Writing a Research Paper


If the topic is not assigned for you by the instructor, you should choose a topic in which you are interested and for which you can find material. Writing the paper will be less of a chore if the topic appeals to you. On the other hand, it is a waste of time to choose an interesting topic unless you have access to research material.

You should avoid common topics that have been overworked in previous years unless you can bring some new perspective to that topic.

Also, avoid a topic that is too broad for the scope of your research paper, such as World War II.

Here are some sources of topics:

  • your subject teacher
  • the daily newspaper
  • the weekly and monthly magazines
  • radio and television programs
  • your friends or parents

Early in the academic year, ascertain which courses require a research paper. In this way you may be able to get dual credit for one research paper. For example, you may get credit for the one paper in both a literature course and a language course.

The length of your research paper should be specified by your instructor.

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