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Resources for Technical Writing Students (ENGR 231/ENGL 235): What's your topic? Get inspired here!

Start Here

Choosing a great topic is the key first step to a successful formal report. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your topic must be both technical AND controversial and the technology itself must be controversial, that is, the controversy must not come from some social or political aspect of that technology
  • Use this paper as an opportunity to educate yourself about a hot topic in your planned area of study/career - becoming an expert on a technology in your field could be useful in a job interview or in a admission essay
  • Review your Developing a Good Topic activity very thoroughly to ensure your topic is narrow, challenging, and grounded
  • Get help early on in the process to make sure you are on the right track

Cool New Topics!

Librarian-recommended topic ideas: click the link to read an article about a emerging issue that could make a great Formal Report topic. Questions? Email Haley.

Turn a Headline into a Topic

Browse a website like ScienceDaily, NPR Tech, NPR Science, NY Times Science, or Phys.org. Look for articles that interest you, are in your field of study and would meet the technical and controversial elements of the assignment.

Watch this video to see how:

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Browse a Reference Resource

Reference Resources give broad overviews and can help you learn enough about a topic to develop a research question.

Other Places to Get Ideas

Still need inspiration? Check out these videos & articles!

Informative (and fun!) YouTube Channels:

Video Playlists:

Online Library Resources: