‘I-Search Topics’: Development of Critical Thinking


Most academic institutions require students to write various kinds of research papers to complete different courses. A good research paper involves a careful and in-depth analysis of the topic of interest and requires the student to do thorough research by consulting various information sources. In most cases, instructors give specific issues and guidelines for discussion that the student must follow to ensure a good research paper. Although providing a particular topic for research creates uniformity and more insight during discussions, some students may find the issues insignificant in their lives or challenging to investigate. Therefore, a different type of research is essential, which covers a student’s interest while adding valuable information for academic excellence. This essay discusses the ‘I-search topics’ research and discusses a particular ‘I-search topic’ for future research.

‘I-Search Topics’

When writing a research paper, a student needs to have a research topic to guide the research process. ‘I-search topics’ refer to research topics that a student chooses from an individual area of interest rather than a common topic. The issue can involve a personal story that a student wishes to address or an area of interest that piques significant interest to the writer. Research papers using ‘I-search topics’ use less formal writing formats and language. Also, the paper explains a writer’s process in searching for information and what the writer learns about the ‘I- search topic’ at the end of the research.

‘I-search topics can present analytical, descriptive, argumentative explorative, or comparative research papers. Most insert topics involve an individual personal life in exploring and discovering certain aspects of their lives. An ‘I-search topic’ answers individual curiosity about a particular subject or analyses a consequence or causes of a specific action. Like any other research topic, the writer must have sufficient quality information to write a good paper.

Discussion on the Sample ‘I-Search’ Papers

In the sample paper about the effects of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) on soldiers, the writer describes how soldiers suffer due to post-war traumas to help the affected soldiers live with the disease. “Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD comprise recurrent memories or nightmares of the event, sleeplessness, loss of concentration, and feelings of numbness, resentment or irritability, or being always on guard” (Make the Connection, 2021, para 3), which gives a clear picture of the soldier’s plight. In the sample paper about effective education systems, the writer analyses the American education system while comparing it to other countries’ education systems to show its incompetency. In the final sample paper, the writer narrates his personal story on the consequences of divorce, particularly to his child. At the end of each document, all writers get more insight into their ‘I-search topics.’

The final draft ‘I-search’ paper that captured my interest is divorce and children. Divorce is a very sensitive matter that affects individuals on a personal level. Many divorce cases cause families to go through difficult times, particularly children who do not understand why the family has to split. When filing for divorce, most parents think of their immediate emotional needs without considering their children’s reactions and how they would cope after the divorce.

Divorce affects a child’s social interaction, emotional stability, adaptability to change, and anger issues. I live in a close-knit family with both parents; therefore, it is hard to imagine life without one or both parents due to divorce. Life would be void of parental warmth and guidance, leading to loneliness and depression. A child needs to grow up with both parents to appreciate family ties and have good future relationships. I am glad that Olivia’s father realizes his mistake of divorcing without considering his and Olivia’s emotional state after the divorce, and he is trying to mend his way to be a better father. I commend Olivia’s dad for being open in narrating his journey through divorce regardless of the emotional and spiteful issues he went through.

My ‘I-Search Topic’: Should Marijuana be Federally Legalized?

My topic for ‘I-search’ is whether marijuana should be federally permitted. The topic is not affected by any of the provided sample papers; therefore, it is an independent interest. Drug and substance abuse is a significant problem among the youth in the United States, and marijuana is among the most commonly abused drug. Controversies on whether marijuana should be federally legalized have brought a lot of heated debates between states, health institutions, and the federal government, with each presenting reasons as to why, or why not, marijuana should be legalized. Among the debates are the economic benefits of legalizing marijuana.

Most individual who sells marijuana illegally make money but risk being arrested for the illegal business, therefore, they tend to hide their wealth and drug business in general. I have always wondered what it would be like if these individuals could sell the substance freely and accumulate legal wealth. By legalizing marijuana, individuals selling the drug will be freer to sell, leading to more cash and government revenue. Also, high sales can boost the economic status of the drug sellers since most of them live in poor conditions due to hiding the business. Apart from increasing marijuana sales, legalizing the substance can create job opportunities for the youth who can open businesses or cultivate the plant. Creating jobs for the youth promotes both social and economic growth and can also reduce the rate of substance addiction as the youth will not be idle and abuse drugs. It is, therefore, my interest to find out how legalizing marijuana can lead to more economic benefits.

Modes of Development

I will use case study analysis to find out the economic benefits of legalizing marijuana. I will consult newspapers, previous research, trade and statistical journals, and health articles discussing the health and economic effects of legalizing marijuana. I will avoid plagiarism by keeping track of all the research sources I will consult to obtain information. Since most of my research information will come from recorded data, I will paraphrase the data from the articles and journals while adding my opinions where necessary. I will also give credit to all the research sources I will use by citing the work, creating a reference list for further research, and giving credit to the researcher’s work.


‘I-search topics’ gives students a platform to explore their interests while learning. Allowing students to choose research topics helps learners to develop critical thinking and decision-making skills. Also, students get more motivation to do thorough research and complete research papers on time if the research topic involves a significant aspect of their lives or personal interest. Through ‘I-search topics,’ students get complete control of their academic, social, and career expectations because the research topics must relate to their interests. Generally, ‘I-search topic’ papers are more interesting to write than formal research papers.


Make the Connection. (2021). PTSD | Symptoms & treatment | military veterans | make the connection. Maketheconnection.net.

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"‘I-Search Topics’: Development of Critical Thinking." ChalkyPapers, 7 Feb. 2023, chalkypapers.com/i-search-topics-development-of-critical-thinking/.


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ChalkyPapers. 2023. "‘I-Search Topics’: Development of Critical Thinking." February 7, 2023. https://chalkypapers.com/i-search-topics-development-of-critical-thinking/.

1. ChalkyPapers. "‘I-Search Topics’: Development of Critical Thinking." February 7, 2023. https://chalkypapers.com/i-search-topics-development-of-critical-thinking/.


ChalkyPapers. "‘I-Search Topics’: Development of Critical Thinking." February 7, 2023. https://chalkypapers.com/i-search-topics-development-of-critical-thinking/.