One of the most deceiving challenges in ENGL 122 is selecting a topic.

On the surface, choosing a topic would seem easy. Selecting a topic, for instance, within the radius of our own experiences and knowledge would seem to be a logical decision. It stands to reason that the more we know about something the less difficult it will be to explore and research the topic further.

While this can often be the case, sometimes being too “comfortable” with a topic can mislead or even prejudice our thinking and writing. Being too aligned with a topic can cramp our writing and perhaps make us unwilling to entertain opposing views – a very important facet of research writing, especially in the developmental stages.

On the other hand, choosing a topic we know little about can be downright frightening and can make us feel shaky from the start, something all writers fear. With a “distant” topic, writers often question, “Where do I begin?” Such anxieties are “real” and can make it harder for us to extend, develop, and explore ideas further.

Research writers often are successful at choosing a topic when they arrive at a choice that helps them ride a wave of momentum through the course.

Topics that intrigue, invigorate, and excite are the best ones – and only you know which ones those are. They can be the ones that are dear to you emotionally, mentally, and sometimes spiritually. Or they can be the ones that you feel you know nothing about, but you’ve always been curious about.

A great pleasure in all research writing is when you arrive at a moment when you truly feel like you’re onto something. Sometimes you will be shocked to see how much you really know about a topic, and suddenly you find yourself equipped with an energy and enthusiasm that helps you face the workload, challenges, disappointments, and dead ends that confront every research writer with more acceptance, and the discoveries, knowledge, insights, and understanding with even more reward.

Below is a sampling of topics. To assist you in examining each topic further each one is linked to a reliable and respectable web site that can help you make your decision and initiate your research.


Alzheimer’s Disease

American Sign Language

Beach Erosion