I. INTRODUCTION The difference between analyzing a subject and merely writing about it is the heart of what distinguishes the research paper from journalistic writing. Research papers revolve around clear analytic topics. Good topics are narrow enough to be "doable" yet broad enough to avoid a "who cares?" reaction from readers. Good topics are ambitious enough to be challenging but not so overly ambitious that their scope may prevent realistic completion of the research project. Analytic questions are empirical puzzles that cannot be answered merely by describing the history and present circumstances of the object of investigation. Rather, qualitative or quantitative data about that object must be analyzed. If your paper can be completed merely by giving a history or description, you do not have an analytic topic.