How to Choose a Research Paper Topic


While studying in high school or a higher educational establishment, you will inevitably face the need to write a research paper – to research various scientific, technical, or social aspects of a phenomenon.

If you are doing it for the first time, the task may seem difficult. Everything is not as hard as it looks, but it will require quite a lot of time and effort. You will have to choose and research the topic for starters, find reliable sources, and come up with a thesis. After that, make a plan and start writing the draft and then a clean copy. Make sure you have enough time to review your research paper and check it for mistakes. It is essential to check the work if you want it to be one of the best. This article focuses on one of the vital parts of writing a research paper – choosing its topic. Should you require detailed information on the paper structure, research characteristics, and types of a research paper, we advise you to study this material first.

How to Choose a Research Paper Topic Helpful Tips

1. Ask yourself important questions about the job ahead


You may need to act within the boundaries of a clearly defined assignment, but even so, you need to choose a topic for your research paper. It is the very first and most crucial step. It doesn’t matter if you like the subject or something you are less interested in. What matters is whether there is enough material on it. If the topic is new and unexplored, it will allow you to express your research work’s personal opinion. Yet, the question to ask is whether the chosen topic is appropriate in the assignment context.

2. Choose a topic of your interest


If it is possible, choose a topic that interests you. If you research a topic that you are not indifferent to, it will affect the work’s quality more than positively.

3. Be original


If you are writing a study as instructed by a teacher, consider other students as well. Maybe they will also write about the same topic like you? How can you then make your work unique and stand out?

4. Heed a piece of advice


If you find it challenging to choose a suitable topic, ask your teacher or classmates for advice. They will probably have an idea or two that you will love. And even if you don’t like it, they can inspire you, give you food for thought, which is also useful. Of course, it may not be very convenient to ask the teachers for help, but it is in their interest to help you complete the assignment. Anyway, do not be afraid to ask for help.

5. Do not be afraid to change the topic


If you have chosen a topic, start your research, and suddenly realize that “it doesn’t work,” no need to panic! Even after beginning work on a study, oddly enough, you can change the subject. Yes, you will lose some time, and some of the work will be lost in vain, but still, it is better than handing in a poorly written research paper.

Other Helpful Tips

  1. While conducting your research, pay attention to important topics, questions, and critical issues. Try to focus your efforts in detail on a separate topic of interest to you, rather than research several problems at once in general terms.
  2. Take your time to conduct your research and never wait until the last minute to begin writing your research paper.

Bonus: Common Mistakes People Make When Writing a Research Paper


The pieces of advice from the above will help you find the right topic for your research paper. However, it seems that people often make common mistakes when writing a research paper. In most cases, they find them out too late, and there is not enough time to fix them. That is the reason why knowing them before you even start with work is in your best interest. We will highlight a couple of common mistakes people make when writing a research paper.

Not Researching the Topic Enough

As we said, one of the things you should do is choosing the topic you are interested in. However, your passion is not going to boost the quality of your paper. You need to spend enough time researching the topic you are writing about. That is the reason why you should invest a bit more time to find some useful sources of information. It doesn’t matter if that process lasts for a couple of days or weeks. Gathering all valuable information is the goal all research paper writers should strive to. Fortunately, things are on your side because you live in the world of advanced technology.

Lack of Thesis Statements

After you find the perfect topic for your research paper, you have to create some strong statements. We can say that is the key part of your paper. These statements should not be confusing and unclear. Instead of that, you should strive to share claims that clearly support the main idea you have. Despite that, their purpose is to convince people that your paper deserves their attention. More precisely, the thesis statement needs to make the paper more engaging.

Lack of Data in Research Papers

Sharing your personal opinion in a research paper is an amazing thing to boost the quality of your work. However, all the claims you share throughout the paper need to come with evidence. That is the reason why you need to gather all the relevant data and statistics to support them. Of course, all the relevant data and stats you share must be relevant and correct. Adding old data will only reduce the quality of your work and make your claims and statements incorrect.

Using Complex Words and Phrases

Some people want to make their paper more professional by adding complex phrases and sentences. There is no reason to talk about official statistics here. You probably know that people do not like to read a lot. Instead of making your paper confusing, you should use as simple as possible words and sentences. If you don’t do that, convincing the reader to read your research paper until the end will be almost impossible.

Formation of the Paper Doesn’t Exist

The writers often forget how essential the author’s guidelines are. Before you submit the paper, checking the writing standards is a must-do thing. If you don’t do that, the quality of your writing won’t mean anything. These guidelines serve as a good tool to make the research paper clear, engaging, and interesting. More precisely they boost the readability score of the content you wrote. Isn’t that the goal that you want to achieve?

Written by Marinelle Adams