How To Come Up With Good Topics For Term Papers: Helpful Techniques

If you are struggling to pick a topic, there are some things you can do to try and stimulate your creativity. These are generally referred to as brainstorming exercises. You can start off by reviewing your course textbooks and notes. You should look for headings and sub-headings which sound appealing. As you look over your notes, pay attention to things that you have read over in class briefly but now want to know more about. Look through your notes for things that you may have wanted to explore further but time was limited in your lectures and you were unable to. These topics make for great topics for a strong paper.

If you are truly interested in the topic, you will be much more engaged in the research and the writing. You will enjoy learning about the topic rather than trudging through the assignment.

  • Look over recent things you have seen on television, read in a magazine, or read in other courses. You should aim for something that you are already slightly familiar with, as this will reduce the amount of research you need to do to gather preliminary information for the background to your paper. But before you pick something, try and match the topic that you select to what you were studying in your class. If you were studying in vitro fertilization methods compared to acupuncture, a recent article on the abuse of antibiotics for pain relief might help stimulate a potential idea but a recent article on music in space might not.

  • Take a moment to think about your audience. Even if you have the opportunity to pick a topic yourself, you should always consider your audience. The audience might have completely different interests compared to you. You should not pick a topic that you think your teacher will like just because you think your teacher will like it, but you should not pick a topic that you know will upset your teacher.

  • At this point you can always ask for help. You more than likely have a few topics left on your brainstormed list but you can still ask friends or other classmates what they think of your topics. Sometimes just talking out a potential topic will help you to realize that you don't have enough information or that you don't really care about the topic.

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