Inspiration for topic formation

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Many courses require a final paper or project.  Since a better-developed topic usually results in a better project, here’s my topic development advice to students:

The best topic is one where your interests meet your instructor’s expectations.  Be sure you know what those expectations are.  Ask plenty of questions.

Then think about your interests.  Did a particular lecture, reading, or class discussion make you curious to know more?  Did something from a newspaper, the TV, or an online source remind you of something from class?  These are all possible idea-sparkers.

Remember that you have the writing tutors and librarians to assist you.  Go ahead and make an appointment!  Talk to your instructor as well.

Also remember that the topic development process is cyclical.  A topic might remind you of some instructions that need clarification.  In turn your instructor’s feedback may help you refine your topic.

Please share this advice with your students.  May it lead to exciting topics–and exciting projects.