Make sure you have read your assignment carefully and understand your instructor's expectations.
Review your course readings, along with other related sources, and think about relevant topics that interest you or that you can engage with:
The more engaged you are with your topic, the more fun you will have working on it!
Be prepared to be flexible with your topic idea!
Example: I'm thinking of doing a paper on a topic related to "fashion." This topic could develop in many different ways.
Hint - Ask Yourself Questions About Your Topic:
Sample Topic Narrowing Chart:
|Place:||US; urban; big cities (not rural)|
|Person or Group:||youth; college age (18 - 23)|
|Event or Aspects:||sexual attitudes; behavior; sociological|
Example: I'm thinking of doing a paper on "whether genetically altered soybeans are safe for consumers."
This topic as stated is seeking to answer a question for which there may be no answer yet -- more scientific and long-term research may need to be done. How can this be turned into a more manageable topic?
Hint 1 - Look for opportunities for broader or related associations:
Hint 2 - Brainstorm! (and ask a reference librarian!)
Sample Topic Broadening Chart:
|Specific Topic:||Are genetically altered soybeans safe for consumers?|
|Alternate focus:||bioengineered or genetically altered foods|
|general: US, Europe|
|Brainstorm - Person or Group:
||consumer advocates vs FDA (Food and Drug Association) and scientists|
|Brainstorm - Event or Aspect:||labeling foods; regulations|