How to Pick a Topic for a Research Paper in Chemistry

Because Chemistry is in its very nature the study of substances, it’s important to follow a trail of topic elements when choosing your topic for this subject. This trail begins with your core substance, moves on to the method of manipulating the substance, and then transitions to the outcome of your experiment.

The substance

Your reader should have a good idea of what substance you are dealing with. The name of the substance should appear in your topic as the main subject. In order to start off with your topic selection, decide on the main matter you wish to analyze. This can be anything from an atom to a mixture of different substances. The choice is yours so pick something you feel comfortable with.

The process

Now you will decide on the manipulation process you intend to carry out on your substance of choice. For a molecule, you may want to simply observe and document something in particular. For a liquid substance, you may decide to add something that will produce some sort of reaction. Make sure the process is apparent in your topic.

The result

Finally, your topic may hint a result. This is not a must, but an option. Because your research paper has been written for the purpose of finding out the result, putting it in your topic may be considered a spoiler. However, one option can be to pose your topic as a question which will spark some curiosity in your reader. Have a look at some of the topic examples below to see how this may turn out.

The topic should look something like...

Observing [the result] of [the substance/s] when put through [the process]

[The process] of the [substance/s]: Will they [the result] or will they [an alternative result]

You can really organize these three elements however you want in order to come up with a decent topic that’s on track with a chemistry research paper.

Bear in mind that you can veer off of this trail a little bit to give your topic a sense of uniqueness. However, if you follow this trail of topic elements in a general way, you are sure to come up with a myriad of combinations for your topic. Using this method of topic selection puts you in the driver seat and lets you choose the substances and processes you feel most comfortable with.