What Am I Supposed to Write About?!?! A Quick and Painless Guide to Choosing a Research Topic What is a topic? In a nutshell, a topic is what you are writing about. Why is it important? A topic is the first step is writing your research paper. You would not go on vacation without knowing where you were going, would you? How do I choose mine? What has been your favorite thing we have read? What characters have stood out to you? What authors lived really interesting lives? What are you interested in? Your everyday interests can be found in literature! When all else fails, flip through the book for interesting texts or… ASK YOUR TEACHER!! Here are some ideas… Character analyses: Macbeth, Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales Styles of writing: Robert Burns, Robert Browning, William Blake, Alexander Pope Authors’ lives influencing their work: Jonathan Swift, William Shakespeare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Wilfred Owen… basically any of them! Other ideas: Symbolism, big issues (feminism, racism, etc.), comparing several authors Where do I go from here? Once you pick your topic, you have some direction! 1. Read up on your topic– Make sure that you know exactly what you want to prove in you paper. 2. Write out your thesis statement– This states exactly what you will prove in your paper. 3. Start doing research! -Reread your text; go to the library; do some online searches… The sky is the limit, and the more research, the better. You might be surprised at what you might find!