How to Choose a Topic for a Research Paper: Advice from Professionals

Research papers take a lot of work to be done correctly. It takes hours of research and then hours of writing. Having good notes and a well prepared outline can really help you to make a great research paper out of one topic and some hard work. The problem for some is the first step, choosing a topic to write about in the first place. More people than you think have this problem. The first step might actually be the most important one as well. Finding just the right topic is a challenge but with some good advice you can learn how to choose a topic correctly.

How to choose a topic

Multiple sources

Getting ideas from multiple sources is always a good idea. Don’t be afraid to discuss topic with your teacher and your friends. Get all the ideas that you can from them and write them all down so you don’t forget any good ones. Also search the net for topics in the field of study that the paper is in. you can type in, good biology paper topics, or substitute biology for whatever field you are writing the paper for. You can even do more specific searches if you have to write about a specific person, place or thing.


It may not seem like it but your interest in your topic may the most important factor to your end grade on the paper. A lot of times a student will choose a topic because it is difficult or the teacher’s favorite and then write about that, thinking that it will get them a better grade. The problem is, if you didn’t want to write about it than that is exactly how it will read. The more you like the topic the better the paper will be and the better your grade will be in return. Choose something that you know you will enjoy researching and writing about and that passion for the topic will show in your paper.

Subtopic choice

You may pick a general topic, which is a great start, but most general topics are too unfocused. If you write about Thomas Jefferson than now you have your broad topic. This is a good start but it is too much information to fit in a little paper. You then want a subtopic like Thomas Jefferson’s first accomplishment. This might be just enough to fill a research paper without having a lot left over or not enough.

Picking out your topic can be hard but all of these tips should help. Finding the right topic may take time but it is well worth finding. The better the topic you choose the better your paper is and that is the goal here. So take this advice and you should do just fine.

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