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Choosing a Topic for Seminar Papers and Journal Notes: Getting Started

Getting Started

A well-written paper for a seminar or journal note involves several challenging elements, including careful research, meticulous writing, and mindful editing. The first task can often seem the most daunting: choosing a suitable topic to write about. This guide is designed to help you go about selection methodically and efficiently, leading you to choose your topic with confidence.

Some general tips to keep in mind when selecting a suitable topic are:

  • Find something that genuinely interests you.
  • Be wary of topics that change quickly or could soon become irrelevant.
  • Avoid overly popular issues, particularly if you wish to publish.
  • Estimate the time needed for proper research, especially with an unfamiliar topic.
  • Keep in mind limitations such as length and deadlines.

Do Yourself a Favor

Keep a research log:

Gathering sources for a research topic can be intimidating. Devise a system to keep track of each piece of information so there is no need to have to redo research a second or third time.

Stay organized:

Even if this isn't something that comes naturally, try it anyways. Control the project from the beginning instead of being controlled by it in the end. There is no single way to be organized, so look around for something that is appealing and helpful.

Plan adequate time:

Putting together a quality note is a process that cannot be done overnight. Begin early with a plan to provide for sufficient research before transitioning to writing. Some resources, such as interlibrary loan, take additional time so provide for unexpected delays.

Published Literature on Note Writing

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