In most cases, research paper topics are provided for by the course instructor. He/she provides a choice of topics from which you get to select your preferable one and get to work on it. Some institutions allow students to suggest research topic ideas but will not be allowed the freedom to choose what topics to work on. In this case, you will have to totally convice the course head that your topic ideas are relevant and that there is a supervisor who can guide and supervise you throughout the research paper development and writing process
Often, I tell students that the best resource for getting good research topic ideas is on the internet. There is a plethora of information online that students can use to generate a high quality research paper. What is more is that finding this information is relatively easy and the information is vast.
As you set out to write your research paper, you ought to realize and understand that your course head requires you to write the paper based on the research you conduct yourself. The reason why most topic ideas are rejected is that they’re often already explored, and too much literature is already available on the same. Ideally, basic background information on a research topic should always be available except for accurate information on the research paper.
Here are a few considerations to take when looking for research topic ideas.
The complexity of a research topic is often based on the degree of the academic program being pursued. Fresh undergraduates are not expected to provide too much information on a research paper. Primary and general stuff is acceptable. Therefore just choose a topic you are interested in and work on showcasing your best research skills and information presentation, as this is what instructors usually look for at this stage.
If you are in the final years of your undergraduate studies, you might want to be more specific with your research. This means that your topics should be much more specific and the research work ought to present a high degree of originality.
Whatever the case, ensure that you choose a topic you care about/are interested in otherwise you might not be able to deliver on it efficiently.
You need to know which format will work best with your research paper when choosing a topic for the same. At this point, you should be familiar with the various formats and types of research papers there are. For example their theory papers, surveys, discussion papers, etc.
If you have a preset format, then use it. Do not try to outsmart the instructor and use a different format; this will lose you marks. If there isn’t any given format, then you’re free to pick whichever format best suits your style and work on it.
Sources for ideas
You shouldn’t look too far for this, start with the topic idea given by your instructor. With the instructions and guidelines provided, you might be able to get ideas that are viable and useful to your research.
You may also consider getting information from current affairs and the real world as these present unique research perspectives, particularly for humanities courses. Alternatively, you can look into previously done research papers on your topic of interest. These should be available in your library and online. Just take a keen look at them and pick any relevant ideas that can help you develop an effective research paper.
Other resources you might want to look into include research journals, blogs, books, and online encyclopedias.