What should I research?

If you were to write a research paper, what topic would you choose? Similar to many decisions during senior year like which college to attend and what major, I think choosing a research topic is difficult. My name is Erin and I am beginning to write a research paper but  I am still trying to figure out my topic. As I apply to colleges, I am thinking about majoring in either education or nursing.

My interests in nursing have led me to an curiosity about cancer. I know there are many different types of cancer and don’t know how specific I would go within the topic, but I especially find the advancements we have made in treatment and finding a cure fascinating. During my sophomore year, I worked on a committee for Relay for Life. During the event we had a luminaria ceremony where all of the participants from our school and two others walked around the track which was outlined in illuminated paper bags which had names in memory of cancer survivors or of currently fighting survivors. This is when it struck me how many people cancer influences and from my curiosity already in health careers, I began to find parts of cancer interesting. Currently, I am looking at reading the book When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanith to see if cancer is the topic I wish to pursue.


In addition to my interest in cancer, I also like to learn more about disabilities in special education. Since junior high, I have been in a club with the special needs students at our school to help build friendships. When I got to high school I started helping in an adaptive physical education class where we help the lowest functioning students do modified gym activities. When looking up the different disabilities most commonly found in schools, I found the book Look Me in The Eye by John Elder Robison. I thought the book gave such a interesting look into Asperger’s.


From here I plan to begin reading the book When Breath Becomes Air, but I may read Look Me in the Eye afterward to see which topic interests me more. My connections with both cancer and Asperger’s will make either topic exciting to learn more about and be able to apply my findings.


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