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.

Download this list in RTF format

Download this list in PDF format

101 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 tornadoes?
  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.

Looking For More Resources?
Persuasive Essay Topics
Narrative Essay Topics and Story Ideas
School Project Ideas
All Reading Worksheets

Still looking for something? Search here.
Leave a comment


  1. sandeep kumar

     /  August 24, 2015

    Hello, i want to research topic in field of mechanical engineering which is related to thermal power plant.

  2. Misty

     /  August 9, 2015

    I am an English major. I am working on an annotated bibliography on a topic within my field of study. I actually liked your suggestion on school funding and have added it to my list of possibilities. Actually it was the first on the list since my mind went completely blank, but it got me started and now I have several more that I actually though of myself. So, thank you for your help and have a great day!

  3. Sierra Conchinha

     /  July 22, 2015

    I have a research paper, and we have to choose a turning point in history to write about, Any suggestions?

    • Yeah, I’d argue that the biggest turning point in history was either the initiation of the Columbian Exchange in 1492 or when Martin Luther rebelled against the Catholic Church. History is full of major turning points, however.

  4. Jade

     /  July 20, 2015

    I am twelve years old and i have just broke up for summer, my mother and I have considered it a educational theory to see whether or not doing an assessment on various different and unique questions will help me in the future. For example usually when i go back to school after the long period of time away from it my brain tends to lack in knowledge so if I were to continuously work my brain throughout the holidays I might find the struggle some start of year essays a slight bit easier. Anyway I really appreciate these questions and will find a fantastic purpose towards then, thank you x

  5. karolina

     /  July 18, 2015

    I reseach lots of things. Blechley Park is very interesting

  6. jeñnufer ann c rait

     /  July 8, 2015

    Mrm Morton
    i am last year of my masteral degree. could you help me decìde on the topic which is related to education
    thànks a lot

    • Hi. I am interested in disparities in local school funding. Why does one locality have deep pockets while others struggle to acquire basic resources?

  7. Neo

     /  July 2, 2015

    Good Morning,
    Thank you for this post…

    I’m really interested in writing about cyber crimes and their affects..

  8. Luula

     /  June 30, 2015

    Plz suggest me a topics headline about invironmental health for research proposal

    • Sure, climate change is a hot issue. How about that? What is being done to prevent climate change? Should more be done? What should be done?

  9. Jane D

     /  June 28, 2015

    hello, i am trying to create a research topic question on the gender wage gap but am having a hard time. would you be able to help?

  10. Michael B.

     /  June 25, 2015

    I am currently taking an English Course for college and I am stuck between doing a topic on solar energy, anxiety disorder, or gay rights. The problem is that they have to be narrow and I’m having trouble narrowing any of them to give me a nice 8 page paper. Any suggestions?

    • None of those topics are narrow. In fact, they are overly broad for an 8 page paper. Choose one and begin learning more about it. Once you have read 5 or so sources, you should have some interesting things to say about the subject.

  11. Jay Lai

     /  June 23, 2015

    I am doing Research Project in my senior year and I need a topic. I been having trouble generating a question. Can you please help me generate a question along the lines of…’How to design and produce a modernized costume with cultural elements’.?
    -Jay Lai

  12. Atul howal

     /  June 5, 2015

    Please Suggest me new topic for research paper in IT Field

    • Ok, how about addressing the dwindling supply of IPv4 addresses. How are companies dealing with this? Is IPv6 ready? What is preventing people from embracing IPv6?

  13. Anthony Armstrong

     /  May 30, 2015

    Thanks a lot for this website! Right now I have a research project for school and couldn’t think of any topics until now.

  14. savindi

     /  May 28, 2015

    Actually this was very hepful

  15. salman

     /  May 27, 2015

    i want to write a report on Reading habit, preference of reading in girls and boys, perception of reading as girl things not a masculine activity.
    but a problem is i never written any report of-sort so really confused.
    any idea about research statement ?
    problem statement with objects?
    thank you

    • Your topic seems interesting but perhaps to narrow. When writing a research paper, you kind of have to build from the available research. Try to find information about reading and gender, read all that you can, and build your statement from there. That way you will build your sources into your writing. It is surely the best way for you to go.

  16. Sandra

     /  May 6, 2015

    Topic: Why was communism unsuccessful in so many countries?
    This was every helpful, because I got to do a research paper on what interest me. Thank you!

  17. Alma Piña

     /  April 19, 2015

    Topic to add: How do the Koch brothers affect society? (I.e. economy, politics, education etc.)

  18. Jackson Whitehead

     /  April 17, 2015

    is there something about tv shows

  19. Emily Kaiser

     /  April 15, 2015

    This was very helpful because I got my whole class to pick a number and they would have to do a report about that question. Thank you internet for helping my class do something besides playing games all day.

  1. 100 Resources for Homework Help |
  2. Identifying Credible Internet Research Sources | 5 Things to Look For | ereadingworksheets
  3. Identifying Credible Research Sources | 5 Things to Look For | ereadingworksheets

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By Using This Website You Agree to the Terms of Use and are aware of our privacy policy.