Choosing A Topic For A Literary Research Paper
Every good paper begins with a writer (oftentimes a frazzled one) wondering, What should I write about? Even if you've thoroughly read the text, sometimes it's hard to narrow down your choices to a topic that you're truly excited about. To help you get started, we've come up with a list of common literary themes that you can apply to almost any literary work you read.
choosing a topic for a literary research paper
Choosing a research topic is one of the most important issues while writing an essay. The main reason for it is that you will need to find reliable information to use in your paper. By choosing the wrong topic, you may create some difficulties for yourself. Follow our guide to find out how to choose the best topic for your paper.
It is also a good idea to determine what type of essay you will write. There are several of them that will help you to achieve your goals: narrative, argumentative, compare and contrast one, and so on. Different types of essays have different requirements that you will need to follow to write a great paper. And you will need to frame up your topic to these requirements.
Try choosing three good topics. Make brief preliminary research for each of them. It will allow you to understand which one is the most interesting one and whether there is enough information for your future paper. If the topic is too broad, try to refine it to make it less general. From all the ideas you have, choose the strongest and start working on it.
Finally, think about what is more interesting for you. Such an approach will make the whole process of writing a paper easier for you. Moreover, you will be able to ask the right questions to answer them in the assignment. An interesting topic will inspire you and you will feel energized and involved to complete the assignment successfully. In such a way, writing will be a piece of cake for you and you will spend less time and effort to complete it.
The first step of any research paper is for the student to understand the assignment. If this is not done, the student will often travel down many dead-end roads, wasting a great deal of time along the way. Do not hesitate to approach the instructor with questions if there is any confusion. A clear understanding of the assignment will allow you to focus on other aspects of the process, such as choosing a topic and identifying your audience.
A student will often encounter one of two situations when it comes to choosing a topic for a research paper. The first situation occurs when the instructor provides a list of topics from which the student may choose. These topics have been deemed worthy by the instructor; therefore, the student should be confident in the topic he chooses from the list. Many first-time researchers appreciate such an arrangement by the instructor because it eliminates the stress of having to decide upon a topic on their own.
However, the student may also find the topics that have been provided to be limiting; moreover, it is not uncommon for the student to have a topic in mind that does not fit with any of those provided. If this is the case, it is always beneficial to approach the instructor with one's ideas. Be respectful, and ask the instructor if the topic you have in mind would be a possible research option for the assignment. Remember, as a first-time researcher, your knowledge of the process is quite limited; the instructor is experienced, and may have very precise reasons for choosing the topics she has offered to the class. Trust that she has the best interests of the class in mind. If she likes the topic, great! If not, do not take it personally and choose the topic from the list that seems most interesting to you.
The second situation occurs when the instructor simply hands out an assignment sheet that covers the logistics of the research paper, but leaves the choice of topic up to the student. Typically, assignments in which students are given the opportunity to choose the topic require the topic to be relevant to some aspect of the course; so, keep this in mind as you begin a course in which you know there will be a research paper near the end. That way, you can be on the lookout for a topic that may interest you. Do not be anxious on account of a perceived lack of authority or knowledge about the topic chosen. Instead, realize that it takes practice to become an experienced researcher in any field.
It is important for the student to keep in mind that an initial topic that you come up with may not be the exact topic about which you end up writing. Research topics are often fluid, and dictated more by the student's ongoing research than by the original chosen topic. Such fluidity is common in research, and should be embraced as one of its many characteristics.
First, choose a strong topic and one you're interested in. You don't want a topic that is too narrow or one that has little or no research about it. Think of a topic that will have enough supporting articles relating to it. Is it significant enough that research has been done on it?
Try brainstorming. Writing different ideas down on paper can help your ideas flow. You also want a topic that piques your curiosity. Keep in mind you have to live with this topic over the course of an entire semester.
Try identifying 3 potential research topics. Consider related concepts. Then, perform a brief preliminary search on all three. From your three ideas, choose the one that is strongest. Are there enough articles available? Is the topic too general? Keep refining your topic so that it isn't too broad and general.
Whether you are writing a literature review as a standalone work or as part of a paper, choosing a topic is an important part of the process. If you haven't select a topic yet for your literature view or you feel that your topic is too broad, this page is for you!
The key to successfully choosing a topic is to find one that is not too broad (impossible to adequately cover) but also not too narrow (not enough has been written about it). Use the tools below to help you brainstorm a topic and keywords that then you can use to search our many databases. Feel free to explore these different options or contact a Subject Specialist if you need more help!
Below are some useful links and handouts that help you develop your topic. Check the handouts in this page. They are useful to help you develop keywords/search terms or to learn the best way to search databases to find articles and books for your research.
When the literature is crowded, trying to be novel in your research becomes challenging and competitive. Crowded literature is more than just too many papers to read; it reflects how actively the community is working or publishing on similar topics. And given the rate at which these new works are published, you are likely to be scooped by them in terms of results or novelty.
Identifying low-hanging fruits in the literature is probably one of the simplest ways to choose your topic. Low-hanging fruits are research topics that are simple to work upon but go unnoticed. These could be as simple as
Comprehensive analysis to provide a holistic understanding of a specific space can be a research topic in and of itself. Analyzing what works best, any intriguing phenomena, trade-offs, limitations, or standardized benchmarking can help you, and the community better understand the space and identify potential gaps to address in the future. The best part is that they get a lot of attention from the community through citations and discussions.
If you want to understand the fundamentals, different classes of algorithms introduced, or how they compare, survey papers are probably the best place to start. They are usually simple to locate and follow. On the other hand, analytical papers can help you better understand the topic by explaining gaps, limitations, trade-offs, best strategies, intriguing results, etc.
Following the proceedings of top conferences (e.g., CVPR, NeurIPS, ICCV, ICML, ICLR, ECCV, ACL, EMNLP, KDD, etc.) is an excellent way to stay up to date on the latest research. As an example, Figure 4 ranks out various computer vision conferences by h-index. Another great way to stay up to date is to attend area-specific workshops where you can find research talks, presentations, and submissions that are more relevant to your topic. In addition, these workshops often consolidate a specific research space, allowing you to understand the current trends better.
Selecting a research topic can be difficult in this vast machine/deep learning space. Not every topic that piques your interest can be turned into a successful research topic. As a result, one should look for domains relevant to the research community, align with their interests, and are not in a crowded space. Furthermore, take note of the compute typically required to solve these topics and avoid working on those where the compute is unavailable or unaffordable.
Conducting a literature review can be a daunting task. Start with survey papers and GitHub compilations to understand the fundamentals and skim through the recent approaches. Next, follow the proceedings of top conferences and their area-specific workshops to stay updated with the ongoing research. Utilize online tools and platforms such as Twitter to obtain a curated set of content relevant to your issue. Look for blogs, posters, or spotlight videos to get a quick paper overview. Finally, but most importantly, devise a reading strategy for parsing a paper without wasting time.
I hope this lesson will assist you in narrowing your search for your research topic and efficiently dealing with its literature. Stay tuned for the next lesson on ideating for a solution planning your experiments.
Many dissertations will combine more than one of these. Sometimes the type of research is obvious: if your topic is post-war Irish poetry, you will probably mainly be interpreting poems. But in other cases, there are several possible approaches. If your topic is reproductive rights in South America, you could analyze public policy documents and media coverage, or you could gather original data through interviews and surveys.