of Book. Place Published: Publisher. Year. Print.
MLA also uses footnotes instead of in text:
4.No matter how great your research paper topics are you will receive a big fat F if you don’t thoroughly edit your paper. Be sure to have another set of eyes look it over for you. They will find mistakes you missed.
I learned a lot about Mike’s friends by writing a research paper on them. It helped me forgive them more. It allowed me to see them again in other social settings without resentment or anxiety. I now knew where they were coming from. And now so did Mike.