The Easiest Way To Come Up With An Excellent Term Paper Topic


Use a simple technique below to select a strong term paper topic with minimal effort.

  • Look through your previous papers.
  • Remember what research papers you have done before in this course or related ones. An easy solution is to take one of those topics and further elaborate on it. You are already familiar with the subject, and you have the relevant sources.

  • Brainstorm regularly.
  • Find a quiet place free of distractions. Set a timer for 15 minutes and start writing any topic ideas that come to mind. Do not critically evaluate them or pay any heed to grammar and spelling – just keep writing. Do not stop until you hear a signal. Repeat these brainstorming sessions for several days in a row, or ideally, for a week.

  • Filter by relevance.
  • After you are done brainstorming, you must have several sheets of paper with ideas. Not all of these topics will be relevant to your course. Many will just be random thoughts, which is normal. Cross out all ideas you can’t imagine yourself writing a term paper on.

  • Filter by interest.
  • If you have brainstormed long enough, you should still have many ideas left. Re-write them into a separate list and go down it. Which of these topics arouse your interests? Which seem boring? Cross out those you would not be passionate enough to explore. If you pick any of them, your motivation will be low and you will produce a worse paper than you could.

  • Filter by size.
  • Evaluate the remaining topics. Are they broad enough to write a term paper on? (A topic like “sources of water pollution in Genesee County” might not be.) Are any of them too broad? (“Environmental issues in the culture of Western countries” might be too vague.) Think of how you can re-word each to be a narrower or broader focus. Cross out the topics you can’t amend.

  • Filter by feasibility.
  • “Feasibility” in the case of a term paper topic means that you have enough sources on this topic available for you to use. Term papers typically need an extensive bibliography (up to 20-30 items), with a proper mix of books, scholarly articles, and electronic resources. Pick any topic from your list (it should now have just a few) and do a quick search in your library database to see how many relevant sources you can discover. If the results are scarce, cross this topic out. Do this for all remaining topics.

  • Filter by scientific value.
  • Think of what your term paper can add to the existing knowledge in this field. Select the topic that you think is the most promising in this aspect.

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