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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:  

  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 Martin 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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556 Comments

  1. Adi

     /  May 17, 2016

    A new question could be “how does the physics of flight work to keep an airplane in the air?”

    Reply
  2. zephyr

     /  May 9, 2016

    what effect will the ice caps melting have on us humans?

    Reply
  3. Dasha Lev

     /  May 8, 2016

    I’m in 6th grade and need to write a research paper for final grades but I can’t find a interesting topic
    Please help

    Reply
  4. Sanae

     /  May 2, 2016

    hii Mr Morton I’m sanae from Morocco my topic is about adjectives in English and Arabic. could you help me to make it more interesting and not a boring topic??

    Reply
  5. Makelesi Ngata

     /  April 29, 2016

    Is this a good topic or not Housing is a right not a privilege. I will be looking to pursue my piece of research, in the community I grew up in.

    Further advice and comments are very much appreciated:)

    Reply
  6. nona

     /  April 25, 2016

    hi morton …
    plz help me find a topic fo my graduation research project
    i thought about behcet syndrome but it was rejected becuase it is rare condition and no enough candidate in sudan…

    i study pharmacy
    n m interested in clinical questionnair-based researches

    Reply
  7. Mike

     /  April 16, 2016

    Hi, I am now taking composition two in my university in Japan and working on research paper. But, it is quite hard to choose the topic. Can you give me some advice, please….

    Reply
    • Well, Mike, what interests you? Writing a research paper requires a lot of reading and writing, and it’s a lot easier to do that if you are highly interested in your topic; however, I cannot tell you what interests you. Only you can do that. Find a topic that you love. Gather books and articles about it. Read them. Learn about your topic. Then begin writing. Best wishes!

      Reply
  8. maryglory

     /  April 12, 2016

    Hi, I am studying degree of mathematics and statistics. Please help me to choose research topic according to my study.

    Reply
  9. amira

     /  April 11, 2016

    hi sir, need ur help. can u suggest for me how to deal with the syrian refugees and how media represent this crisis? my research paper is about this.otherwise can you suggest for me a topic that is related to teaching or applied linguistics????thanks in advance

    Reply
  10. Juee Shinde

     /  April 9, 2016

    you can also add a question about the bermuda triangle

    Reply
    • I don’t think you’re going to find too much substantial research about that topic, but I’d love it if you could prove me wrong. Best wishes.

      Reply
  11. PETER KAJI

     /  April 7, 2016

    What are the factors hindering the development of tourism in Tanzania?

    Reply
    • That sounds like a good topic. I can’t really add much to it, but you could start by looking for some sources.

      Reply
  12. sofia anya

     /  April 6, 2016

    i have no clue what to write about.Any topic for this research project. i am into tennis, cats, chocolate, and Russia. Please Help!!!!!!

    Reply
  13. jelyn

     /  April 3, 2016

    Hi. Can you cite some research papers about grammar?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  14. Allison McEnturff

     /  April 3, 2016

    Mr. Morton thank you for creating this website. It helped me find and pick a topic for my research paper.

    Reply

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