Choosing a Topic for a Research Project
If you’re having trouble choosing a topic for your final research project, here are some questions to ask yourself that might help.
1. What is your favorite period in history?
2. What is your favorite book/novel/play/poem? Who is your favorite author?
3. What is your favorite genre (fiction, film, video game, theater, journalism, non-fiction, documentary, biography, etc.)?
4. What is something you’ve always wanted to learn more about? A culture (Egypt? Rome?)? A religion? A mythology? A historical period or person?
5. What is your favorite thing from class (a play, a topic, etc.)?
Look at your answers. Do any of them relate to one another? If you have two or more answers that can be linked (compared, contrasted, are from the same time or place, have the same theme), consider using those things to compose a topic.
Take a look at the examples linked to the left to see what sorts of things can combine into a viable topic. See if your interests or ideas are similar, or will fall into a similar pattern. Very often, our interests tend to collect around a focal point – the trick is in figuring out what that point is.
If you put together a list and are still feeling stuck, come to my office hours or stick around after class with your list and we’ll talk about your options.