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Prof. Czarnecki - COR121 - Fall '23

Selecting your topic

Selecting a topic can be a challenging task, here are some tips:

  • Interest: Choose a topic that genuinely interests you, as your enthusiasm will drive your research efforts.
  • Relevance: Consider choosing a topic that is current and provides valuable, up-to-date information.
  • Broad vs. Narrow: Consider exploring specific angles within broad topics or examining how narrow topics relate to broader contexts.
  • Early Exploration: Begin your research early by consulting with your friendly neighborhood librarian 

The 5 W's

  • WHO  Who is affected by the topic or issue? Do you know of organizations or institutions affiliated with the topic?
  • WHAT are the major questions for this topic?  Is there a debate about the topic?  Are there a range of issues and viewpoints to consider?
  • WHERE is your topic important: at the local, national or international level? Are specific places affected by the topic
  • WHEN is/was your topic important? Is it a current event or an historical issue? Do you want to compare your topic by time periods? 
  • WHY did you choose the topic?  What interests you about it?  Do you have an opinion about the issues involved?

And remember to include your claim!

Your claim is the main argument of an essay. It is the most important part of an academic paper. A claim defines the paper's goals, direction, and scope. It is supported by evidence.

Picking a Topic is Research

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