Focusing on picking better paper topics

Part of being an academic involves writing papers. Picking the right topic is key to moving the paper forward. Striving toward the betterment of society through academic inquiry requires more than simply focusing on incremental improvements. Efforts have to be targeted on striving toward outcomes that break barriers. They have to push the edge of what is possible. Each and every effort has to be geared toward making meaningful and lasting progress. Those are lofty goals for academic papers. However, it is imperative that academic publications push things forward. Papers should not simply be published for the sake of publishing. Writers are welcome to write. A ton of forums exist for writing for the sake of writing.

Picking the right topic matters. The topic needs to be germane to the academy, meaningful to the author, and engaging for the reader. You have to find topics that almost pull you into writing mode. Passion tends to drive great papers forward. My whiteboard is starting to take shape with a list of three paper topics. Those topics will be the focus of my efforts this month. Every paper that is currently in progress has been set aside. They were nice and I am positive at the time they were meaningful. That point in time has passed.

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