Choosing Research Paper Topics: Reading for Information Worksheet

Research Writing – Research Process

Use this Research Paper Topics Worksheet to get familiar with how to generate and select topic ideas for your research writing. Ten exercises help you make sense of the process, and get you familiar with feeling out topic ideas.

Choosing Research Paper Topics: Reading for Information

Instructions

Follow the instructions for each exercise below to work through the process of choosing research paper topics.

  • Jot down at least possible three broad topics that interest you or about which you are passionate. Make sure to choose topics about which you possess some knowledge.

  • Topic #1:

    Topic #2:

    Topic #3:

  • Conduct a quick search in your school library or online to generate ideas for a paper topic from each broad topic. In the space below, write at least two ways in which you could address each topic. For example, if you choose seasonal affective disorder as one of your topics above, two ways to address the topic could include 1) who it affect and 2) what are effects on everyday life.

  • Topic#1:
    First approach—

    Second approach—

    Topic#2:
    First approach—

    Second approach—

    Topic#3:
    First approach—

    Second approach—

  • Of the three topics, select two to continue exploring. In the space below, write the two topics. State what factored into your decision.

  • Topic #1:

    Topic #2:

  • Write two questions about the first topic you selected in #3 to which you would like an answer.

  • Question #1:

    Question #2:

  • For each question in #4, find two articles that could be used for a research paper on the topic, and note the name of the article in the space provided.

  • Question #1 article title:

    Question #2 article title:

  • Write two questions about the second topic you selected in #3 to which you would like an answer.

  • Question #1:

    Question #2:

  • For each question in #6, find two articles that could be used for a research paper on the topic, and note the name of the article in the space provided.

  • Question #1 article title:

    Question #2 article title:

  • Can you find any books for either topic that are potential sources of information either by searching your school’s online catalog or by searching the internet?

  • For both topics, consider whether there is sufficient resource material available. State your conclusions for each topic in the space provided.

  • Research viability for topic #1:

    Research viability for topic #2:

  • Select one of the topics, basing your choice on the factors that determine whether a topic makes a suitable idea for a research paper topic. Explain your choice.