(Image sourced from Reading and Writing Haven)
My students have often felt stumped when I asked them to write a paper. They get stuck at the very initial phase of deciding what to write on. I’ve even had some of them spend the largest chunk of their time just trying to pick a topic, which took away from the time they could allocate to their information gathering, idea organization, and the actual drafting of the paper. I decided that I needed a more organized approach to this problem so I could help my students more effectively with their writing. This article by Melissa Kruse has been of great help!
How do you help students choose research topics? I used to approach every class the same way. It only took me one year to figure out that approach didn’t work. Scaffolding the topic selection process is important, but not all students need the same scaffolding. Here are some things to consider when beginning a research paper. These approaches have become my go-to’s over the years.