Choosing a Research Paper Topic Worksheet:

| May 19, 2015

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Choosing a Research Paper Topic Worksheet:

Students often find establishing a topic for a research paper a challenge. The purpose of this document is to help you narrow your ideas to create a great research topic. The most common mistake students make when selecting a topic is choosing one that is too broad. We can construct a focused research topic that can be completed in the size allotted by asking ourselves the questions what, when, where, who, and why.

Directions:  Read the example below and use it as a guide while completing the worksheet on the next page. After you have finished, choose ‘Save As’ and save this document with your name in the file name. Lastly, attach it to your email and send it to your professor.

 

Topic in the broadest sense

 

Criminal Justice

What about the topic? – What area of criminal justice are you going to write about? Example: Prisons/Courts/Police
When? – What time eras are you interested in? Example: Today/1960s/Post -911 versus Pre-911
Where? What geographical location is the topic set in? Example: United States/California/ New York City
Who? What group, nationality, ethnic, cultural, religious, or other category are you going to write about? Example: Women/ Americans/Lawyers
Why? What question are you going to try to answer? What problem are you analyzing or evaluating? What value judgment are you making? Example: Success in rehabilitation

 

Example Topic: The successes in rehabilitation of female inmates in modern American prisons.

 

Name: ______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Topic in the broadest sense

 

 

Criminal Justice

 

 

What about the topic?

 

 

When?

 

 

Where?

 

 

Who?

 

 

Why?

 

Topic:

 

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Category: Essays

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