You are probably wondering what you should write about. Have no fear. In this lesson, you will choose your topic for your research paper, but you will get some help. This lesson has a list of six possible topics. All topic choices are about the work of British writers who are included in this course.Each topic includes a research question. The research question is the central issue that you will answer in your paper.
The writer of the Model Research Paper chose her topic from a list that she was given. You’ll use the same process to choose your topic. First, you’ll examine how the writer of the model chose her topic from a list of possibilities.
The writer of the Model Research Paper chose her topic from a list of six possibilities, just as you will. Her list was completely different from yours. You should not use a topic from her list.
Here is what she did:
- First she eliminated two topics that did not interest her. It’s all right to eliminate topics that don’t interest you.
- Then she eliminated two topics she knew little or nothing about and thought would be hard to research.
- She had two topics left. She thought about what she knew about each topic and what she wanted to learn.
- She read the research question for each topic and decided which one interested her more.
- She was ready to make her decision.
As you examine the Model Research Paper writer’s list, think about which of the topics you might like or dislike. Consider why some topics appeal to you and others do not.
The writer narrowed her choice to two topics: (1) Shakespearean tragic heroes and (2) Romantic poetry as a response to the Industrial Revolution.
She chose the Romantic poetry topic, as you know. Before making her final decision, she thought about these issues:
- The Shakespeare question seemed like a history puzzle. She was more interested in literary analysis.
- She was more interested in poetry than in drama.
- The connection between the Romantic poets and the Industrial Revolution interested her. She wanted to learn more about this connection.
Then she needed to choose one poet. She chose William Wordsworth after skimming an encyclopedia article about him. The article said that he was a Romantic poet who loved nature.
“Thank you, encyclopedia!” she thought.
List #1 of Topics and Questions
Here is a partial list of topics and research questions to choose from.
- Medieval chivalry: reality vs. myth
Research Question: What was the nobility like in Sir Thomas Malory’s time, and how was it like and unlike the noble knights he wrote about?
- Finding reality in Sherlock Holmes’s detective stories
Research Question: Conan Doyle’s mystery plots are not realistic, but in what ways are the cultural details in his stories real?
- George Orwell and the literature of colonialism
Research Question: How do Orwell’s essays express his belief that colonialism harmed both the colonized and the colonists?
List #2 of Topics and Questions
Here are more topics to choose from.
Choose Your Topic
You will find the same list of topics on the Student Guide, too. The Student Guide will take you through a process of topic choice like the one the writer of the Model Research Paper worked through. Go there now and choose a topic.