Secrets to Picking a Great Paper Subject

Managing the endless amount of papers you’ll have to write throughout college may get easier over time, but picking the actual topics of those papers is a different story. We can all relate to the feeling of receiving an assignment and having absolutely no idea what we want to write about, but luckily we have some tips to nip that dilemma in the bud.

Do Preliminary Research

As soon as you receive the assignment, it’s helpful to do preliminary research about the potential topics. Regardless of the course—whether history or science or foreign language—the same premise still applies. By getting further acquainted with the subject matter at hand you’ll be better prepared to write a strong paper.

Write About Something You Find Interesting

By taking a quick dive into the subject options and seeing what piques your interest, you’ll have a better idea of what you should write your paper about. It’s most interesting and least stressful to write about topics that are actually captivating to you on a personal level. Homework includes the word ‘work’ for a reason, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any fun to be found while hunkering down on your next paper.

By following this handy tip, you’ll ensure that you’re fully engaged through the writing process and increase your chances of getting an A in the process.

Write About Something With Ample Resources Available

Our tips build off one another. While picking a subject that interests you is absolutely a strategy you should employ, you have to be sure it’s not something so obscure that you’ll never be able to find academic sources to back it up.

For example, if you’re in a music theory class and are so tired of studying Mozart that you’d prefer to write about anything else, we get it. But “32 Times Dogs Can Be Heard Barking in the Background Of Migos Songs” is not exactly what academic dreams are made of. If you can’t back it up from an academic perspective, don’t pursue it as a topic.

Also, try to pick something with a variety of resources—your teacher is hoping that it’s not all websites and that a few journal articles, books, and other resource pop up in your works cited page.

Make Sure the Subject is Applicable to Your Course Work

After finding a topic that’s interesting and has ample academic references, be sure to do your due diligence and make sure it fits within your professor’s guidelines for a suitable paper topic. Oftentimes professors will want papers to meet certain criteria that mirror coursework and address course objectives. Before getting too cozy with a topic and diving into your thesis, review the assignment guidelines clearly. Sometimes, it’s even a great idea to talk directly to your professor or TA to ensure you’re on the right track.

It’s amazing when professors give you free reign to write your paper on whatever you want… unless the freedom causes unnecessary stress. Keep these strategies handy so that the next time your professor slaps you with a research assignment, you’re ready to dominate from the get go.

After you’ve picked your subject and are ready to research, easily cite sources you find using Cite This For Me. We offer thousands of styles including APA, Chicago style format, MLA, Harvard referencing and more!