Selecting a topic can be one of the most difficult parts of writing a research paper. Ask yourself the following questions about your topic to make sure you've picked a topic that will keep both yourself and your audience (those reading your paper) engaged. If you can answer yes to all the questions, you're ready to start gathering sources.
Am I interested in the topic?
Will I enjoy researching this topic?
Will I enjoy talking about this topic and sharing my information with my readers?
Will my readers be interested in my topic?
Am I passionate about this topic?
Once you choose your topic, you should work it into a research question. You can do so by thinking about the elements of your topic.
Who?- Who is involved? Whom does it affect? Is there a specific population of demographic group you want to focus on?
What-? What is the problem or the issue? What aspect of the problem is interesting to you?
Where?- Is there a specific geographic location you want to focus on?
When?- Is there a time frame or a specific historical event you want to look at?
How?- How does one aspect of your topic affect another?
A simple way to format your research question is:
I am studying... (topic)
Because I want to find out... (question)
In order to help my reader understand/see... (significance) (what is interesting, unusual, overlooked or misunderstood)
So that... (practical application)