If you are in the situation where you have to write a research paper but on any topic, you are in the box seat. The choice of topic is so often the key to success. The student who is told to write a research paper but on a specific topic can be in trouble. What if they don't like the topic? Worse, what if they actually hate the topic? What if there is limited research material available or what if the material which is available is hard to access? No, the student who is told to write on any topic is really well-placed.
Where do you begin?
Now we come to the actual choice of topic. And what will determine your choice of topic? All the qualities mentioned in the opening paragraph are relevant. Take out a sheet of paper and draw up a list of possible titles according to these questions.
- What topics are you really keen to write about?
- What topics are you really passionate about?
- What topics have you studied already in which you've built up a background of knowledge?
- What topics are you going to study later this year or in the future?
The answers to the above questions will provide you with a series of topics. Now place them in order of priority. If you only had to choose one, which would it be? Or perhaps a better way would be to choose your first three preferred topics. Now with your final list of contenders before you, do some research.
The first thing to consider is to ask if these research topics have depth. Just because you are passionate about a subject doesn't mean that it's the ideal one for you to write about. It needs to be a substantial topic. You are to write hundreds possibly thousands of words about this topic. If it's a trite subject then your writing will be full of padding.
The second thing to consider is how much reliable and relevant research material is available and just as importantly, can you access it easily? So you're passionate about a subject, you know that it's a deep subject with plenty of subject material and issues to discuss but you need backup material. You need information from experts who have already written about this subject. Can you find this material and having found it, can you access it easily? These are very important points.
Now we come to the writing part of your research paper
You've chosen the topic, you've subjected it to various tests and have located your research material. Congratulations, you're ready to roll. You've begun the right way but having got this far you really need to follow the tried and tested steps to make sure that you make every post the winner.
Take notes. Go through the research material and take relevant and appropriate notes. The better you are at note taking, the better you will be writing a research paper. Then with your copious and relevant notes to hand, create a plan. Your plan is your map, your roadmap to reaching the end of your journey quickly, safely and effectively. In fact the better the content of your plan, the better and easier will be the writing of your research paper.
Don't skimp on the preparation. Don't skimp on the structure and content of your plan. And once this is in place then, and only then can you start the actual writing.
And if you have followed the steps listed above, you are in pole position to produce a research paper you’ll be proud of and of which you should score well if not really well.