Choose a Topic


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Focusing on a Research Topic


Thesis Builder

A topic may be limited to what the teacher assigns.

If your child is able to choose your own topic, ask him to think about:

A favorite school subject
An interesting career
An interesting magazine or newspaper article
An interesting website
A current news story
His extracurricular activities

Your child will write his best paper if he chooses a topic that he finds interesting. Avoid choosing a topic because your child thinks he will find a lot of information; he can get easily overwhelmed.

Have your child discuss his topic with friends, teachers, parents, and librarians. Gather their thoughts and ideas.

Your child should think about a question concerning his topic to which he might want to find an answer, particularly one that doesn't have a right answer. If he doesn't know of a question, wait until he has read some about the topic, and record questions that come to your mind as you read. The question you choose will be the basis of your thesis statement.

A thesis statement is the answer your child proposes to his question. It is what the whole paper will be about. For a scientific paper, this would be the hypothesis. Your child may already have a thesis statement in mind when he choses his topic. If not, have him wait to develop his thesis statement until after he does some research. He should be open to changing his thesis staement as he learns more about his topic.

A topic may be limited to what your child's teacher assigns.

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