This activity encourages students to begin the synthesis process before they choose a research topic, so that they don’t choose something too limiting. This activity in particular helps students synthesize things they’re interested in.
Research Paper Topic Generation Game
Your research will be most interesting to you when it is connected to the larger framework of your being–to the things you care about.
Part 1 : Make a List
Make a list of 5 things that really get your goat, the things that frost you.
Make a list of 5 things that inspire you, the ones that get you going.
Make a list of 5 things that confuse you, the things that don’t make sense.
Make a list of 5 things you love to do, the things that fulfill you.
Make a list of 5 things you will study in the next year, the things that teach you.
Part 2 : Question
Research paper topics are frequently generated from questions, from things you find curious.
Choose 1 juicy thing from three different lists. Just for the sake of weird association, and to get ideas flowing from divergent sources, combine those three things into some kind of burning question. Try to tie this question to a geographical context — whether it be to Alaska or Japan.
You may choose to look deeper into this question for your research project, or you might try to replicate this process as you consider where to focus your research. Good luck!
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW IF YOU USED THIS HANDOUT IN YOUR CLASS. HOW DID IT GO? WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN? DID YOU MAKE ANY MODIFICATIONS?