How To Choose A Thought-Provoking Topic For A Research Paper On Racism


So it’s time for another research paper, and you’ve come across your first obstacle: choosing a topic. While this can seem like the easiest part, but for many it can lead to hours of deliberation. For this particular essay you’ve narrowed it down somewhat and chosen racism, but, much like other similar topics, it’s much too open-ended. That’s where this article comes in!

It can be tricky to find the perfect thought-provoking hook that will stand out. You don’t want to focus on an area that is too specific because then you come across the issue of finding enough information and sources to back up your statement or stance. At the same time, you don’t want to choose a subject that is too broad because you run the risk of being overwhelmed with information and lose direction. It’s a fine balance indeed.

Let’s begin with the major topic itself. In this day and age, with the amount of information that is constantly being produced and circulated, it’s easy to get lost especially given how hot of a subject matter this issue continues to be. There’s no fear of running out of content, which is a plus. Your next goal is to ask a question you want to focus on. Below are a few examples of possible ideas:

  • Forms of racism:
    • Individual
    • Cultural
    • Systematic
  • Rise/fall of racism in the present day society.
  • Gender/age and racism.
  • Race and equal opportunity.
  • People of race in high-powered jobs.
  • Movements towards racial equality: are they working?

Find one that caught your eye?

As you can see, the goal is to narrow down the broad topic into one that is more manageable. This allows you to expand on it enough that you’re able to go beneath the surface and find hard-hitting points. It can also help to prevent you from losing track or rambling and losing the focus of the paper, which can negatively affect how you’re marked.

Another thought that should go into it is choosing a subject that has enough reliable sources centered on your chosen area so that you’re able to support your stance yet still bring something new and different from what is already out there. One of the best pieces of advice is also to choose something you’re interested in enough so that the paper doesn’t become a chore, something that may come through in the writing. Enthusiasm and interest can help carry you in those moments when you’re dragging.

The final parting summary is: choose something that has information to back it up without overshadowing your new and different approach, that you’re able to dedicate an entire research paper to it without running out of things to say after five hundred words, and finally something that grabs the attention of the reader within the first one or two sentences. If it’s boring for you, how will the reader feel?

Published on November 21st, 2016

 
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