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Research Paper Topics

By definition a research paper requires the writer to learn a great deal about their subject, so it is always a good practice to select a topic that truly interests you before you begin gathering sources.  If you are interested in your topic, learning about it will be more pleasurable and you will write with greater passion, so choose your topic thoughtfully.  Use the following list of 101 research paper topics as a starting point for your paper.  As you begin learning and writing about your topic, you should revise or amend your research question or thesis statement to better match the information that you are interpreting, analyzing, and expressing.  Let your interest guide you.  If you’re not having fun learning and writing about your topic, perhaps you should pick one that interests you more.

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101 Research Paper Topics

By:  Research Paper Topics

  1. Why do we sleep?
  2. How do GPS systems work?
  3. Who was the first person to reach the North Pole?
  4. Did anybody ever escape Alcatraz?
  5. What was life like for a gladiator?
  6. What are the effects of prolonged steroid use on the human body?
  7. What happened during the Salem witch trials?
  8. Are there any effective means of repelling insects?
  9. How did trains and railroads change life in America?
  10. What may have occurred during the Roswell UFO incident of 1947?
  11. How is bulletproof clothing made?
  12. What Olympic events were practiced in ancient Greece?
  13. What are the major theories explaining the disappearance of the dinosaurs?
  14. How was the skateboard invented and how has it changed over the years?
  15. How did the long bow contribute to English military dominance?
  16. What caused the stock market crash of 2008?
  17. How did Cleopatra come to power in Egypt what did she do during her reign?
  18. How has airport security intensified since September 11th, 2001?
  19. What is life like inside of a beehive?
  20. Where did hip hop originate and who were its founders?
  21. What makes the platypus a unique and interesting mammal?
  22. How does tobacco use affect the human body?
  23. How do computer viruses spread and in what ways do they affect computers?
  24. What is daily life like for a Buddhist monk?
  25. What are the origins of the conflict in Darfur?
  26. How did gunpowder change warfare?
  27. In what ways do Wal-Mart stores affect local economies?
  28. How were cats and dogs domesticated and for what purposes?
  29. What do historians know about ninjas?
  30. How has the music industry been affected by the internet and digital downloading?
  31. What were the circumstances surrounding the death of Osama Bin Laden?
  32. What was the women’s suffrage movement and how did it change America?
  33. What efforts are being taken to protect endangered wildlife?
  34. How much does the war on drugs cost Americans each year?
  35. How is text messaging affecting teen literacy?
  36. Are humans still evolving?
  37. What technologies are available to home owners to help them conserve energy?
  38. How have oil spills affected the planet and what steps are being taken to prevent them?
  39. What was the Magna Carta and how did it change England?
  40. What is the curse of the pharaohs?
  41. Why was Socrates executed?
  42. What nonlethal weapons are used by police to subdue rioters?
  43. How does the prison population in America compare to other nations?
  44. How did ancient sailors navigate the globe?
  45. Can gamblers ever acquire a statistical advantage over the house in casino games?
  46. What is alchemy and how has it been attempted?
  47. How are black holes formed?
  48. How was the assassination of Abraham Lincoln plotted and executed?
  49. Do the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks?
  50. How do submarines work?
  51. Do lie detector tests accurately determine truthful statements?
  52. How did Cold War tension affect the US and the world?
  53. What happened to the lost settlers at Roanoke?
  54. How does a hybrid car save energy?
  55. What ingredients can be found inside of a hotdog?
  56. How did Julius Caesar affect Rome?
  57. What are some common sleep disorders and how are they treated?
  58. How did the Freedom Riders change society?
  59. How is internet censorship used in China and around the world?
  60. What was the code of the Bushido and how did it affect samurai warriors?
  61. What are the risks of artificial tanning or prolonged exposure to the sun?
  62. What programs are available to help war veterans get back into society?
  63. What steps are involved in creating a movie or television show?
  64. How have the film and music industries dealt with piracy?
  65. How did Joan of Arc change history?
  66. What responsibilities do secret service agents have?
  67. How does a shark hunt?
  68. What dangers and hardships did Lewis and Clark face when exploring the Midwest?
  69. Has the Patriot Act prevented or stopped terrorist acts in America?
  70. Do states that allow citizens to carry guns have higher or lower crime rates?
  71. How are the Great Depression and the Great Recession similar and different?
  72. What are the dangers of scuba diving and underwater exploration?
  73. How does the human brain store and retrieve memories?
  74. What was the Manhattan Project and what impact did it have on the world?
  75. How does stealth technology shield aircraft from radar?
  76. What causes tornados?
  77. Why did Marin Luther protest against the Catholic Church?
  78. How does a search engine work?
  79. What are the current capabilities and future goals of genetic engineers?
  80. How did the Roman Empire fall?
  81. What obstacles faced scientists in breaking the sound barrier?
  82. How did the black plague affect Europe?
  83. What happened to Amelia Earhart?
  84. What are the dangers and hazards of using nuclear power?
  85. How did Genghis Khan conquer Persia?
  86. What architectural marvels were found in Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire?
  87. From where does spam email come and can we stop it?
  88. How does night vision work?
  89. How did journalists influence US war efforts in Vietnam?
  90. What are the benefits and hazards of medical marijuana?
  91. What causes desert mirages and how do they affect wanderers?
  92. What was the cultural significance of the first moon landing?
  93. What are sinkholes and how are they formed?
  94. Have any psychics ever solved crimes or prevented them from occurring?
  95. Who is Vlad the Impaler and what is his connection to Count Dracula?
  96. What are the risks of climate change and global warming?
  97. What treatments are available to people infected with HIV and are they effective?
  98. Who was a greater inventor, Leonardo di Vinci or Thomas Edison?
  99. How are the Chinese and American economies similar and different?
  100. Why was communism unsuccessful in so many countries?
  101. In what ways do video games affect children and teenagers?

I hope this list will help you choose a topic for your research paper.  Remember that these ideas should be used as a starting point; you will have to make these topics your own during the writing and research process.  Don’t be afraid to alter and revise your thesis or research question to better match your interests or to align with your research.  Would you like to suggest a research paper topic?  Leave it in the comments below.

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208 Comments

  1. Selina Isabelle

     /  February 1, 2014

    Hi. My friend and I are greatly in need of topic for our research paper and we were wondering if the topic ‘gadgets and their effects to social life’ would be a good topic to propose? If it is, could you lend us a hand in narrowing it down to something more specific? Thankyou. :)

    Reply
    • Wow.

      That’s a big and interesting topic.
      Maybe focus on a particular social network
      and its particular affect,

      like how instagram or snapchat change photo habits of young people.

      Best wishes!

      Reply
  2. Princess

     /  February 6, 2014

    Hi, i’m looking for a research topic related to Mathematics and finance. Any ideas? Thanks

    Reply
    • Sure. Why don’t you explain the mathematics behind a financial product, like a derivative? Or, explain how futures work in the coffee industry.

      Reply
  3. How about researching Pheidippides?

    Reply
  4. A Fictitious Heroine

     /  February 21, 2014

    I am in 9th grade, and I was thinking about doing a research paper on ‘What is a black hole?’. Only I’m not sure I could talk about black holes for ten pages. I’m not very good at fluffing a paper, let alone 10. My average paper length is around 5 pages max.

    Reply
  5. Kris Wolvenpads

     /  February 24, 2014

    Ummmm…. you misspelled Joan of Arc…. Arc is spelled with a C not a K

    Reply
  6. Ewilli Meshack Azibanator

     /  March 20, 2014

    Could you please assist me get a research topic on either waste management, pest control and epidemics. Any of the three fields mentioned will be good for me. thanks.
    kind regards,
    Ewilli Meshack Azibanator.

    Reply
    • I would be interested in researching societies
      that have developed interesting solutions to their
      waste problems.

      Surely, there are nations doing a better job than ours.

      Reply
  7. Louna Peck

     /  March 30, 2014

    Hello, I’m looking for a topic related to music and/or medicine for a research paper due in May. Any ideas? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Sorry, I know that I’m super late on this:

      How about the effects of music on the ill?
      Music as a medical treatment?

      Surely some rouge psychologists have delved into this.

      I recall hearing of experiments with classical music being
      played in prisons and such.

      This might be interesting to look into.
      Best wishes!

      Reply
  8. Do you think how people get migraines would be a easy good research topic.

    Reply
    • Well, it will be good if you are interested in it. Research papers are never easy if you are doing them correctly.

      Reply
  9. on your 100 101 you did the ones with a L. I don’t know how you got L01 L00

    Reply
    • They are not Ls. The numbers are in a column, and the 1 in 100 and 101 gets sort of pushed out of visibility. I will fix it one day.

      Reply
  10. haley

     /  April 21, 2014

    hello everyone. for my english research paper she told us to write a paper on what we were most interested in doing after we graduate. which im trying to decide between criminal law and rN. what are some good topics for either?

    Reply
    • I would attempt to combine the two topics and research what methods are in use or development to prevent nurses from abusing prescription narcotics. Kindest regards.

      Reply
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