The hardest part of writing a paper with no explicit topic is trying to figure out what you’re going to write about. One strategy suggested by Purdue University (2008b) is to use the subject-specific catalogs at the library. I followed this advice to a limited degree and browsed my own personal library looking for a subject that interested me. Based on my own interests, I selected baseball history as a subject. With my general subject in mind, I used a technique called “mapping” to draw out my possible topic ideas (Purdue University, 2008a).
I already had some primary resources because of the technique I used to decide on my subject. These sources were full of helpful information regarding the baseball managers I was writing about. But, baseball is a sport that is wrapped up in it’s own statistics. In order to write about baseball, you have to provide statistics to illustrate your premise. Despite the documented frustration involved with finding information on the Web, I was able to find plenty of well organized information (Colorado Technical University, 2008, p. 60). Although I had personally heard this source cited by MLB broadcasters, I decided to corroborate the data with the official data provided by Major League Baseball. This technique is recommended by Colorado Technical University (2008, p. 61).
Colorado Technical University. (2008). Creating Academic and Professional Success. Retrieved May 6, 2008, from https://campus.ctuonline.edu/classroom/syllabus.aspx?Class=210465&tid=46
Purdue University. (2008a). Research Papers: Invention Techniques. Retrieved May 6, 2008, from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/workshops/hypertext/ResearchW/invent.html
Purdue University. (2008b). Research Papers: Selecting a Topic. Retrieved May 6, 2008, from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/workshops/hypertext/ResearchW/pick.html