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Choose a Topic

Use this guide to learn how to find and develop a topic.

Choose a Topic

Choosing a theme may seem like the most difficult part of an assignment.

Think of your assignment as the starting point and the requirements as a guideline when selecting an appropriate topic. 

What are the assignment requirements?
  • Type of assignment (e.g. speech, essay, research paper, project, or presentation) 
  • Purpose of assignment (e.g. persuasive, analysis, literature review, research paper, or compare/contrast paper)
  • Size/length of the assignment (e.g. length of the paper, speech time, or project depth)
  • Particular types and number of references/sources required (e.g. news articles, scholarly articles, visual media, or books) 
  • Who generates the topic (e.g. instructor generated or student generated)
What are the details about the topic?
  • Do you pick the topic from a general subject category?
    • Example: Your professor gives you general guidelines that you can pick a topic from (e.g "Pick a topic related to climate change")
  • Can you pick a topic? Or is it an assigned topic?

Content adapted from Kirk Library
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