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Finding Good Topics for a Research Paper in Physics

Known as a broad topic with many different avenues of discussion, physics should be an easy research paper to work on. However, many students struggle to come up with original, interesting papers on this subject. The key to understanding topic selection for physics is understanding the subject itself. As a pre-emptive measure to coming up with good topics, be sure you pay attention in class and during lectures. Besides this important factor, here are some other strategies to come up with good topics.

A 4 step formula for picking a physics topic

Four steps exist that are required when choosing your physics topic.

  • First, you will need to choose a general main category within the subject.
  • Then, a sub-category must be decided upon. Make sure this sub-category fits in with the main one.
  • Thirdly, you will need to write down the main theory for your topic. Do this for your own benefit—it is not part of your paper.
  • Finally, give a short description of the topic you’ve chosen. This is also for your own benefit.

A quick example

You should now have a main field, a secondary field, a general theory for your topic, and a definition. This will look something like this:

  1. Waves
  2. Vibrating string theory
  3. Sound frequency waves created by a vibrating string depends on various factors, such as:

    a. Thickness of the string

    b. How much it vibrates

    c. How long it is

    d. How frequently it is made to vibrate

  4. The observation of sound waves created from the vibrations of a string, and the tone frequency it creates

The refining of your topic for the final product

Choosing a narrowed down topic is now a lot easier. Looking at the above breakdown of your topic, you now have a whole lot of great material to build from. Point one and two are non-negotiable elements that must be included in your topic. The narrowing down of your topic is all up to you. Base your decision on what interests you and how easily you will be able to find material on the subject.

Use this formula the next time you are asked to choose a topic for your physics research paper. Stay within the confines of available subject (there are so many), but feel free to choose your own direction and research methodologies.

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