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Chapter 17. Paper Chase > Subjects vs. Topics - Pg. 196

Paper Chase 196 Writer's Block Never select a subject that condescends to your readers, offends them, or panders to them. Don't try to shock them, either--it always backfires. 4. What are my reader's expectations?Some subjects play better than others. You don't want to parrot back the reader's own words, but neither do you want to deliberately antagonize your reader. I'm always astonished at the number of times I explain, "I'm fed up to here with papers on gun control, euthanasia, and the death penalty"--and I still get papers on gun control, euthanasia, and the death penalty. I crave papers on new topics, such as cloning, filtering the Internet, and a flat tax. Heck, I'd even be delighted to receive a paper that argues the merits of artificial turf over natural grass ... rather than another research paper on gun control, eu- thanasia, and the death penalty. You can stint on many things, but not when it comes to selecting the topic for your research paper. Judge your topic harshly; you don't want to end up picking a stinker. Judge and Jury