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Brainstorm your topic
Construct a successful paper topic: Choosing a worthy topic
is ESSENTIAL for your History of Epidemics paper, and indeed for any research and writing project
to which you will be devoting time and energy.
- Well-crafted research,
reasoning, and writing create new knowledge. You will contribute to the on-going
scholarly conversation on your topic.
- When you are intellectually engaged with an appealing topic, you
will be energized and motivated.
- Think about how your
own personal interests can intersect with the class topic.
- Do some initial
research into the current scholarship on your tentative topic. Make sure there
is sufficient ground upon which to base your provisional position.
- Be alert to which
related academic disciplines are invested in the topic. Thinking about this
will help you select useful places to look for the most current scholarship.
- Flexibility. If
one line of inquiry isn’t working, be nimble and shift your scope, focus, position,
or point of view. Keep an open mind.
- Search carefully
for both the pros and cons of a proposed topic, argument, or position. Anticipate
Use separate copies of this form
to consider, modify, focus, refine, or expand a number of different
research questions. Be sure to frame your topic in the FORM OF A
QUESTION, but not a yes-or-no question.
Examples of research questions:
- How has modern technology, such as blogs and social networking, affected
- What role does clothing (or costume or uniform) play in the Bohemian identity? Has this changed over time? If so, how?
- How does the mainstream culture's opinion of the Bohemians within it affect those countercultures? For example, how does the effect of benign tolerance differ from the effect of hostility?
Here is an example:
More help with brainstorming is here: