How To Make Sure You Selected An Original Economics Research Paper Topic

One of the things many instructors demand when it comes to economics research paper topics is originality. Originality, however, is harder to come by than one might expect in academia. There are thousands, if not millions (if not billions!) of pages written about every conceivable topic every year, and that number is only growing. So how can a student be sure that their research paper topic is original? There are a few strategies that can help.

Come Up with a List of Topics and Search

First, the student should come up with a list of potential topics that interest them. Next, they should search online and in academic journals to see how much has been written about their topics. It’s likely that they’ll find nearly identical topics related to their entire list at this point; that’s okay. The point is to pick the one that has been least addressed and them move forward.

Strategies for Making a Topic Unique

Now that the student has chosen the topic which has been least written about, they can use several strategies to make their own final topic choice an original one:

  • Choose an unpopular viewpoint
  • This is the easiest in terms of making an original topic, but in some cases may not be practical in terms of supporting the opinion. If there’s an overwhelming consensus about one aspect of the topic, writing from the opposite viewpoint will no doubt make the paper original. But the student must ensure that they can actually support this opposing view with research.

  • Narrow the topic down more
  • If the topic, for example, is about the housing market bubble causing economic collapse, the student could narrow their idea down to a much tighter focus to create a more original topic. What aspect of the housing market bubble, for example, had the most influence in causing the bubble to “pop”?

  • Combine the topic with another topic
  • Creating a hybrid topic can be original. Two separate but related topic ideas may have been written about individually at great length, but if no authors have yet combined them, a hybrid between the two can create a completely original idea.

  • Find unusual sources
  • Even if a topic has been written about a great deal, finding new and unusual (but reputable sources) to support it can make an old topic seem new again.

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