How to Choose a Topic for a Research Paper

It seems so easy – just choose a topic for your paper – and yet it is so hard. What to write about, and (just as important) what not to write about? The key is to balance what you are interested in with what you can manage. Choose the wrong topic and your paper may never get off the ground. Choose the right topic and you enable yourself to properly focus and research your topic (a key ingredient to producing a top quality paper). Today’s video tutorial offers some solid advice on how to choose a good topic for your research paper.

Points to Remember

  1. Look for a topic that interests you
  2. Focus on a specific element or facet of the broader topic that you are interested in
  3. By narrowing your focus you will be able to:
    • Tell a good story and keep your readers interest
    • Manage the paper (i.e., you won’t get lost in too many details, facts, resources etc.)

The 8 Steps to Writing a Great Research Paper

  1. Pick a good, well-focused topic that you are interested in
  2. Determine the goal and/or purpose of your paper
  3. Gather together the best resources available on your topic
  4. Study and take notes of your resources
  5. Turn your notes into a well-organized outline
  6. Write a rough draft
  7. Revise (over and over again) your rough draft
  8. Get feedback from friends, colleagues and experts (then rewrite again)


Tips on How to Narrow the Focus of Your Topic

Points to Remember

  1. Talk to other people to brainstorm and get suggestions on how to narrow the focus of your topic – including (but not limited to):
    • Your professor
    • Other professors
    • Fellow students and classmates
    • Friends and family
    • Known experts
  2. Do some preliminary research in the library to help you find some good sub-topics to consider. Peruse scholarly journals, magazine articles, table of contents and introductions of books, etc. for ideas. Don’t forget to talk to the librarian to help you find some good resources. Note, though, that this is just preliminary research to help you generate a good, narrow topic – the solid research will come after you’ve selected a good topic.
  3. Online Encyclopedias, social bookmarking sites and the search engines can help you find online resources to help you generate topic ideas. While some of these resources may not be the most reliable source of information, they can help you to narrow your focus. Just take whatever they say with a grain (or more) of salt.

The 8 Steps to Writing a Great Research Paper

  1. Pick a good, well-focused topic that you are interested in
  2. Determine the goal and/or purpose of your paper
  3. Gather together the best resources available on your topic
  4. Study and take notes of your resources
  5. Turn your notes into a well-organized outline
  6. Write a rough draft
  7. Revise (over and over again) your rough draft
  8. Get feedback from friends, colleagues, and experts (then rewrite again)


Sales & Marketing Jobs Pros

Are sales for you?

Sales positions are in every industry in the country.

Pros and Positives:

– Sales Jobs are plentiful. companies are always looking for sales professionals.

– When you have 2+ years of experience it is generally easy to jump from job to job or company to company and demand higher base salaries and commissions. The job search is quick and easy compared to others.

– These jobs are available to a wide variety of college graduate majors and workers of other industries. Some include: Liberal Arts, Business, Engineering, Marketing, communications, Economics, Accounting, etc. Almost any major qualifies for some type of sales positions. For people already working, any business to business or service positions qualify for intermediate level sales positions.

– The sky is the limit for how much money you can make or earn yearly. Sales positions usually have a base salary with commission and incentives for accounts logged and actual sales. The harder you work usually translates into how much money you will make. People that spend 40 – 60 hours a week can make anywhere from 50 thousand to 300 thousand yearly.

– Work times and duty hours are not as rigid as salary workers. You are working in essence to make more money for yourself. So if you want to take an afternoon off most of the time it will be at your discretion. Bosses and supervisors are just looking at the bottom line and whether you reached your goals or not.

– Bonuses are common when an employee consistently exceeds sales goals.

Sales & Marketing Jobs Cons

Cons or Potential Negatives:

– Self-discipline with time is very important. The more you work the more you make. The less you work the less you make.

– You can have inconsistent pay. Base salary you can depend on per paycheck but commissions are dependent on performance. You may make twice as much pay one month over the next. Budgeting becomes important.

– On the road constantly. Sales people travel frequently to their clients. Driving or flying are routine job duties.

– Have to reach performance goals monthly and yearly. When entering a sales position your employer will set minimum goals that you will have to meet to stay satisfactory. Pressure to reach these goals is the con.

– Must be able to accept being turned down regularly. Rejection by prospective customers and clients is routine. You need to brush it off and move on.


Federal Government Job & Career Pros

Is a federal career right for you?

Let’s go over some of the pros and positives for this career path.

– This is a big one. Federals jobs are much more stable than most positions in the private sector. Also federal employees where their job is no longer needed at a particular agency usually get priority when applying for other comparable government jobs elsewhere.

– The federal government offers 2 retirement vehicles. Federal employees have a 401K (termed the TSP in the government) and a pension. The federal government matches up to 5% of your salary and pays 95% of the pension benefits. Government pensions are generally 30% – 40% of the highest salary you made during your federal career.

– The federal government has become much more flexible with the work day. Many agencies offer telework (work from home), flexible duty hours (for example employees can come in anytime in-between 6:30-9:30 a.m.)., credit hours (hours worked past the normal 8 and a half), travel comp hours (hours over 8 and a half on travel), and overtime pay.

– You get to make a difference and help the greater good of the public. Federal jobs can be very rewarding and make a difference for many people.

– Last but certainly not least is the sheer number of jobs or disciplines available. The federal government needs 1000’s of different types of skilled people in almost every industry you can imagine. Some examples include:

FBI agents, deck hands, doctors, quality assurance specialists, financial planners, webmasters, engineers, clericals, human resource specialists etc.

The list goes on and on.

Job Search Tips and Resources #7: Federal Government Job & Career Cons

Cons and Possible Negatives:

– Most federal jobs are straight salary. Performance bonuses exist in some agencies but are usually not substantial nor common. No matter how much more work one accomplishes as compared to someone else in the same position you will still make the same salary.

– Duty hours for government jobs are much more rigid than sales jobs. Most federal employees work a typical 9-5:30. Federal workers have an eight and a half hour workday because there is no pay for your half hour lunch.

– Most federal jobs are located around major cities and metropolitan areas. Rural jobs do exist in the government but are few.

– Salaries on average are much smaller than successful salespeople. A high GS or grade scale (government salary table) takes years to achieve. Starting salaries for employees are usually low and start at the GS-7 level which is about a 40 thousand dollar salary with a college degree.

– It is much more challenging and involved to get a federal job as compared to a sales position. The federal government typically has many applicants for one position. Even after your selection for a government position the background check and processing can take months before a start date.

– Job announcements for open positions tend to have short durations. You may only have 10 – 14 days to get all the needed paperwork and job application materials together.

– It is much more challenging to jump to another federal job in the same agency or within a different agency. As noted above there can be many applicants and a long transition period.

– At tax time the personal deductions are much less than for sales employees.

Job Search Tips and Resources – Federal Government vs. Sales

Here you will find Job Search Tips and Resources for 2 higher paying career paths. The Federal Government and Sales Jobs have great but very different benefits.

The Federal Government is the 2nd largest employer in the World and Sales / Marketing positions are always in demand no matter what the economic environment. Let’s get to it!

Job Search Tips and Resources #1: Assess what you are looking for.

You must first ask yourself some questions to get a feel for what may be the right career or job.

Some examples include:

How important is job stability?

Do you mind being on the road often?

Do you mind work related travel?

Is a steady salary your calling or limitless money making potential?

Do you live near a larger economic area?

DO you want a flexible work day or routine work hours?

Above are just some job calling questions that you need to be thinking about when evaluating possible career paths and jobs.

Job Search Tips and Resources #2: What common characteristics will you find in Sales and Marketing Professionals?

If you do not have one or some of the characteristics don’t fret. These are just common traits you can find in these industries.

No one perfectly fits the mold.

Common Sales or Marketing Professional Characteristics:

– Self Motivated

– Thick Skinned

– Organized (especially with time)

– Good at asking questions

Job Search Tips and Resources #3: What common characteristics will you find in Federal Government Employees?

Common Federal Government Employee Characteristics:

– Good at paper and electronic organization

– Want to help the general public or be a public servant

– Routine oriented

– Needs stability

How to get a sales job?

So you like some of the benefits and characteristics of one of these jobs and want to get started with a rewarding career?

The best way to get started or find a new job in the Sales industry is to contact a recruiting, headhunter or placement company.

These firms are hired by large companies to find qualified talent for their needs and to fill vacancies.

Companies are constantly looking for people with no experience to a seasoned professional.


Does corporate law light your fire? Be warned. Your health could seriously be at risk.

The tragic news of the death of associate lawyer Lisa Johnstone in US firm Skadden’s may be the direct result of the 100+ hours a week she had allegedly been working. Then again it may not have been. She apparently died of a heart attack but no autopsy report had been made public at the time of writing as to the official cause. But whatever triggered her heart attack, we cant avoid the fact that the hugely emotive issue of stress in legal practice is never far from the news, at least in the legal media. The intense stress of corporate lawyer`s hours has a damaging effect on the individual, whether the symptoms are apparent early as, say her colleagues, in the case of Lisa Johnstone, or in years to come.

Some can cope, and indeed thrive, working to high-stress levels. But exhaustion or disillusionment in later years is not particularly unusual. Some lawyers will move to a different area of practice. Some change careers. Others suffer burn out. And occasionally we hear of the tragedy of another lawyer taking his or her own life.  Last month, the charity LawCare revealed that high numbers of solicitors seek help with depression and alcohol addiction problems most of which are undoubtedly related to stress.

Are senior partners ignoring the issue? It seems clear that some law firms are blatantly breaching health and safety legislation given the extreme stress some partners and associates are being subjected to in their workplace. Employers have a legal duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees while at work. This extends to the obligation to assess the risks arising from hazards at work including work-related stress.

Do senior partners care about their fee earners stress levels? Whilst work /life balance doesn’t rank particularly highly at many law firms other firms, laudably promote the importance of a good balance of flexible working options including, for instance, Allen & Overy and Norton Rose. And there are without question smaller law firms who facilitate flexible working but, by their very nature, it`s the big firms that reach the news.

In the 21st century, in the age of the Blackberry, cloud computing and broadband, its unforgivable and inexcusable for law firms not to facilitate flexible working. The benefits are obvious.

And let’s not get bogged down, as some would have it, in talking about the mega bucks many of these stressed-out corporate lawyers are earning. That’s beside the point. The point is lawyers are human beings with their own physical, mental and social needs. The quicker the profession recognizes this the better. We’re about to enter the weekend. How many lawyers have done a long week, and are going home armed with more work for the weekend? Just a thought.

What Services to Expect on Italian Beaches

Often the same beach is divided into different areas, according to the kind of services available.

Spiaggia Libera

It is a free beach, here you have to provide for your own umbrella and comforts. Often there are no services like showers and toilets. You may or may not be able to find stalls with refreshments.

Stabilimento Balneare

At a stab il mento bilinear, you are expected to pay for the comforts of an umbrella and sun bed or chair. There are showers, changing rooms, toilets, bars and often sports facilities and playgrounds. If you are staying at a hotel on the beach often the sunbed and umbrella are included in the hotel fee.

Spiaggia Private

Sometimes luxury hotels have their own private beach to enjoy the seaside away from the crowd.

Best Time to Enjoy the Italy Beaches

The season is rather short, August is the month when most tourists gather on the beaches in Italy.

Ferragosto (the 15th of August) celebrates the climax of summer festivities, with fireworks, fairs, and events.

If you don’t appreciate the animation and the crowd take your Italian beach holidays in Italy in June, July or even better September, my favorite month.

It offers quiet beaches, a pleasant weather, and warm seas.

Dog-Friendly Beaches

Dogs are not allowed on most Italian beaches during the summer but recently few beaches let dogs enjoy an Italian beach holiday with their humans.

Here is a list of dog friendly beaches in Italy.

Best Adriatic Riviera Beaches of Le Marche

Here are some of our favorite beaches of the Marche region.

Monte Conero Coast

The Riviera beaches on the Conero coast offer spectacular views and clear waters. Discover the Blue Flag beaches of Sirolo, Numana, and Portonovo.


This Italy beach is well known for its fine sand that earned it the name of velvet beach.

The historical center is large, lively and close to the seaside. Basically, everything is walking or biking distance.

This structure makes Senigallia a vibrant city, with exciting events throughout the year that integrated the touristic zone with the residential part, the fishing port, and the commercial area.

San Benedetto del Tronto

San Benedetto is a beach resort famous in Italy for its endless palm-lined seafront.

Are religious people hiding in illusions because they cannot face the pointlessness of it all?


There is an odd quasi-argument for atheism that goes something like this:  It is true because it is terrible.  Atheists are brave and strong enough to face this horror without flinching.  Religious people can’t face it, so they hide in illusions.  Such statements are usually followed with certain calls to arms to throw away the illusions of the past and embrace the truth that life is utterly pointless and meaningless.

There are a few things to say about this.  Firstly, one could be an atheist without believing that life is pointless.  It takes a bit of theoretical work to get from atheistic naturalism to the utter pointlessness of everything.  But such arguments are relatively plausible, I think.  If one is an atheistic naturalistic, nothing really matters in the long run.  Because everyone will be dead.  The meaning of life is certainly temporally limited.

Second, these claims at least among the people that I talk to are somehow supposed to be arguments.  It is as if this person is saying something that we all know deep down inside, but cannot face.  When the atheist is brave enough to point out that nothing really matters, we intuitively see that they are right.  But I don’t find this sort of talk convincing at all (although I once did.)  The appeal seems to be entirely emotional.  A distinction is made between brave people and weak people and so then we all naturally want to be among the brave.  The intuitive appeal of the argument is just, I think, a response to the emotional desire not to be called weak.

Nevertheless, if psychologists are right about how humans really think and most reasoning really is rationalization, then these kinds of arguments might do a lot more to actually convince people than rational arguments.  This argument is also more compelling than purely rational philosophical arguments because it tells a story.  The story has heroes and villains and it fits with how humans really think.