What are the steps involved in choosing a topic for an academic paper?




  • Would the professor possibly suggest a topic that has biblical relevance from either a historical, practical or prophetic perspective either from the O.T. or N.T. ? or possibly suggest a topic or subject that the student is passionate about and would be the catalyst that would motivate  them  to "Impact"  their generation and beyond?

  • You are quite correct. That is why when we set this group up, it was designed to be  in depth independent study in a students chosen area of interest. We encourage students who have an interest to contact us and we can provide a directed topics that will enable the students to delve ever deeper into the Word. By providing check points along the way in the form of questions, the student can determine for themselves whether they have mastered their area of interest. At the end we ask the student to write a comprehensive Doctoral theses in which they show their understanding of the subject matter.

    The topic needs to be broad enough to encompass an area and within that topic specific that we see the learning and understanding coming out of the study.   For example  past topics written:

    Current Issues in Biblical Theology:

    A New Testament Perspective

    A Study of the Theological Relationship Between the Old and New Testaments



    Reading Daniel as a theological textbook


    The use of Isaiah in the Sibylline Oracles, Qumran literature and Romans (a source-influence study).



    Images of the end : representations of the apocalyptic prophecy


    The oracles against the Philistines and Edom in the Greek text of Jeremiah: chapter 29 as a microcosm of the problems presented by the Septuagint version of Jeremiah

    The relationship between eschatology and ethics in the Synoptic Gospels: the problem of relevancy.

    To give you some idea of theses written in the past.




  • My dearest in Christ,

    I recall only too well the difficulty I had choosing a topic for every term paper I ever did. Nothing got my nerves on end faster than the words "term paper" or similar terms.  I always had pretty varied interests and enjoyed studying and research in general.  I was prone to selecting the broadest topics and meandering about within it until finally, and begrudgingly, settling on something more specific.  I found that I am not alone in this.  One of the things my professors confessed to me was their similitude in sweating a topic for a paper.  None of my professors from the 70s and 80s would have dreamed of assigning a topic for a paper.  I think they enjoyed watching many of us squirm as we struggled with situation.  

    In any case, I think that guidance is necessary, but not too much.  In our areas of study I believe the subject and topic should come from the heart.  I have had to write essays on subjects presented as part of a course curriculum, especially the Military Academy, but remember how stifling that felt at times. In most cases it is a situation where help is needed, but not always requested.  The bottom line is that students like myself seldom know which topics or subject areas are the best for a chosen course of study. In almost all cases the professor is the guide and steadfast counselor that keeps the student on track.  Additionally, as was the case for me a few times, the professor curbs the ability of the student to take the easy way out thus cheating themselves out of a solid education.  Indeed much is placed on the shoulders of the professor and fortunately most accept the responsibility and challenge.  Most students will give everything to live up to or exceed the standards set by the professor.  But there have to be standards and professors with the courage and insight to hold students to standards.  Those are the professors I remember the most and the folks that had the greatest impact on me personally and professionally.  Education, after all, is an interactive endeavor if the most learning is to be achieved. 

  • Dr.Denis and Dr. Ley,

    I  want to thank you both and  also add that I appreciate you giving  insights from the perspectives of Academics and personal experience on protocol for assigning topics on academic papers. Both responses were spiritually enriching.

    Sister Eleanor

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