When it comes to term papers, choosing a topic can be one of the hardest parts of the whole process. This is especially true for a subject like government where the possibilities for a subject are virtually endless. So when it comes time to choose yours, follow these tips to ensure you choose a successful topic:
The most important step in picking a successful topic for your assignment, and one of the most overlooked, is to review the paper guidelines. Too many students glaze over this step, choosing a topic that does not meet the requirements, putting time and energy into the paper, and then receiving a poor grade solely because of their topic. So be sure to review the guidelines and requirements carefully. Pay close attention to whether the subject must be something you covered in class, and what kind of analysis the professor is looking for: is it a compare and contrast paper or an analysis paper?
Before you get too far into the process, you’ll want to do a quick search to make sure that there are good sources for your paper. This includes both the quantity and quality of sources. You don’t need to read the whole book or paper, just skim the abstracts to see if it includes the information you’ll require.
Another common mistake that students make is to try to address to broad a topic in their term paper. A general rule of thumb is to restrict the topic more than you think you need to. With a government paper, one easy way to narrow the scope of your analysis is to focus on a specific time period, place, event, or person. This is an easy way to translate a big idea or principle to the scale needed for one paper.
Your professor may or may not provide guidance for what kind of paper they are looking for with the assignment. If not, assume that it should be an analysis paper. Essentially, this means that instead of just summarizing information, you should be trying to provide a new perspective on your subject by asking ‘how’ and ‘why’ about some aspect of it.
Remember that your professor will have to read through dozens of these term papers. So do your best to make it interesting.
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