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I need help finding a topic for my research paper (Intro to Linguistics class)

Oct 8, 2009   #1
I don't know if this is the right place or not.

Ok, I am in an Intro to Linguistics class (undergraduate) and I have this paper that I have to come up with a topic real soon.

It's some type of research paper that I have to come up with my own theory about linguistics.

I need help real bad. My teacher won't help me at all with choosing a topic, no list, no suggestions. She only approves or disapproves the topic. I have given her 9 topics so far and she has shot all of them down. I need a help finding a topic by Monday or else the highest grade I will make in the paper is a "B".

I have never written a paper like this before. I usually just grab resources and try to write what the people from the resources with my own words. I never made my own theory and I am new to linguistics. I only know a little bit about this subject. (Hello, this is an INTRO class)

The paper has to be something about linguistics. (Not Language Acquisition) I have to write a 9-12 pages about it with 10 resources. I am not asking people to find resources, I just need help finding a topic for my paper/ help making a new theory.

PLEASE HELP!!!!! 70% of my final grade is this paper.

Thanks in advance!

Can you try and do a paper on Psycholinguistics? Psycholinguistics is the study of psychological and neurological factors that enable humans to acquire and use language. Maybe try to do a topic on how we know to put words in a certain order to produce syntax? I'm sorry if this is no help I'm not completely clear on this topic, but good luck to you.
Oct 8, 2009   #3
What is it that you don't understand about the topic? The study of psycholinguistics? Or what my teacher is asking me what to do?

I just don't know how to make up a theory. (One of the reasons why I'm not a science major :P)
I wasn't taught in grade school how to make my own theory about anything. Just memorizing things for tests and essays.

She said that psycholinguistics is ok, I just have to come up with some resources and come up with a specific new theory. I don't see this assignment fair because we are just starting to learn linguistics and she is asking to write a big paper about something that I have very little knowledge about it.

How does one come up with theories? I'm so stuck on this. I really need to pass this course, I can't skip it. I have studied a little bit of linguistics before this class and I really enjoy it, but she is making it harder than it really is and making it less enjoyable. I can't drop the class for various reasons and she is the only one teaching this course at my university.

Btw, thanks for responding.
I'm writing a research paper right now too, except on psychology. I'm not familiar with linguistics. What I just told you was from some background Wikipedia searching on linguistics :p

Do some background research on psycholinguistics, if that's what your sub-subject is. Look at the various aspects of it.

Coming up with a theory does sound difficult. So it's inventing a theory as opposed to researching a theory and adding your own insights?

Maybe you can research theories that interest you and then form your own arguments based off of that?

Sorry, this is my train of thought. Haha.
Regional variations in speech.
The language instinct (Pinker).
Nonverbal communication.
The meaning of silence.
Cultural linguistics.
Class variants.

Maybe these will help.
Oct 22, 2009   #6
Have you come up with something?

It's very unusual for a lecturer to ask a student to come up with a new theory in an Intro class. Did you misinterpret the task? Were you asked to look for a theory and tasked to prove it instead?

If your lecturer did ask you to come up with a theory, you can do something that you can observe at your university... or at your dorm, at home, wherever you are spending most of your time.

It can be:
- Hand gestures of lecturers (something really easy to observe when you are attending class!)
- Foreign students and their assimilation into English based classes
- How body language betray sleepy students

Take it easy! Research and theory can be anything and everything and most of them are over rated!

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