There are many tools you can use when trying to choose a topic for a research paper. Selecting a topic that interests you will help you to focus and will also make the research paper process more enjoyable.
Once you have selected a topic it is a good idea to make sure you understand it fully before developing an argument and beginning research.
You may also want to develop some search terms and start thinking about sub-topics. One way to do this is by mapping out your ideas about the topic on a piece of paper, using lines to connect different facets. You can brainstorm synonyms for different terms and related topics you may also want to search for information about. This will also help you to decide if your topic is too broad or too narrow.
[graphic for mapping ideas]
A thesis statement is important because it acts as a guide for structuring the arguments in your paper. Any paper should have the goal of proving the point laid out in your thesis statement is correct. All of the sections of your paper will then relate back to this.
The Writing Centre has many useful PDFs that provide helpful information when dealing with common writing problems. They split these writing problems into three sections: the writing process, grammar, and punctuation.
The Writing Centre has links to helpful academic writing resources that range in topic from preparing a literature review to creating structure, and more!