Topic Madness

You might be a little frightened by the sound of a professor saying “Research Paper”  and at this point you might feel like running out of the room and hiding. I know this from experience, because I was once in your shoes. The problem with running away is this is reality and as bad as you want to, you can’t. Your professors will give you the choice to write about a topic they have chosen, or give you the choice to choose your own topic.

This guide will give you advice on how to write about topics that are assigned to you by your professors and how to choose a topic when you have that choice.

If you are faced with the challenge of writing about a topic that is assigned by the professor, don’t freak out. Here are a few tips when you are presented with this challenge. First, do some research and get the basic facts for the paper you have been asked to write. For example, if a professor wants you to write a five page paper on global warming, research some basic facts, start brainstorming, ask questions and put all of your ideas on paper. The key to a successful paper is to find areas in the topic that interest you, create a paper based on the questions you have and observations you have made.

Example: Global warming fact from

  • “Global warming is the increase of Earth’s average surface temperature due to greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels or from deforestation, which trap heat that would otherwise escape from Earth.”
    • Now ask yourself some questions about the information you have found, but remember to only answer the most important questions when you choose what to write about in your paper.
    • Question you might be curious about:
      • What keeps greenhouse gases against the earth?
      • How does global warming effect our planet?

Your brain is now thinking and you have questions to answer about the topic assigned.

That doesn’t seem so bad does it?

Now, what if you aren’t assigned a topic? Are you going to think about running away again? I hope not, so here is some advice on how to choose that ideal topic to write about. First, pick a topic or two that you are passionate about and pin-point your interests in the topics you chose. Later, pick the topic that best suits your interests based on the information you have found and the questions you want to answer. Picking a topic is like choosing a career in Welding, but you love Law. In order for you to excel in the work you do, you have to be passionate about what you do. Writing is the same way, in order for a Research Paper to be the best it can be, the writer must be passionate about the topic. Also, remember that the topic you choose is very important to the success of your paper.

For Example, I chose to write a research paper on stop-motion animation because it interested me.

  • First, I defined what stop-motion animation, researched it, and then I started asking myself questions like:
    • Why isn’t it popular?
    • When was this form of movie first created?
    • What do other people think about it?

The paper turned out really well because I was interested in the topic. In contrast, if I would’ve written about football, the paper would have been awful because I am not interested in sports.

Lastly, remember that choosing a topic isn’t as intimidating as you may think, it is actually a way to prove to your professor that you can write a University level paper. The key to a successful paper is to make sure that you start early, choose a topic you are passionate about, brainstorm, ask questions and research. If you aren’t offered the chance to write about a topic of your choice, then find something that sparks your interest in the topic assigned and have fun with it. But don’t run away!

If you are curious about other ways to choose a topic go to:
Or click on the link that follows, which will take you directly to choosing a topic.


Best of Luck Class of 2018, You will do Great!