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Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide

A good research topic...

A good research topic fits the assignment instructions. What does your instructor ask you to do for your research assignment?

Analyze Identify and discuss the parts of a topic
Argue Take a clear position on a topic or aspect of a topic
Compare Discuss similarities and differences within or between topics
Define Identify the meaning of a topic and describe its qualities
Review Summarize and discuss the main points of a topic


A good research topic is interesting to the reader.  For the writer, a good research topic may:

  • Be more enjoyable to work on
  • Feel easier to work on
  • Be more memorable in the future
  • Be significant to the writer personally

Choosing a Manageable Research Topic