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Answered By: Cassie Sampson, Education & General Education Librarian
Last Updated: May 27, 2016     Views: 496

If you're trying to select a topic to write about, be sure the topic you select:

  • Matches the assignment.
    • For example, if you're to write a process paper for English composition, be sure your topic is an actual process someone can do.  That's a different type of topic than what you would choose for an informative/expository paper in which you'd explain about something or inform your reader.
  • Will allow you to fulfill all required elements of the assignment.
    • Required length
    • Required number and types of sources
    • Specific sections, such as application or evaluation or comparison
  • Is something about which you are interested in learning.
    • It does not need to be a topic on which you're already well informed.  The purpose of college is for you to learn new things, so let your writing assignments help you to do just that!
  • Is something for which you can find credible sources of information.
    • Your sources should shape and support your theories, arguments, or conclusions.
    • Personal opinions need to be supported with facts and statistics.  Otherwise, you're just an opinionated person rather than a well-informed writer.

Which topics are "popular" for papers depends greatly on the actual assignments. Use the following resources to get some topic ideas: