The hardest part of writing a term paper is actually the very first step, choosing an interesting topic. The whole paper may rise or fall at this crucial beginning. Choosing unwisely can make the whole process of writing the term paper tedious or difficult.
- Throw ideas around. Sometimes it's harder when you're given the freedom to come up with your own topic rather than choosing from an assigned set. You're going to have to brainstorm. Start with something fairly broad and simple then break up this idea into smaller chunks by listing down its several aspects. Now you have more choices with narrower scopes.
- Evaluate for interest. Ask yourself which of the narrowed ideas interests you the most, which has more relevance or significance. The writing becomes easier when you write about something that really appeals to you, whether intellectually or emotionally. Scouring for appropriate references won't be such a chore either. Your enthusiasm to learn more or something new about your topic will get you through the stack of books, journals or websites. Your teachers can detect if you're genuinely interested in the paper you wrote because your tone will be more confident and persuasive.
- Evaluate for ease of research. You can come up with a really creative topic by being exploratory and choosing something that's not been covered in class or that's not strictly part of the course syllabus. But you might hit on something that's too obscure that you will have a difficult time to look for enough references. In the end the struggle to look for the right source materials might burn up all your enthusiasm. You might end up regretting choosing the topic and land back in square one.
- Seek your professor's advice. If you're really having a hard time deciding on a topic, don't be embarrassed to ask for help from your teachers or professors. They are more knowledgeable and perhaps experts in their field of study and can offer you a lot of advice. They can show you more varied perspectives on a topic that you might not have considered on your own. Try not to approach them though with a completely blank piece of paper. Have at least two prospective topics and ask their opinion about them. This way the time spent for consultation becomes more productive as you already have something to discuss.
You shouldn't be too worried about the time and effort spent in thinking about your term paper's topic. Once you get this done right, you'll actually be able to write the paper faster because you'll be more focused.