Select a term paper topic that interests and challenges you

For many students in advanced academic courses, the term paper is one of the most important grades that will be earned in a course. The term paper is the one chance that students get to prove what they have learned and that they can apply what they have learned. While most academic courses will involve small assignments like response papers, reading quizzes, and discussions, the term paper tends to be the major assessment at the end of the course. When you are assigned a term paper, it is important that you meet all of your instructor’s requirements while choosing a topic that will both interest and challenge you.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Peruse your reading. Most academic courses involve a significant amount of reading and most instructors will require you to include information from that reading in your term paper. Review the table of contents and index to look for topics that interest you. Then, you can use the pages that discuss that topic to help you craft the term paper.

Search the Web. If you cannot find anything in your read, use the Internet to search for a topic. If you have a general idea about a topic, use that keyword to begin your search. Maybe you want to write about Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I, but you are not sure what direction to take. By researching those two topics together, you are bound to find something of interest to you.

Talk to friends. There is an old saying about not really understanding a topic until you have to teach it. This comes from the idea that people learn about topics by talking about them. When you talk to a friend about a topic you are considering, you will be able to make realizations that you could not make on your own. Listen to your friend’s ideas so you can be inspired by the discussion.

Make a list. When you are in the planning stages of any project, making a list will help free your mind from that clogged feeling. We often need to get our ideas out so that new ones can be formed. During the planning stage, everything is fair game, so nothing gets crossed out until you know for sure that you will not commit to particular ideas. Keep the list on your phone or somewhere that is convenient for you.