Writing a research paper can often seem like a daunting task, yet it is nonetheless a frequently assigned to students. Most courses will assign at least one research paper for students to complete throughout the course of the semester. Effective research papers require significant time commitment and effort by the student, and consequently, you should be prepared to invest in both of these equally. However, you also shouldn’t let the assignment unduly stress you out and prevent you from succeeding in your academic career. To approach the paper with a minimum of anxiety, you should pick a topic that you feel comfortable writing about, and one that you are confident that you can grasp the relevant scholarship on. While occasionally some instructors will assign a research topic to students, often you will be asked to come up with one on your own. All of the research you will undertake must relate directly to your chosen topic. Please read on to find a list of topics that are interesting and engaging for both the writer and the reader.
How should you choose an optimal research paper topic?
A good paper topic should be interesting and should incorporate a fresh idea or position – try to avoid cliche topics which will likely bore your reader. If your reader’s curiosity is peaked by your topic, he or she is much more likely to invest the time to read, rather than just skim it. Below are some pointers to keep in mind when you are deciding on your topic:
Your area of interest
This may seem a redundant piece of advice, but it cannot be stressed enough that if you are not interested in the topic, your work will reflect this in a negative way, as will, in turn, your grade. Moreover, it is simply just easier to research and write on a topic that you care about – if you are motivated by your research question, you will find doing the work to substantiate it much less burdensome. In the process of research you will even likely discover new information about it which will excite you. Think of it this way: if you like a particular tv show, you rarely stop talking about it – this same phenomenon applies to research writing.
The topic should be focused and clear
When you select a research topic, make sure it is one that you understand and have a firm grasp on. The more knowledge you have of the subject, the more likely you will be able to write a successful research paper. If there are aspects of it that are unclear to you, it might be best to forego it and opt for another paper topic. You need to demonstrate to your reader that you have mastery of the subject matter, and are not drifting aimlessly through the material.
Be concise and specific
A research paper is very different from a descriptive essay. It requires you to maintain a clear focus, and address your main points with supporting evidence. Tangents and overly descriptive details do not belong in a research paper, so please try to avoid them.
This may seem like an impossible feat if you are dealing with the well-worn subject matter, particularly in a discipline such as history where your topic may well have occurred hundreds of years ago. However, an innovative approach to the subject can make all the difference, particularly if in the course of your research you discover little-known facts about the subject that you can use as your primary focus. Alternatively, even approaching the topic from a new angle that has not been previously done will help to engage your reader and make it a memorable work.
Below are a list of potential research paper topics, organized by subject.
Research Paper Topics Addressing Technology
- How effective is cyber security?
- Can technology help to prevent potential terrorist attacks?
- Is Artificial Intelligence a potential technological accomplishment?
- Are there any technological developments that will likely affect us in 2030?
- Does the average person have an impact on technological development?
- With what technological devices does NASA investigate Mars?
- What impact did Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have on the world?
- What influence did cloud technologies have on online data storage?
- Can virtual reality be a satisfying substitute for actual reality?
- How might the internet change in the future?
Research Paper Topics Addressing the Environment
- How has the climate altered in the last three decades?
- What reasons do deniers of global warming give to support their position?
- What are the most efficient means that can be used to reduce global warming?
- What impact does global warming have on wildlife?
- The damage caused by ocean pollution.
- What are the most efficient ways to curtail air pollution?
- What alternative energy forms could be used to help retain the Earth’s natural resources?
- How might we preserve endangered species?
- Does recycling have a positive effect on the planet?
- How might drinkable water be made available to all persons?
Research Paper Topics Addressing Legal Issues
- In what way do downloading sites influence creativity as well as copyright issues?
- Should the government make marijuana legal?
- In what ways did the legalization of same-sex marriage impact the United States?
- Are punishments for crimes of a sexual nature just?
- Should a law be imposed to prevent cyber bullying?
- How does one determine the difference between an artistic photograph and pornography?
- Does a new adoption law in Russia negatively impact orphans?
- Examine and evaluate a variety of different abortion laws in place in a variety of different countries.
- Which countries seem to have effective capital punishment laws?
- Examine and evaluate the difference between prostitution laws in a variety of different countries.
Research Paper Topics Addressing Commerce
- Is it possible to transform a business idea into a profitable startup?
- How might creative marketing have a positive impact on sales?
- Does taxation have a negative effect on small businesses?
- What does good time management look like for small or large teams?
- Does multitasking aid or inhibit productivity at work?
- The work environment and sexual harassment.
- Do financial incentives from companies such as Google create employee satisfaction?
- How do large businesses manage to get away with legal violations?
- Examine and compare minimum wages worldwide. Should the Universal Declaration of Human rights be able to influence these?
- What businesses achieved the most success between 2000-2010?
Research Paper Topics Addressing Global Politics
- What influence did Angela Merkel have on Europe?
- Do you think Donald Trump will be impeached?
- What impact will Brexit have on European values?
- Does Vladimir Putin have a role in global terrorism?
- In what way could global politicians unite to confront the potential Russian threat?
- Is it possible for North and South Korea to become a united country again?
- How might dictatorial regimes be vanquished in the 21st century?
- What are some of the most important conflicts affecting the African people?
- Do refugees pose a potential threat to the security of the countries they emigrate to?
- Is it possible for a universal coalition to form against racism?
Research Paper Topics Addressing Religion
- Has Christianity’s relevance come to an end?
- Is it possible to justify crimes against humanity in any religious tradition?
- What are some of the more popular new age religions that are emerging?
- The history of sexual abuse in the Catholic church.
- Should religious convictions have any influence on medical considerations?
- Do women suffer oppression in many of the world’s predominant religions?
- How have the respective political contexts influenced world religions throughout history?
- How is agnosticism considered to be the middle ground between atheism and religion?
- Is there a new religion currently emerging?
- Creation myths in various world religions.
Research Paper Topics Addressing Health
- What effects do alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis have on the human body?
- What is the status of vaccination in our time?
- What are some of the issues about birth control that are the most contentious?
- Are there ways that Alzheimer’s disease might be prevented?
- Should euthanasia be considered assisted suicide?
- What role can research play in discovering a cure for AIDS?
- Are there scientifically proven ways that one can prevent cancer?
- In what way do fat cells have a positive impact on the human mind and body?
- Anorexia and obesity are opposite manifestations of the same underlying issue.
- How important is sound mental health?
Research Paper Topics Addressing Social Issues
- In what ways does social media have an impact on communication?
- In what ways can team sports influence the social sphere?
- The status of LGBT tolerance worldwide.
- What are some of the potential pros and cons of Global citizenship?
- What are some of the best strategies to combat social anxiety?
- Is it possible to maintain personal privacy on social media sites such as Facebook?
- What are some strategies that might effectively reduce bullying in schools?
- What discrimination do African American women still face in American society today?
- What are America’s cultural and ethnic roots?
- Are gender stereotypes present in today’s workplaces?
Research Paper Topics Addressing Education
- How might literacy be achieved by all nations and persons?
- Is achieving a higher education in American worth the large amount of debt it will incur?
- How might the government make the profession of teaching more appealing to potential candidates?
- Is there a way to modernize school curriculum to make it more engaging for students?
- In what ways does a dress code in school potentially discriminate against women?
- What are the pros and cons of homeschooling?
- Is our current education system able to produce intellectual geniuses?
- In what ways is a multilingual education important?
- How can we maintain a safe environment in schools in view of the widespread nature of gun violence?
- Are grades an accurate measurement of students’ knowledge?
Research Paper Topics Addressing Popular Culture
- What were the best music projects last year?
- What impact do reality tv shows have on teenagers?
- Do celebrities comprise a separate social class in today’s culture?
- Addressing the Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes, to what extent to people rely on heroes?
- Is there overlap and engagement between American and Japanese popular culture?
- Is modern Hollywood sexist and ageist?
- Do popular competitive reality shows like American Idol legitimately hope to discover and nurture new talent?
- According to Beyoncé’s Lemonade, what role should females have in today’s world?
- What influence did YouTube have on popular culture?
- What role does the interpretation of the Harry Potter books play in motivating people to read?
Be prepared to conduct thorough and accurate research. A strong research paper will demonstrate your confidence in your knowledge of the topic. The discussion you have begun should be thought-provoking and engaging. If your thesis statement is original and captivating, you will likely receive a high grade and the approval of your professors. Choosing one of our suggested topics will help you to begin writing a successful research paper.