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Choosing a Good Topic



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Think about your topic in terms of your assignment

  1. Consider your assignment’s purpose. Are you supposed to take a side in an existing argument, explain a problem, propose a position, describe a project or process, or do something else?
  2. Consider your audience and their expectations. Your audience may be your instructor, or your assignment sheet may identify an audience for your work. If you don’t know what their interests are, or what types of sources they will find convincing, find out.
  3. Be clear about the types of evidence you should use. If you have to use specific types of sources, make sure that you choose a topic that is discussed in those sources. For example, if you have to use scholarly sources, make sure that you choose a topic that researchers are studying.

Talk to your instructor

The best person to tell you how well a topic could work is your instructor. They understand the point of the assignment, and they will be evaluating your final product or paper.

Need inspiration?

PCC Librarians blog about potential current paper topics, how to think about generating paper topics, and other places to look for paper topics on the Paper Topic Ideas guide.