The way that research papers work is that you do a lot of research on something, and then write about it, using quotes and references from the other things you read about to support your position in your paper. Because of this, it can take a long time to read everything you need to read and find all the quotes and sources that you want to include. And then comes the time for the writing and editing as well. Since this is such a large project to undertake, you need to be prepared. One of the best ways you can start off strong for a research paper project is to have a solid topic chosen and a good foundation outline drawn up for your paper.
This is the first thing you should do when starting your research paper. If you don’t have your topic decided on ahead of time you’re going to run into a lot of trouble later, and possibly have to start over from scratch if you end up changing your mind part way through the paper. Since you don’t want that, let’s make sure you have a great topic from the beginning. If you’re really stumped, you can use a prompt for your paper. Often you can find these online, and search for a research paper prompt website. These sites will have a generator that can show you a randomized topic list to choose from. When you really have no idea what you want to do, it’s a good way to go.
However, if you already have a lot of ideas and are having trouble narrowing it down to only one, here’s an exercise to try: take your list and look at the ideas two by two. For the first two, if you could only pick between those two, which one would you choose? Keep doing that through your whole list so that half of it is eliminated. From there, cutting the ones that seem the most difficult will really help you. this isn’t the time to do something radical on the chance that it might earn an essay award, you simply want to avoid extra stress and get your paper done, so cut any topics that look like a lot of work. Now, if you still have more than one or two left, do the first step again to half your list.
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