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GEN 110-Composition I: Academic Writing: Selecting a Topic

Created for Kellett students enrolled in Gen 110 Composition I.

Topic Ideas

Before you select a topic, be sure you understand the assignment requirements. Persuasive paper? Informative paper?  Two pages or ten? These are all factors that will impact your topic choice.

Haven't chosen a topic yet? 

Current news stories and topics from your textbooks that spark your curiosity can be great inspirations for a paper.  Here are some websites that might generate some topic ideas for you:

Too Broad? Too Narrow?

Is your search burying you in information, or, are you struggling to find enough information?  Either is a sign that your topic needs refining. 

Narrow a topic:  It is common for novice writers to select topics that are too broad with too much information to digest.  To remedy, consider narrowing your topic by:

WhoWhatWhen, Where, or Why.

Rather than the topic homelessness, select homelessness in rural America. Rather than the topic depression, select depression in middle school children.

Broaden a topic: Can't find enough information on home schooling in Plymouth, Wisconsin, try home schooling in Sheboygan County.  Still now enough information, try home schooling in Wisconsin.

Additional information on constructing a research paper can be found in the library's Research 101 LibGuide.

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