Volume 32, Issue 3 Consultant’s Corner Article


Publication Date: 10/8/18

Dear Peer Consultants,
I have to write a research paper for my English class soon, and I do not know what to write it on! We are allowed to write about anything that is of  interest to us as long as we backup our writing with research. How should I figure out my topic, and what is the best way to conduct my research?
Thanks for your help,
A Tentative Student
Hello Tentative Student,
Thank you for this question! The easiest way to pick a topic that you love is to pick a topic that you believe you cannot get bored with. Chances are that if you have to do a lot of research, you may end up getting bored with your topic. However, if it is a topic that you love or are very interested in it will be easier to continue researching wholeheartedly. Another suggestion that we have for you is to start with a broad idea of what you like and then narrow it down to a specific idea. For example, if you like art you can start with that, and then narrow it down to a field of art that you like, such as painting. From there you could narrow it down even further to specifically watercolor painting.
Once you have your topic, the next step is to decide what subtopic you want to know about it. For example, would you prefer to write about the famous watercolor painters in history, or would you rather research into how watercolor paint is different from acrylic paint? Depending on your professor’s instructions and rubric you might be able to mesh a few subtopics into your paper.
Finally, there are a few really efficient ways to research any topic. First, we suggest you use the Schoolcraft databases. Access cards are available in  Bradner Library with the username and password. Secondly, while you have to be careful using google searches, if you type .org or .edu at the end of your google search the websites that pop up will be more likely to be of scholarly credit.
We hope that this answers your question well, and we wish you the best of luck on your essay! If you want us to take a look at it, please visit the Writing Support Studio, located in the Learning Center  of  the library. Thank you for allowing us to be apart of the writing process for this essay.
Best Wishes,The Writing Support Studio