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ENGR 231/ENGL 235: Technical Writing with Ann Modzelewski: 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
  • Your topic must be narrow, challenging, and grounded. 
  • Ask yourself: what problem am I trying to solve and what solutions does the evidence suggest?
  • Get help early on in the process to make sure you are on the right track

Turn a Headline into a Topic

Browse a website for articles that interest you, are in your field of study, and will meet the technical and controversial elements of the assignment. Watch this video to learn how to develop an interesting article into your Formal Report topic:

Suggested websites:

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.

Other Places to Get Ideas