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Stay away from popular topics when writing a research paper

This can be a very difficult thing to do. You have to write a research paper and you know that researching the topic is part and parcel of the deal. If you choose a topic which is unusual you will gain brownie points from your teacher or examiner but you may also create a rod for your own back. The beauty of a popular topic is that there is almost always certainly plenty of research material available.

Think about the situation for a moment. The bottom line here is that you want to get as high a mark as possible for your research paper. It will be read by and given a score by the examiner, usually your teacher or professor. Do you want to bore him or her to tears? Obviously not. You want them to be excited about reading your research paper. The topic looks interesting and once they start to read they find that your writing is interesting as well. This is the perfect situation for you to get a terrific score.

But stop a moment and think

It is a popular topic that means that a great many of your fellow students will have chosen it as well. That immediately raises a red flag. You immediately are in the same category as all those other students who have chosen this particular popular topic. Your work will be compared directly with the work of other students and if they've done a better job than you then suddenly the score you get begins to head south. You must avoid this situation at all costs.

Just because a topic isn't popular doesn't mean that it doesn't have merit or that it isn't a topic with lots of research material. It just means you might have to dig a little deeper to find it. Will the extra effort be worth it? Undoubtedly so if you come up with a topic which nobody else is writing about and obviously if you write about it well.

There is one possible way out which will still allow you to write a research paper on a popular topic. You must find an unusual or rare angle or approach to this topic. Yes there will be many other students writing about this popular topic but not in the way you have chosen. Mind you it will need to be pretty unusual to make it stand out.


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