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Chapter 17. Paper Chase > Subject to Change - Pg. 194

Paper Chase 194 Write Angles If you've been assigned a subject you detest, see if you can find an aspect of the subject that you like. Nearly all topics can be tweaked a bit here and there.Of course, always clear those "tweaks" with the person who assigned the topic. One Percent Inspiration + NinetyNine Percent Perspiration = Great Subjects "I don't have anything to write about," you moan. Quit your kvetching; you know far more than you think you do. Besides, Dr. Laurie's here now. So take two of these ideas and thank me in the morning. Top Ten Ways to Get Great Research Paper Ideas 1. Read subject headings.You can skim the multivolume Library of Congress Subject Head- ings (a reference text), leaf through a Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, or even check the subjects listed on your Web browser. Writer's Block Warning:Your teacher may make selecting and narrowing a subject part of the research paper process itself. As a result, you may be assessed on how well you choose and focus the subject of your paper. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Browse through encyclopedias.Skim online, book, or CD-ROM encyclopedia headings for a rich list of topics. Stroll the stacks.Walk around the shelves and see what topics catch your eye. Or, let your fingers do the walking by skimming the library's book catalog. Consider textbooks.Pick a field that intrigues you and check out a few textbooks in that area. Read the table of contents; leaf through the pages. Find an idea that piques your interest and delve into it. Tap into your journal.As you learned in Chapter 15, "Picture This: Description," your journal can be a place to store fabulous writing ideas. Make a withdrawal now. Make a list and check it twice.If you've been assigned the paper in a class, jot down all the ideas linked to the subject of the class. For example, if you're taking a sociology class, you might list working women, divorce laws, immigration regulations, and eating disorders. One of these might make a good paper.