academic-research

How Do I Choose An Academic Research Topic?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just come up with a research topic without any effort? Although we all dream of that but even the most professional dissertation writers know it’s not possible. Like it or not but coming up with these few words takes a proper strategy. The title of your dissertation is just something that comes to your mind in an ‘aha’ moment.

The topic may just be a few words but it guides the analysis of your research paper. Topics offer your reader a window to see what your paper is about and what you want to say. Your topic should represent the core subject matter, scholarly ideas, and a way to arrive at other topics of conversation and discover new knowledge. You shouldn’t expect choosing the topic to be a quick and easy task! You need to plan it from the start of the course to nail it. So let’s find out the steps to write a great topic right away!

Think About Your Interests

If you are reading this blog, there is a high chance that you don’t exactly know what you would like to research. No worries! Everyone has preferences and so would you – even if you find your major absolutely boring. So think about the last time you felt interested to learn about a topic in your class. If that topic comes from another field, you can always look for a middle ground. For example, if you are a psychology major and you love music, you can work on finding the effects of different genres of music on people’s moods and behaviors.

Have a Talk With a Teacher

While working independently is great, you can still enjoy the benefits of discussing your research topic with your teacher. Your teacher is an expert in the subject and probably has a lot more ideas than you do. Remember that you are going to your teacher just to get their advice. You are not asking them to give you a topic to base your research on. If your supervisor agrees to help you out with this, even better! This is because your teacher will be keener on helping you if your topic aligns with their interests and passion.

Don’t Be Linear

Technically, the topic of your research paper comes before everything else. So, any student would start thinking hard to come up with the topic before writing their paper. While it’s completely okay to do that, you should be open-minded about tweaking it along the way. At this stage, you only have an idea of what your paper is going to be about. Hence, you can choose a topic right now and be open to changing it later, or you can wait till you at least get to the mid or end of your paper to decide on a topic.

Notice Your Topic Statement

The topic sentence serves to keep your writing focused on a consistent theme without losing track. This also guides your reader through the argument, which is important for any research paper. Every topic sentence defines what your paragraph is going to be about. Hence, take a look at all the topic sentences instead of reading your entire paper while writing your topic. Hence, it only makes sense that your topic should be in complete harmony with the content of your topic statement. So take a look at the concepts of your topic sentences and consider them while choosing the topic.

Look For Inspiration

Sometimes you come up with the best ideas when you take inspiration from the work in your field. The best way to do this is to review literature through journals and online articles. Just make sure that these sources are relevant to your topic and theme or they will be of no use. Search through library catalogs and read the index. This should not take you much time and you will be able to see what topics are covered by the researchers. You’ll find tons of ideas in these journals and catalogs; enough to give you a list of topics.

Now that you have multiple ways to find a good topic, here is what you need to avoid:

Topics That Are Too Broad

While it may seem nice to choose a topic that gives you lots to talk about, it’s not the best approach. This is because as a researcher, you have to dive deep into your topic and cover everything. Your examiners will not consider if you tell them that you couldn’t cover certain aspects because you reached your word count limit. Hence, you should narrow your topic into something more manageable within your word count. Apart from the word count, it will be hard for you to carry out such huge research all by yourself.

Topics That Are Too Narrow

It is worth mentioning that you need to find a balance while narrowing your topic. Just as wide topics can make your research work difficult, so can topics that are way too streamlined. This is due to the fact that you will struggle from the start, especially while collecting enough resources for the literature review. When your topic is narrow, there is a much lower chance of finding previous work on the exact same thing. Although the research will look innovative it will be hard to meet the minimum word count even if it’s written by professional dissertation writers.

Going For Something Cliché

Most of the students are tempted to choose topics that are highly popular in the field because it’s easier. Choosing a popular and conventional topic will no doubt save your time in looking for relevant content for the introduction and finding guidance for other sections such as the results and discussion. However, your paper will look unoriginal and outdated. Why would you want to spend time researching something that has already been researched multiple times? Although this does not mean that you choose something completely new but try avoiding worn-out topics as well.

Starting Without Research

If you think you are done after choosing your topic, you have one more thing to do. Before you finalize your topic, you need to make sure to research it beforehand. This is because if you end up choosing a topic with potential issues, you will find out later that you need to go back and start all over. Imagine all your efforts of research and writing going down the drain – this is any student’s nightmare. So research your topic before you finally choose to see if there is enough information and literature on it.

Conclusion

Being able to choose a nice topic for yourself does not require you to be an expert in your field. In fact, any student can be as good as professional dissertation writers if they know the right techniques. A good topic can make all the difference between Cs and As. Since this is the first step in writing your research paper, it has an impact on all the next steps as well.

It not only differentiates a good paper from a bad one but also shows your dedication and skill. Hence if you have been struggling to choose the right topic for your research paper, you now know what to do. So choose a research topic you love and make your mark in the world of academics.

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