Assessment: 3 Research Topic Ideas

In the group discussions recently you’ve been chatting about initial topic ideas.  You’ve probably gotten a better idea of what you’d actually like to pursue, and perhaps even had new ideas in the meantime.

For this assignment, I’d like you to narrow your options down to 3.  For each of these 3 potential research topics, draft a paragraph of exploration including the following:

  • what the topic is, and why it appeals to you
  • questions you have about the topic you didn’t already know the answers to
  • an overview of some initial quick research you’ve done on the topic (Google & Wikipedia are fine for our purposes here), including at least one new discovery for you about the issue
  • what you’d hope to be able to prove to your reader about this issue in a research essay about it

This is an informal assignment, though matters of proofreading and grammar are always helpful to check over before submitting.

These 3 topics can come straight from your list of 5 that you submitted to the weekly discussion, OR you can come up with 3 new ideas, or any combination of the two.

If you know for sure what topic you’d like to pursue for your essay, I’d still like to see three different potential sub-topics explored here.  For instance, if you know you want to write about scuba diving, divide that into three directions you might then take: how scuba diving affects tourism, how scuba divers help or hurt natural underwater environments, what safety training scuba divers should have to complete for certification.


A sample paragraph:   I’d like to consider writing my essay about Cheezits, because I’m always snacking on them while I work on my online classwork.  I didn’t really know who made them or how popular a snack food they were, beyond the fact that they are readily available in grocery stores.  A Google search led me to the brand’s website, where I learned they were made by Sunshine, and had a variety called “Scrabble Junior” that I’d never seen before, with letters printed on each cracker.  In an essay about Cheezits, I’d like to be able to prove to myself and my readers that these are a better cheese-flavored snack than other options available right now.