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  • How Purpose Affects Topics
    Strategies for Finding Topics Appropriate to Particular Types of Assignments Generating More Than One Topic Idea Narrowing Topics Deciding When a Topic is Too Broad Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics How Purpose Affects Topics Y our purpose helps you to narrow a topic since it demands particular approaches to a general subject For example if you re writing about how state policy affects foreign language study in grades K 12 in Oregon you could have several different purposes You may need to explain how the Oregon law came about that is what influenced it and who was responsible Or perhaps you would need to explain the law s effects how curriculum will be altered etc Another purpose might be to evaluate the law and to propose changes Whatever purpose you decide to adopt will determine the questions which give

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=383&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • How Audience Affects Topics
    Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics How Audience Affects Topics Steve Reid English Professor You have to be careful so your topic is not too narrow for your audience You don t want readers to say Well so what I couldn t care less One the most important roles a topic plays is impacting an audience If your topic gets too narrow and too focused it can become too academic or too pedantic For example every year at graduation I watch people laugh when they hear the title of a thesis or dissertation The students who wrote these documents were very narrowed and focused but their audiences were very restricted Having a clear idea of the audience to whom you are writing will help you to determine an appropriate topic and how to present it For example if you re writing about how state policy affects foreign language study in grades K 12 in Oregon you could have many different audiences You could be writing for teachers administrators at a specific school students whose educational program will be affected by the law or even the PTA All of these audiences care about the topic since they are all affected by it However for each of them you may need to provide different information and address slightly different questions about this topic Teachers would want to know why the policy was created and how it will affect what goes on in their classrooms Parents will

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=384&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • Choosing Workable Topics
    Assignments Generating More Than One Topic Idea Narrowing Topics Deciding When a Topic is Too Broad Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics Choosing Workable Topics M ost writers in the workplace don t have to think about what s workable and what s not when they write Writing topics make themselves obvious being the necessary outcome of particular processes For example meetings inspire memos and minutes research produces reports interactions with customers result in letters As a student writer your task is often more difficult than this since topics do not always find you this easily Finding and selecting topics are oftentimes arduous tasks for the writer Sometimes you will find yourself facing the blank page or empty screen dilemma lacking topic ideas entirely Other times you will have difficulties making your ideas fit a particular assignment you have been

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=385&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • How to Find a Topic
    Types of Assignments Generating More Than One Topic Idea Narrowing Topics Deciding When a Topic is Too Broad Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics How to Find a Topic Don Zimmerman Journalism and Technical Communication Professor I look at topics from a problem solving perspective and scientific method Topics emerge from writers working on the job when they re in the profession following major trends developments issues etc From the scientific perspective topics emerge based on solid literature reviews and developing an understanding of the paradigm From these then come the specific problems topics subjects that professionals or scientists address Writers generate topics from their professional expertise their understanding of the issues in their respective disciplines and their understanding the science that has gone before them While your first impulse may be to dash off to the library to dig

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=386&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • Subjects and Topics
    More Than One Topic Idea Narrowing Topics Deciding When a Topic is Too Broad Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics Subjects and Topics M ost topic searches start with a subject For example you re interested in writing about languages and even more specifically foreign languages This is a general subject Within a general subject you ll find millions of topics Not only about every foreign language ever spoken but also about hundreds of issues affecting foreign languages But keep in mind that a subject search is always a good place to start Every time you use Yahoo or other Internet search engines or even SAGE at the CSU library you conduct a subject search These search devices allow you to review many topics within a broad subject area While it s beneficial to conduct subject searches because you never

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=390&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • Starting With What You Know
    Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics Starting With What You Know Kate Kiefer English Professor Most often the occasion dictates the topic for the writing done outside academe But as a writer in school you do sometimes have to generate topics If you need help determining a topic create an authority list of things you have some expertise in or a general list of areas you know something about and are interested in Then you can make this list more specific by considering how much you know and care about these ideas and what the target audience is probably interested in reading about In looking for writing topics the logical first step is to consider issues or subjects which have concerned you in the past either on the basis of life experience or prior writing research If you are a journal writer look to your journal for ideas If not think about writing you have done for other writing

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=391&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • General Strategies for Coming Up With Topics
    of brainstorming as a way for groups to come up with ideas it is a strategy that individual writers can make use of as well Simply put brainstorming is the process of listing rough thoughts in any form they occur to you words phrases or complete sentences that are connected even remotely to the writing assignment you have before you or the subject area you already have in mind Brainstorming works best when you give yourself a set amount of time perhaps five or ten minutes writing down anything that comes to mind within that period of time and resisting the temptation to criticize or polish your own ideas as they hit the page There is time for examination and polishing when the five or ten minutes are over Freewriting F reewriting is a technique much like brainstorming only the ideas generated are written down in paragraph rather than list form When you freewrite you allow yourself a set amount of time perhaps five or ten minutes and you write down any and every idea that comes to mind as if you are writing a timed essay However your freewrite is unlikely to read like an organized essay In fact it shouldn t read that way What is most important about freewriting is that you write continuously not stopping to check your spelling to find the right word or even to think about how your ideas are fitting together If you are unable to think of something to write simply jot out I can t think of anything to write now and go on At the end of your five or ten minutes reread what you have written ignore everything that seems unimportant or ridiculous and give attention to whatever ideas you think are worth pursuing If you are able

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=394&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • Strategies for Finding Topics Appropriate to Particular Types of Assignments
    You Know General Strategies for Coming Up With Topics Strategies for Finding Topics Appropriate to Particular Types of Assignments Essays Based on Personal Experience Essays Responding to or Interpreting Texts Essays in Which You Take a Position on an Issue Essays Requiring Research Essays in Which You Evaluate Essays in Which You Propose Solutions to Problems Generating More Than One Topic Idea Narrowing Topics Deciding When a Topic is Too Broad Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics Strategies for Finding Topics Appropriate to Particular Types of Assignments S ometimes your ways of generating topics will depend on the type of writing assignment you have been given Here are some ideas of strategies you can use in finding topics for some of the more common types of writing assignments Essays Based on Personal Experience Essays Responding to or Interpreting Texts Essays

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=397&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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