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TCC Library: Choosing a Good Topic

Library "How do I...?"

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Good topics: Consider the following...

Choosing a good topic

When picking a topic, consider the following criteria:

  1. Assignment's purpose:

Make sure you understand your assignment’s purpose. Are you supposed to take a side in an existing argument, explain a problem, propose a position, describe a project or process, or do something else?

  1.  Audience

Make sure you understand your audience and their expectations. Your audience may be your instructor, or your assignment sheet may identify an audience for your work. If you don’t know what their interests are, or what types of sources they will find convincing, find out.

  1. Evidence

Be clear about the types of evidence you should use. If you have to use specific types of sources, make sure that you choose a topic that is discussed in those sources. For example, if you have to use scholarly sources, make sure that you choose a topic that researchers are studying.

  1. Talk with your instructor

The best persons to tell you how well a topic could work are your instructors. They understand the point of the assignment, and they will be evaluating your final product or paper.

Library "How do I?" credits

The TCC Library "How do I?" guide is adapted from the Library DIY project created by Meredith Farkas, Amy Hofer, Lisa Molinelli and Kimberly Willson-St. Clair at Portland State University Library. Several Library "How Do I?" pages are adapted from pages within the Portland Community College Library "How do I" project, as well as the Oregon State University Libraries' Library DIY project.

CC BY SA license

Except where otherwise noted, the content in these guides by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.
This openly licensed content allows others to cite, share, or modify this content, with credit to TCC Library. When reusing or adapting this content, include this statement in the new document: This content was originally created by Tacoma Community College Library and shared with a CC BY SA 4.0 license.

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