(There are 2 files attached to additional materials, one file containing instructions for the research essay, and another file containing instructions to write a one page paper with the purpose to detail your research process as you pinpoint your keywords and explore the library databases.

Selecting a Topic for Research
In this class, there are a few topics that will be out of bounds for the research project. These have been disallowed because there is simply too much published on these topics to narrow down your searches.
Disallowed Research Topics:
? Abortion
? The death penalty
? Guns
? Marijuana
Other than the four subjects listed above, you can research just about anything for your project. Please keep in mind that this something you will be researching and writing over for a number of weeks, so it should be something you are interested in.

Please keep in mind that, by the end of your paper, you will be making a claim. We will get into exactly what this means a bit more next week, but at its center, this means that your paper is not simply an informative paper. Rather, by the end of your paper you will try to persuade the audience or make an argument. Honestly, however, a claim can be made about almost any topic. The only topics that often provide trouble when it comes to making claims are historical topics. If you are afraid you will not be able to make a claim about your topic, please message me and I will help you out.

If you need help thinking of a topic, consider the following things:
1) Your major: Considering your major can be helpful because you can easily pick a topic that relates to your major and that can be practice for writing in your own field. A psychology major, for example, could write over whether or not technology addiction should be considered a mental illness. Someone who wanted to go into nursing could research the nursing shortage and ways to remedy it, or they could consider the lack of men in nursing and how this is changing.

2) The news: Even if you don’t watch the news or read the news online, looking at the news can be helpful when coming up with a research topic. Personally, I am a big fan of listening to 89.1 FM (NPR) in the car or reading Slate.com when I get on the internet. You might prefer to look through the Wichita Eagle site or Yahoo news. Whatever you want to look at is fine, but you won’t be able to figure out what you’re interested in if you don’t know what’s going on in the world.

3) What interests you? Figuring this out can be really helpful when looking for a research topic you can get excited about. Are you interested in the effects of social media? Or are you a health food nut? (I am too!) Or do you like to work out and convince others to do so as well? Or are you an avid TV watcher who wants to know why TV is getting so much better while movies are getting worse? If you love beer, maybe you would like to consider the impact of the micro-brew (or home brew) boom on American culture? If you love makeup, maybe you would like to look at how makeup trends change or what affects them. The same could be done with fashion. Or maybe you love college sports and would like to consider why college athletes are not paid. All of these are awesome topics that could easily turn into great research papers.