research paper topics

research paper topics

Writing a research paper may seem challenging, even though it is a substantial part of everyday student life. You are required to write at least one research paper in a semester for the majority of your subjects.

Do not underestimate research projects. They will demand a lot of time and effort from you. At the same time, do not let your research paper give you anxiety or hurt your overall studies.

To minimize worries and stress while working on the research paper, you must be confident in your topic. There are times when you are assigned the topic, but more frequently, you will have to create one yourself.

The discussion you start should be thought-provoking and intriguing. If your content is unique and interesting, you will definitely get a high grade and respect from your professors.

How to select the best research paper topic?

When choosing your research paper topic, you need to make sure it is neither boring nor overdone. An interesting and innovative topic will intrigue your readers and motivate them to read the entire piece. But if you don’t know how to create a topic on your own, use the help of our editors.

Here are some things to consider when selecting an appropriate topic:


It’s no secret that you will not be able to write a good insightful research paper if you are not interested in the subject overall, or in the topic in general. On the other hand, if the topic is linked to the field of your interest, you can consider yourself lucky.

Passion and interest in a topic will make it easier to explore the theme and write about it. If you enjoy science, you should be able to talk non-stop about it. The same goes for writing about it.


You need to be sure to understand everything clearly when you choose an essay topic. Do not hesitate to ask questions if there are some unclear points. The more you understand, the simpler it is for you to write a successful research paper. You need to show the readers that you’re a master of the topic and not a confused newbie who does not know what you’re talking about.


You need to completely understand that you are not writing a descriptive essay. A research paper is an accurate and thorough work, which is based on facts. You cannot waterdown your text. Your statement should be supported with examples or references to other reputable research and academic work.


How innovative can you be when discussing The French Revolution or Pearl Harbor? However, an innovative approach can give you the edge among other students. A topic should address the matter from a different and surprising perspective. With a deep investigation, you may even find the little known facts that can blow your readers’ minds. This approach will intrigue your readers and will make you research paper stand out..

Ideas for Research Paper Topics

Without a good topic, writing a research paper can be a student’s worst nightmare. So, how do you come up with one? There are dozens of ways to brainstorm, such as discussing with classmates, reading topic prompts, sample papers, magazines, journals, blogs, or books.

Research Paper Topic by Category

Here are some examples of topics you may choose:

Argumentative Research Paper Topics

You have to present facts to demonstrate a clear understanding of the topic. Your introduction and concluding paragraph must be equally strong. Take a look at the following argumentative research topics examples:

  1. Are athletes good role models?
  2. Is the minimum wage too high?
  3. Homelessness: Who is to blame?
  4. Do we need shorter working weeks?
  5. What is the ideal age of consuming alcohol?
Persuasive Research Paper Topics

As a speaker or writer, it is your responsibility to persuade the reader about an issue. Persuasive writing, therefore, should move people and shake their emotions. If, for example, you want to convince people coffee is good for their bodies, then you must do it artistically, and convincingly.

Take a look at these examples of persuasive research topics:

  1. Using animals to conduct research experiments is wrong.
  2. Parents should monitor the websites their children visit.
  3. Domestic gender violence is on the rise.
  4. Children’s exposure to media: Do parental controls work?
  5. There are many cybercrimes today, and they are going to increase.
  6. America should adopt a policy of non-involvement in global conflicts.
Controversial Topics for Research Paper

There are people who like to court controversy whenever they say or do something, more so in public. A good example here is an activist. Whether it is advocacy for gay rights or same-sex marriage, writing on issues like these can be painstakingly difficult. So, you need a strong topic right from the beginning. Controversial topics for a research paper like the following will most certainly get you moving in the right direction:

  1. Gay partners and child adoption.
  2. Surrogate mothers and societal worldview.
  3. Violence in media content.
  4. STEM subjects should be mandatory.
  5. Sex education in middle school.
  6. Should homework be abolished?

Best Research Paper Topics 2020

Maybe you have picked a research topic from the above categories for your paper. However, a good college student knows you need a plan B. So here are some other great topics.

  1. Is college education in line with the job market?
  2. Should colleges be faith-based institutions?
  3. Should universities have special accommodation facilities for the disabled?
  4. How has the institution of marriage changed in the postmodern world?
  5. Is there a difference between a man and a woman’s heart?
  6. What are the possible health benefits of childbearing and parenting?
  7. Exploring unfair child labor in the workplace.
  8. The significance of ethics to business and how to control bad behavior.
  9. How is cross-border BPO affecting the gross domestic product in your country?
  10. Which companies will make it to the top 5 best in the next decade?
  11. Terrorism and how it affects businesses.
  12. Are universities becoming business-driven?
  13. Causes of data rape and how to prevent it.
  14. Should licensed gun holders be allowed to carry their weapons to school?
  15. Ex-convicts and job searching. Is it difficult finding employment?
  16.  Should colleges pay student-athletes and how should they do it?
  17. What should be the basis of workplace promotion: seniority, degree, or performance evaluation?
  18. The significance of search engine optimization on businesses today.
  19. Should women be allowed into extreme sports?
  20. Is feminism changing American society?
Research Paper Topics By Level of Education

Notably, topic difficulty or complexity varies with the level of education. A graduate student will write a high school essay with great ease, while the reverse will result in a lot of difficulties on the part of the student.

In this post, we also help you choose topics based on your academic level, while keeping in mind that research paper writing lends credence to student performance.

High School Research Paper Topics

If you are a student in high school, here is a list of topics that you may consider:

  1. Should the government legalize the use of smartphones in high school classrooms?
  2. Leadership training in high school.
  3. Are secondary schools doing enough in harnessing the debating skills of students?
  4. Explore Plato’s philosophy of mathematics.
College Research Paper Topics

Next, here are some college research paper topics to choose from. They include the following:

  1. Explore the design and construction of thermal plants around the globe.
  2. Analyze how the free software movement is positively transforming the world.
  3. Analyze cognitive development in children.
  4. How does the government assess the health care needs of communities?
  5. Pre-election and the effects on voter conduct.
  6. Discuss how to plan for college tuition.
  7. How does menstruation affect young girls?
  8. Substance abuse among college students and its effects on their performance and behavior.
  9. What brings about societal stereotypes?
  10. Factual evidence that AIDS originated from monkeys.
Research Paper Topics By Subject

Another way of choosing the best research paper topic is based on the subject, whether you are a college or high school student. Whether it is on biology, physics, science, literature, history, or psychology, this approach works at all levels of education.

Research Paper Topics on Technology
  1. Cybersecurity: Can we really be safe?
  2. How can technology help in preventing terrorist attacks?
  3. How close did we get to Artificial Intelligence?
  4. What technological innovations promise to change the third decade of the 21st century?
  5. How do regular people influence technological progress?
  6. What technologies does NASA use to explore Mars?
  7. How did Bill Gates and Steve Jobs change the world?
  8. How did cloud technologies change data storing?
  9. Can virtual reality substitute for an actual reality?
  10. What is the future of the internet?
Research Paper Topics on Environment
  1. How did climate change in the last 30 years?
  2. Why some believe that global warming is a hoax?
  3. What are the best ways to reduce global warming?
  4. How does global warming alter wildlife?
  5. Ocean pollution: Unseen tragedies.
  6. Effective ways of reducing air pollution.
  7. How can alternative types of energy help to preserve the Earth’s natural resources?
  8. Endangered species – How can we preserve them?
  9. Recycling. What did you do to make the world a better place?
  10. Drinking water for all – How can we achieve it?
Research Paper Topics on Legal Issues
  1. How do torrenting sites influence creativity and copyright?
  2. Should marijuana be legalized at the national level?
  3. How did the legalization of same-sex marriage influence the USA?
  4. Are punishments for sex crimes fair?
  5. Should there be a law preventing cyber-bullying?
  6. Where is the line between artistic photos and pornography?
  7. How does a new adoption law in Russia refuse orphans their chance for happiness?
  8. Various laws on abortion around the world.
  9. How do prostitution laws differ around the world?
Topics on Business
  1. How can one turn a business idea into a successful startup?
  2. How can creative marketing increase your sales?
  3. Does taxation aim to kill small businesses?
  4. Effective time-management for big and small teams.
  5. Is multitasking a productive method of work?
  6. Sexual harassment in the working environment.
  7. How benefits can make your employees happy.
  8. How do big corporations regularly break the law and get away with it?
  9. What are the various minimum wages around the world? Should The Universal Declaration of Human Rights control them?
  10. What were the most successful businesses in the first two decades of the 21st century?
Topics on World Politics
  1. How did Angela Merkel change Europe?
  2. Impeachment against Donald Trump: Will it happen?
  3. The consequences of Brexit for European values.
  4. Is Vladimir Putin sponsoring global terrorism?
  5. How can world politicians unite against the threat that Russia poses?
  6. Can North and South Korea unite again?
  7. How can we eliminate dictatorial regimes in the 21st century?
  8. Conflicts in Africa.
  9. Do refugees pose any threat to the hosting country?
  10. How can the world unite to fight racism?
Topics on Religion
  1. Is Christianity at its dusk?
  2. Can any religion justify crimes against humanity?
  3. The most popular new age religions.
  4. Sexual abuse in the church.
  5. Should religious beliefs influence health matters?
  6. How do various religions oppress women?
  7. The political context of the global religions throughout time.
  8. How does agnosticism balance between atheism and various religions?
  9. Are we witnessing a new religion forming?
  10. Myths of creation through global religions.
Topics on Health
  1. The effects of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana on a human body.
  2. Vaccination in the 21st century.
  3. The most controversial issues of birth control.
  4. Alzheimer’s: ways of prevention.
  5. Euthanasia – An assisted suicide?
  6. How can research help cure AIDS?
  7. Are there effective ways to prevent cancer?
  8. How do fats positively affect the human body and the mind?
  9. Anorexia and obesity – Two sides to one story.
  10. The importance of mental health.
Topics on Social Issues
  1. How does social media influence interpersonal communication?
  2. How can team sports affect social abilities?
  3. LGBT tolerance around the world.
  4. Global citizenship: Pros and cons.
  5. How to deal with social anxiety.
  6. How can one defend privacy issues on Facebook and other social media?
  7. How to stop bullying in schools.
  8. Discrimination of black women in modern-day America.
  9. Ethnicities that created the USA.
  10. Gender stereotypes in the workplace.
Topics on Education
  1. How to achieve literacy for all.
  2. Is it worth accumulating a huge debt to achieve higher education in the USA?
  3. How can the government make a teacher’s profession become more appealing?
  4. How can we modernize education to make it more appealing?
  5. How do dress codes in schools discriminate against women?
  6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling?
  7. Is the present educational system capable of creating geniuses?
  8. The importance of multilingual education.
  9. Guns in school. How to achieve a safe environment.
  10. Do grades do justice to students’ knowledge?
Topics on Popular Culture
  1. The best music projects of 2020.
  2. How do reality shows influence teenagers?
  3. Do celebrities form a specific cast in today’s world?
  4. How much do people depend on heroes? Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes.
  5. How do American and Japanese popular cultures intertwine with each other?
  6. Sexism and ageism in modern Hollywood.
  7. Do shows like American Idol, the Voice, and X-factor really aim to find and develop talents?
  8. The female role in the world according to Beyonce’s Lemonade.
  9. How did YouTube change popular culture?
  10. The meaning of the Harry Potter Book Series in promoting reading.
Still lost? Download a Comprehensive Research Paper Guide completely FREE. It consists of 7 simple steps that can lead you to a perfect paper. We based it on analysis of 1000+ student’s papers, ordered by ThePandaPapers customers Get it nowInteresting and Funny Research Paper Topics

You may also want to base your research paper on something interesting or funny, which is not new. However, how you do it should set apart your skills and writing prowess from that of other students. Here is a list of funny research paper topics to choose from:

  1. What if sword-swallowers ate the swords’ knuсkles?
  2. Pop Art and Lady Gaga.
  3. Erasing bad memories and keeping good ones.
  4. Cocaine and its effects on bees.
  5. Explore the possibility of unicorns.
  6. Is country music causing suicidal tendencies?
  7. Sex, love, and robots.
  8. Self-defense using flatulence.
  9. Do woodpeckers ever suffer from headaches?
  10. Which breaks a human skull better: Full or empty beer bottles?
  11. Is alien abduction real? Has it ever taken place?
  12. Which is heavier: A pound of lead or feathers?
  13. Effects of water on breakfast cereal.
  14. Does wet underwear make people feel colder in winter?
  15. Chicken feathers: Can they help determine the speed of tornados?
  16. Is farting relieving?
  17. Do falling coconuts pose a threat to people nearby?

Do not be afraid to conduct thorough research. To write a good research paper you need to be confident in your argument. Make use of the suggested research paper topic ideas and you will be successful.

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