Finding An Uncommon Topic For A Research Paper: 7 Great Ideas

Most students know that choosing a topic for a research paper can be the hardest part of writing the thing. Sometimes your teacher will assign you a specific topic or at least a broad subject, but sometimes they leave it wide open. Either way, it is important that you find a unique and compelling topic to set your paper apart from all the others, and to make it interesting to your reader.

Follow these 7 great ideas to find an uncommon topic for a research paper:

  1. Find other papers on the general subject and tweak them
  2. Starting with other papers that have been written on similar subjects can be a great way to get ideas. You can find here papers about different topics. Try taking the topic of some of them and tweaking it to make it your own.

  3. Choose what you find most interesting
  4. One of the best ways to choose a topic is to pick what is most interesting to you personally about the subject. This will help to ensure that you have a unique paper, because what is interesting to you will probably be different than what is most interesting got others.

  5. Ask ‘why’ or ‘how’, not ‘what’
  6. By bringing this kind of analysis to your paper, you’ll be able make it much more interesting and compelling.

  7. Choose a secondary character to write about
  8. Whether you are writing about a book or story, or a historical event, try choosing a secondary character to focus on, rather than the expected main character.

  9. Ask what would happen if the subject took place in a different time period
  10. Try to envision how the event or occurrence you are writing about might have been different if it had happened in another time period instead of the one in which it did. How would it have been similar or different? Would the outcome have changed? Ask these kinds of questions and try to provide evidence for your assertions.

  11. Ask what would happen if the main character or circumstances were different
  12. Similarly, you can ask how your subject would have been different if there were a different person at the center of it. Again, this could be for a work of literature—either if the author or character were different—or for a historical or political event.

  13. Argue the opposite of what you actually think
  14. This is an easy way to flip the script.