Writing a Research Paper: Brainstorming a Topic


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Brainstorming your Topic HeaderFirst: If you already know your Topic or have been assigned a Topic…. skip this step! Obviously, you should do that Assigned Topic 🙂
If you were not assigned a topic though and you need to find a good topic, start here:

If you would like the actual Powerpoint File, it is HERE: Brainstorming Your Topic
If you would like the PDF of this Presentation, it is HERE: Brainstorming Your Topic

This was their Bell Ringer exercise to start the day: we talked about this after a few minutes and talked about things they struggled with and things they needed help with. WN=Writer’s Notebook, their journal/notes location.
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I liked this way of doing it because it forced them to make a list of POSSIBILITIES. Many times I go through the whole list and I get kids who are like “None of that was interesting” (eye roll here) but doing it this way helps them to make a TYPE of list of things that wouldn’t be AS torturous as something else 🙂
HUGE NOTE HERE: This list is not an exhaustive list of every topic out there–I went through a big list I had and took out topics that I knew no one would do and ALSO ones that I find personally annoying 🙂 So you will not find Abortion, Gay Marriage or Legal Marijuana on this list–not that those topics are not interesting—but I find that High School Students write the same paper over and over and it becomes less informative and more persuasive, which is not the assignment.


I give a speech here about how Wikipedia is not a legit research source, but as a starter for a 101 on your Topic? Sounds good. Reading the entry will at least give them a basic idea of some issues and topics that they can research the next day.
Providing index cards for everyone’s needs is exhausting. Going to the store and buying 30 packages of Index Cards is just ridiculous so I always attempt to lighten my load by calling for anyone to bring their own stuff. Usually I get about half for higher level classes and about 25% for lower level classes but hey, every little bit helps!

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