Good Topics for Research Paper
Good topics for research papers must be complex and interesting enough to sustain both the writer's and the reader's attention throughout the duration. Good topics for research paper assignments will depend largely on the exact assignment. Some teachers will want a project that informs. Other teachers will want a project that both informs and persuades. If a pupil is asked to write a project that only informs, he or she can select any complex and interesting topic related to the subject of the course. If a pupil is asked to write a project that both informs and persuades, however, he or she will have to select a topic that is complex, interesting, related to the subject of the course, and is in some way contested or controversial.
Even students who do not have much experience with research paper writing probably have most of the tools and skills they need to write a good research paper through their experience with writing essays. However, there is a difference between good topics for essays and good topics for reports. A student could write an essay on just about anything. Reports have indeed been written on just about everything, from fly-fishing to grief. There is a huge spectrum of research paper topics from which to choose, as well, but a good research paper topic must be a topic that requires the support of research that is not apparent or known to a typical audience. In other words, a good research paper will present information that the reader may not be aware of. In order to do this well, the report must be about a topic that requires more than factual description. This means that good topics for research paper assignments cannot be basic ideas such as "George Washington." Rather, they must be on a specific aspect of George Washington that both scholars and the student have ideas about, such as "the reasons why George Washington was a great leader." Notice that this topic is based on an idea, and must be explored through a combination of facts and ideas, rather than facts alone.
Good topics for reports should spark curiosity. Notice how the topic "George Washington" has a completely neutral effect, and how the topic "the reasons why George Washington was a great leader" invites questions and a desire to answer those questions. All research paper topics should strive to spark curiosity. The best way to know if a topic sparks curiosity is if the topic sparks curiosity in the writer. If the writer is interested in the topic, then it is likely that others will be interested in it, as well.
Of course, the topic a student selects will depend on the specific research paper assignment. Good topics for research paper assignments must be closely related to the subject of the course. Therefore, it is always wise to consult the teacher of the course about the topic before beginning the writing process.
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