STRIVE FOR THE “BOLD AND UNCOMMON”
(Mar. 18, 2019) — Facing a topic commonly chosen by students and as such widely covered in the past? In this post, we’ll explore ways to address the issue.
The one aspect of academic work college students cannot escape is writing assignments. They are expected to do all sorts of them, including essays, book reviews, book reports, case studies, lab reports, and research papers and term papers. Although our focus in this article will be on term papers, many students face different challenges specific to a particular kind of an academic assignment. For example, when working on research papers, they may have trouble accessing research equipment or facilities necessary to undertake independent research work crucial to writing their paper.
Many of them face problems with having limited knowledge of their assignment topic or insufficient time to do their homework due to other pressing commitments. Those who really care about maintaining strong academic performance may consider seeking the help of the best paper writing service.
Another aspect of term paper writing is topic selection. There are several options students may be given. The most constraining and uniform one involves assigning a single topic to all of them. The second alternative entails getting a list of topics from which they should pick one. Being the most flexible and personalized alternative, the last option provides students with a possibility to come up with their own topic ideas.
Now, let’s look closely at the last two options. As it concerns term papers, students may find that flexibility exciting. But what happens when your chosen topic is one that has been extensively written about in the past? Is that a good or a bad thing?
Ironically, writing on a rarely chosen topic appears to be more difficult because of the scarcity of research materials or resources available. By contrast, topics that are frequently chosen should have more resources and papers, thus allowing students freedom of choice. Sounds like a desirable scenario, doesn’t’ it? Not exactly. There may be problems resulting from working on such frequently and widely covered topics.
- Higher plagiarism risk: There is a heightened risk of a written paper being significantly plagiarized. It should come as no surprise to you that a significant number of students will take undue advantage of the wide coverage and availability of papers on the topic to get their papers ready as quickly as possible. Indolent students are going to be thrilled when their chosen topic happens to be of this kind. In fact, they are wont to actively seek out such topics when they are allowed to come up with their own topic. The eventual outcome of submitting a plagiarized paper is, therefore, always a negative one.
- Uniqueness issue: Of course, hardworking students will rejoice at the prospect of working on a widely covered topic because they have more resources to draw upon. Generally, it’s desirable when there is a lot of existing literature and research resources on a topic. But caution should be taken here. The most notable research papers are often unique in content and approach. One risk of writing about commonly used topics is that the final paper may just be another run-of-the-mill contribution to the topic. This may result in lower readership interest and failing grades!
So, how can you deal with the challenge and problems associated with it? Below are some ideas to help you tackle the issue and successfully work on your topic.
Focus On a Different Side of The Topic
This means narrowing down your topic to an aspect which has not been commonly written about. Basically, you want to take a different spin on the topic. Try to determine what common issues are often covered in a popular topic. Once you have done that, you should identify another issue that departs from the popular ones.
Take, for example, same-sex relationships/couples. It is undoubtedly a controversial topic. Oftentimes, papers written on that topic broadly concern the morality, acceptability, legality, or consequences of such a relationship. Rather than jumping on the bandwagon, you can consider writing about parenting among same-sex couples.
Using the above example, you will most likely end up with a narrower and yet different topic.
Come Up With a Thesis That is Bold and Uncommon
Figuratively speaking, this means you should view the same object (topic) using a rare set of lens. This may not be an easy task and one that will take more than a few minutes. You’ll need to do some reading and thinking about the topic. As you do so, try to find an answer to the question, ‘What do people often fail to see or consider about this issue?’ The aspect you should ponder on may concern the causes, connections, and effects that most researchers seem to be oblivious to.
Once you arrive at your desired thesis, you should make it a central part of your title. If creatively incorporated into your paper title, it can result in a mixture of novelty and shock. This will consequently grab the attention of prospective readers and perhaps even get them to read the first few pages of your paper.
When writing about same-sex relationships/couples, you can cast your gaze on parenting among same-sex couples. You can ask yourself a question, ‘Do they make better parents?’ Your preliminary research can then be focused on answering that question. Based on its results, your thesis may hold that same-sex couples actually make for better parents.
That stance may be shocking to most people, especially those with conservative views. Incorporating the question into your title can, therefore, grab the attention of a lot of people who may want to know how you answered it through your research work.
Use a Different Research Approach or Style of Delivery
Using this idea is highly contingent upon your discipline and the requirements of your term paper assignment. But when it’s applicable, try applying different research methodology or a writing style that is appreciably eccentric for your kind of paper. The idea behind using a different style is to make it more appealing to your audience and maintain their interest. To be on the safe side, you can always discuss your style or research method with your professor to understand how appropriate they consider it to be. If you get the green light, you should not hesitate to go for it.
When faced with writing about a topic that’s been mulled over before, your aim should be to get the attention of your professor and other prospective readers. Hopefully, the above tips can help you accomplish that.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.