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Creating a Research Paper about Social Media: Basic Manual

Writing a research paper on any topic can be a daunting task. If you’ve been assigned a research topic about social media, you may be thinking how lucky you are. Or you may be thinking the world has surely cursed you. The topic “social media” can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

Business looks at social media as a way to cultivate new customers. Politicians see it as a way to garner more votes in the next election or more support for a particular point of view. Older adults see social media as a way to network professionally or keep in touch with friends and family on a global scale. Teens and young adults view it as a necessary component of their overall social interaction with others. So how do you create a research paper on the broad topic of “social media”?

The basics of writing a research paper are much the same, regardless of topic. The following tips may help get the project up and running:

  • Select a topic. This is the most important step. Brainstorm it out. Make sure you select a topic that is narrow and specific, such as one particular aspect of social media.
  • Check availability of resource material. Do a few quick searches to see what material is available on your topic. Hit the library to see if there is acceptable material you can use.
  • Brainstorm your outline. This is the critical step. Your final paper will only be as good as the outline from which you’re working.
  • Write a rough draft, then edit, edit and edit again. The first draft should be freely written and focused on content, not concerning yourself with grammar and construction so much as getting your material in order. You go back for the next draft and edit your grammar, sentence structure, etc. Then you do it again to make certain your format is proper.
  • Wrap it up. Make sure your bibliography and annotations are done in the style that your instructor wants. Consult a style manual if you need to.

Topic suggestions: Here’s a few suggested topics that may get your brainstorming session underway:

  • How do social media websites make the world bigger for the average person?
  • How can social media play a role in solving world problems?
  • Does involvement in social media have a detrimental effect on childhood development?
  • Does social media encourage the spread of terrorism ideology?
  • Is social media becoming the norm for human interaction?
  • Is it dangerous for young children to interact on social media sites?
  • How can parents monitor their child’s presence on social media?
  • Can social media impact local, state and national elections?
  • Does social media play a role in shaping public policy?
  • How much social media interaction is too much?
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