How To Narrow Down A Psychology Topic For A Term Paper: Useful Tricks


Before a student can even being writing their psychology term paper, they need to find a good topic idea. Unfortunately, a topic idea that is too broad would be impossible to cover in an entire term paper. Rather than pick an overly broad or uninteresting topic, students can use these tricks to find an idea that will work for them.

  • Start With the Textbook
  • Teachers generally expect essays that cover topics that are similar to the course materials. Before students try brainstorming or getting additional help, they should start with reading through the course materials. As the student reads, they should write down any subjects that seem especially interesting to them. They should also highlight key facts and statistics so that they easily refer to them as they start writing.

  • Brainstorm Ideas
  • For this technique, students just need a notebook and a pen. They should set a timer for ten minutes and start writing down as many ideas as they can think of. Although many of these ideas may not work, there are bound to be a few that are actually interesting to the student. As the ten minutes speeds by, the ideas will start to flow and the student will be able to think of some topics that they would actually be interested in researching.

  • Look for Examples Online
  • Many top universities actually publish their best dissertations and essays every year. Students can look at some of these dissertations to find ideas for their own writing. In addition, many writing websites and other web pages will cover various topics that students can use. Students should make sure that they change the titles around before they use them so that the professor does not realize that the topic idea was borrowed from another example.

  • Ask the Professor for Help
  • Often, professors will give students a writing prompt that covers the various expectations for their writing. These writing prompts may also include specific topic ideas. If the professor has set requirements or ideas that they want the student to use, students should take advantage of this resource. When the writing prompt does not include specific topics, students can still use their professor for extra help. During office hours or right after class, the student can ask their teacher for advice about what to write about. In some cases, the teacher may even be able to give the student examples from term papers that students wrote in past classes.

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