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How to Find a Good Topic for a Research Paper – the Secret

A research topic is the subject matter or issue of interest when conducting research. While finding the right one is quite challenging, this article helps you comprehend what makes a research paper topic good, and how to turn it into an amazing piece of writing.

Selecting a topic is an ongoing process where a researcher (or you) should explore, define, and polish their ideas. Conducting relevant research is a strong contributing factor to writing quality papers. Your topic should neither be too general nor too narrow.

A bad topic or research question is too abstract and general. For instance, personnel management and social media aren’t specific enough. And, in most cases, such a topic fails to meet the professor’s requirements and often gets declined.

On the other hand, a suitable topic or research question is manageable – using readily available resources (time and money) – and meets the tutor’s requirements. Now, let’s dive into what makes a research topic really good.

What is a Good Research Paper Topic?

The outcome of a research project highly depends on the choice of a topic. That’s why you must be extra careful to choose a doable one and conduct an extensive literature review on it. Make sure there is a theoretical basis in support of the topic.

Besides, the topic should, at least, aim to bridge a specific knowledge gap(s) or suggest solutions to a particular problem.

You want to make sure that your research paper is outstanding, doable, and relevant. And your understanding of the topic, and the research process, affects the quality of your research project.

Here are the five factors that good research, essay, or thesis paper topic should meet.

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1. Does it Interests you?

Be sure to select a topic that you are interested in or that you are curious about. You would be more willing and motivated to explore further into a subject that you are enjoying.

Your research project should have a wider scope – but not too wide to explore. Even if a research topic is popular or trending, do not make the mistake of selecting it unless you have some genuine interest in it.

For instance, if your interest is technology, do not choose a topic in gun control. However, if you are much into gun legislation or control, consider a topic like – Do states that allow citizens to carry guns have higher or lower crime rates?

Most importantly, your interest should match your course. Remember, you’re expected to apply class theories and materials while writing your project. That’s why you should make sure your topic is relevant in your niche.

In rare circumstances, your tutor can select a topic for you, give you a list to select from, or give some selection criteria. And in such instances, always follow their directions to avoid losing marks.

More so, check the availability of materials before settling on a particular topic.

2. Are Research Materials Available?

Even if you select a great research paper topic that you’re over-excited to explore, your project would have limited information if there is no substantive previous study.

Don’t get me wrong – there is no harm in suggesting an entirely new topic. But at least, there should be some theoretical context surrounding it.

You don’t want to introduce a concept that you have no resources – time and monetary – to analyze and sponsor. Remember, you have limited time – a term maybe – and a tonne of other assignments to complete.

Lack of information is usually encountered when the topic is either too specialized or new with limited facts at the moment. Unfortunately, a topic with limited data could be very hard to explore.

To ensure picking a nice topic, always conduct a preliminary search to examine its viability. Such a search would ensure you have all the information to provide a comprehensive research project.

Next, avoid general or over-exhausted topics.

3. Is the Topic Over-Exhausted?

Do not be blinded by the popularity of an over-exploited research topic. One advantage of such topics is that they are easy to explore, as there is pretty much information to include in the research paper.

However, your research may not catch the teachers’ or readers’ attention, as you may report what they already know or are familiar with. It is also possible that they won’t be much left to research.

A popular topic may not be appropriate for a research paper, as you may have to duplicate content, even if not intentionally.

Please note that your topic does not have to be challenging, but at least not replicating the existing studies.

Some of the popular topics to avoid while writing a research paper include:

  • Abortion – unless you have a new strategy
  • Capital Punishment
  • Gun Control and Bullying in Society
  • Politics, Race and Religion

But that doesn’t mean you can’t use any of these topics in your research project. You can, but make sure you have a new strategy or idea to address them. Always avoid common phrases like the effects of abortion in society.

Next, confirm if your topic is manageable before settling on it.

4. Is the Topic Manageable?

Great research paper or thesis topics should be manageable using the limited resources – time and resources – that you have.

Academic projects usually have limited time. For instance, the professor may expect you to complete your proposal in a month or two. That’s why you should never propose a topic that requires a century to complete, yet you only have a few weeks.

Similarly, do not propose a topic that would need a huge budget to accomplish unless you can afford it. And most importantly, it should be practical. Remember, you have other coursework and projects to complete.

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5. Does it Fit the Guidelines?

Do not be carried away in finding a cool research topic that interests you, and forget the professor’s guidelines or even suggestions. After all, the instructor would be the one grading your project.

If you are taking a nursing course, deciding to research how corporate governance impacts corporate performance will probably not be accepted. However, the impact of taxation on the sustainability of private hospitals would probably be approved.

No matter how interesting or popular a research topic is, always seek the professor’s approval before selecting it.

However, finding a good topic doesn’t guarantee you a great research paper. You need to learn how to convert your topic into an amazing piece of writing.

6. Additional Tips

As much as finding an appropriate topic is fundamental, remember that you need more than a topic to write an outstanding research project.

Along the way, you’ll need to prepare an outline, write your proposal and submit it for approval, make corrections and resubmit for approval. But that’s not all, you’ll need to transform your proposal into a great research project or thesis.

However, some of the things you need to remember before picking a topic for your research project, essay, or thesis include;

  • The topic should be rigorous – to maintain quality
  • It should be verifiable or provable using data – qualitative or quantitative data or both
  • Research topics should be controllable or measurable – like weight and age
  • It should be clear, concise and valid – avoid vagueness
  • A topic should also be original, sequential and coherent
  • Lastly, your research topic should be accurate

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Conclusion

The ability to explore previous research, identify the gap, and suggest a question that seeks to address the gap is fundamental in research paper writing.

As much as finding an appropriate topic is fundamental, remember that you need more than a topic to write an outstanding research project.

A topic is appropriate or good if…

  • It interests you
  • There is the availability of materials to support it
  • It is not over-exploited
  • You can manage to work on it using available resources
  • It meets the professor’s requirements

Our next articles would list over 1,000 cool research paper topics in education, pediatric, law, crime, obesity, and gynecology, among other fields. Should you have a suggestion, feel free to leave a comment.

You can also research writers to compile, polish and rewrite your academic papers.

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