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. ReHoo

     /  November 9, 2015

    hi, i am studying Bs nursing final year.. can you do me a favour. i want new and intresting topic for my BS level reasearc plz..

    • Hi. Perhaps research how an increase in prescriptions of drugs containing opioids since the 1990s have affected American society, medically and otherwise.

  2. Nasma

     /  November 8, 2015

    What about women rights in past and nowadays also in differnet countries as a good topic??

  3. Megan

     /  November 6, 2015

    Hi I am writing a research paper for an assignment and am struggling with a thesis.. I am thinking something along the lines of the focus on standardized testing in schools now and its negative effects. What are your thoughts?

  4. yasminnjaromay

     /  November 6, 2015

    hello Mr.Morton I am yasmin jaromay , i would like to request for your help about the title of our research paper all about global warming and its international ,national,local issues. please reply as soon as possible.thanks.

    • That seems like a very broad topic, but it is certainly an important one. I encourage you to get started and see which direction your research takes you. Best wishes!

  5. kusal

     /  November 5, 2015

    im a army officer waiting enter to enter defence services staff college in sri lanka army in january, what are the areas to do a research related to military

    • There are many interesting topics related to the military. Perhaps you could choose a historical topic, like a famous battle, or a modern one, like how drones are changing warfare. Best wishes!

  6. nalishebo

     /  October 24, 2015

    Help me with a research topic
    related to environmental health,am thinking in the lines of community health or solid waste management,

    • There are lots of interesting topics related to environmental health. I’ve had a lot of fun reading and writing about invasive species. Maybe look into Asian carp or mongooses in Hawaii. Best wishes!

  7. Gordon

     /  October 22, 2015

    Hi Mr. Morton, am doing a paper on the social intolerance accorded towards uncircumcised males in public universities. Any help please?

    • That’s an interesting topic. I don’t see how it pertains to universities, but the topic itself is interesting. I say go with it. Again, I don’t see how you’re going to work in this “universities” outlier, but start by gathering and reading some research, then see where that takes you. You can always shift the specifics of your thesis to go where the research takes you, which is a good approach. Best wishes.

  8. PIKU

     /  October 18, 2015

    Hi ! this is PIKU . i am an undergraduate student and looking for some good research topi for my english assignment.This is my first time that i will be writing a research paper.Dont know all the steps and about what kinds of topic really deserved to be researched on..Could you please help me with that?

    • I always say, research something in which you are interested. The research process is all about writing and reading. Those activities are a lot more enjoyable when you are interested in what you are reading and writing about. Therefore, I suggest that you choose a topic that you want to read four or five books or articles about. That’ll get you started. Once you learn enough about your topic, writing and speaking about it will come naturally.

  9. Gloria Lwembe

     /  October 17, 2015

    Hi,am in my final year and finding difficulties to choose a research topic relating to land and water, which has not been researched on.

    • If I had to write a research paper relating to land and water, I’d write about the South China Sea. I think that area is very relevant to current world affairs.

  10. amanda

     /  October 15, 2015

    I would like to be guided on a research that am thinking of ,…level of awareness and knowledge of cervical screening among university female students

    • I have no authority on that topic with which I could assist you; however, I do know about research papers. Whatever you’re writing about, the key is to become educated about your topic. Learn by reading articles and other texts. Use source texts that work well for you. Once you become an expert on your topic, explaining it to someone else shouldn’t be so hard. Best wishes.

  11. Tasha

     /  September 29, 2015

    I am taking English Composition 2. I am working on an annotated bibliography. The topic I decided on is “Why do people smoke”. Does the research topic and research question go hand in hand. Also if you think this is a interesting topic, what would be a potential thesis statement for this topic.

    Thank You

    • To me, this seems like a topic that will produce scant research. I could be wrong however. I think that you would have greater success researching the longterm effects of smoking. But, I hope that you prove me wrong. Best wishes!

  12. Aisha

     /  September 21, 2015

    How about a research topic in development studies

  13. Dennis Kutima

     /  September 18, 2015

    hi, please would you get me a relevant research question in banking and finance?

    • I lack the expertise to give you a good question, but I would be interested in researching specific actions that led to regulations in the industry. Have the regulations been effective?

  14. Ashley

     /  September 17, 2015

    Hi, I’m a student in maritime sector. I have to do a research topic for my English subject. It doesn’t necessarily need to relates with maritime, but need to be specific as time frame is only 12 weeks. Key words is that the problems to be solved in which it could be the environment or current problems preferred something that could relates with my institute itself. I do need your suggestion. Please feel free to reply me asap !

  15. Jeremy

     /  September 15, 2015

    i want to write a dissertation on urbanization and criminality. Can you propose a searchable topic for me?

    • What exactly do you mean by “urbanization” and “criminality”? Perhaps you should start by explaining what those ideas mean to you.

  16. Makayla

     /  September 10, 2015

    I am a freshman trying to do 40 hours of english work outside of english class for honors which gives me college credit. Which of these topics do you think would most likely take the longest to write? I was hoping to be able to write a seven to ten page essay, but I can’t seem to find the right topic.

    • You cannot write longer papers because of your topic. You write longer papers because of your interest in your topic. It is not uncommon for graduate students to write 7-10 page papers about a few paragraphs. Find a topic that interests you. Learn about it. Learn as much as you can. Then you will be ready to write about it. You can’t really skip those steps if you want to generate a quality piece of writing.

  17. Anne

     /  September 7, 2015

    Please, I would like to write a report of my research project on Travel and Tourism? I will appreciate. if you could guide me with all to write on it? Moreover, would you rather think I research on travel on its own and viseversa? Whatever, please, let me have some guidance in regards to any?


    • I would find a topic that interested me about that industry. Then I would learn more about it. I’m sorry that I can’t help you more than that.

  18. sandeep kumar

     /  August 24, 2015

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

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. karolina

     /  July 18, 2015

    I reseach lots of things. Blechley Park is very interesting

  23. 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?

  24. Neo

     /  July 2, 2015

    Good Morning,
    Thank you for this post…

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

  25. 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?

  26. 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?

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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?

  30. 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.

  31. savindi

     /  May 28, 2015

    Actually this was very hepful

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. Alma Piña

     /  April 19, 2015

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

  35. Jackson Whitehead

     /  April 17, 2015

    is there something about tv shows

    • Maybe you could do something specific to a particular show, like social commentary in the Simpsons.

      • Benson Karemera

         /  October 20, 2015

        I am really impressed by your contributions. I am a student of project management and I am soon starting my research thesis, with what topic can you advise me to do with in the field of management?

        • I have very little knowledge in this area, but I am particularly interested in conflict resolution. Perhaps research various strategies and implementations?

  36. 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.