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What Is a Good Topic for a Research Paper - Basic Standards to Follow

A good topic for a research paper or any essay format for that matter will have a number of qualities. These can best be described as the basic standards for you to follow. Here is a list of those basic standards.

  • The choice of topic is always important.
  • Does the research paper have depth?
  • Has the topic being written about many times before?
  • Is there plenty of relevant and accessible research material?
  • Does the topic have appeal for those who have to read it?

In some cases with a research paper you, the student, will be given carte blanche. This means you can choose whichever research paper topic you like. In other situations you will be given a topic or an area from which you choose a topic. Always remember that the choice of topic usually determines the success of your research paper. If you like the topic, have a background knowledge of the topic or plan to study it in more detail later in your course. All of those things will help you write well.

The research paper topic must have depth. You’re meant to show evidence of having read widely and well before writing your research paper. If the topic is shallow your research paper may well be filled with padding. That will not get you a high mark.

The problem with choosing a research paper topic which many people have chosen before you is that your work will be compared to other writers. That may seem unfair but it’s a fact of life. If the examiner has to read a dozen research papers all on the same or similar topic, naturally there will be a comparison of the respective works.

Before you choose the research paper topic you must search to find out if there is plenty of relevant and accessible research material. It’s no good if there is plenty of relevant research material but it is very hard to get to. And if there is very little relevant research material then your paper will be thin.

Remember the purpose of writing this research paper is to impress your teacher or professor, the person who is most likely to be marking your research paper. Is this a topic which they enjoy? In your classes and lectures has your teacher or professor spoken about this topic? If so, you may well have chosen the right research paper topic.

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