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Rhetoric 306/309

Choosing a Topic

Choosing and Developing a Topic

Choosing a topic is the hardest part of doing research. Keep the following in mind:

  • Narrow your topic. Many topics start off broad - you can write a book. Identify narrow controversies within a topic so you can discuss it in a short research paper.
  • Careful with obscure topics. If you have a hard time finding sources for your topic, ask a librarian or your instructor for help. You may have a more challenging topic or you may need to research something for which there is more discussion.
  • Don't choose a topic 'out of the blue'. What is being argued about? Who is arguing? How does it impact them? What do people want to do about it? Choose a topic after exploring. Be curious as you read. You'll get a sense of who cares about your topic, why they care about it and what they want done about it. This makes for an easier research and writing process.

Discover a topic in the news

It may not be a part of your routine to check the news, but it will help you choose a topic, explore your topic and find sources.

Use the Texas / University News page at left for more sources.

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