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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


  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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  1. Julia

     /  January 30, 2017

    Hi! I was wondering if a good topic would be how social media affects self esteem in teenagers. Is this good?

    • Wow, what a fantastic and interesting question! I think it’s a great topic. It might be hard to find texts on the subject, as it is so “bleeding edge,” but I encourage you to follow your inclinations and see where they lead you. Best wishes!

  2. zyrah

     /  November 30, 2016

    Hello! I just want to ask for help on finding a good quantitative research topic.
    All my submitted topics are rejected. Please help me to find a topic.

    it is my first time to do research.

    Social and educational topics please.


     /  November 28, 2016

    Hi good day., I am a grade 11 student in MCCNHS Philippines .I would like to knock for your help ,for our research 1 about cooking or culinary . And our teacher likes to have a specific topic or problem and we are having a hard time in finding one.Your suggestion will be a big help to us . 🙂 THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS

  4. Abuabakar B Garba

     /  November 24, 2016

    A good starting point, highly appreciated recommended for a beginners in research

  5. rocha

     /  October 26, 2016

    thank you

  6. rocha

     /  October 26, 2016

    hi …. ..i am Rocha . would you to help me find me good topic research on how has the music industry been affected by the internet and digital downloading

  7. kusiima brenda

     /  October 25, 2016

    Hi, am brenda a journalism student! please help me choose an interesting topic for my course study.Thanks

  8. blessing samantha mubayi

     /  October 20, 2016

    i need some help on the research topic i am studying applied chemical technology

  9. patience

     /  October 4, 2016

    What are the effect of climate change on public health in calabar municipality?

  10. cc

     /  October 1, 2016

    Hi Mr Morton,l am in Malawi l am trying to choose a research topic,please help need to choice a topic about marriage and relationship.

  11. Why Harambe shouldn’t have been killed

  12. Jessie

     /  September 5, 2016

    Hi, I work in the healthcare field, and I noticed that there is a disconnection with physicians and management. This relationship makes it very challenging to maintain physicians’ morale.
    Doctors who work for a large healthcare organization are employees who need to abide the organization mission and vision. This includes financial sustainability which depends on of the providers’ productivity. Physicians mission is patient care and not numbers. For a provider to see 10 or 18 patients a day impact the type of care they are providing. For the organization, the number of patients seen by the physician impact the organization revenues which determine the resources to keep the services open.

    The research topic that I would like to study in depth is:

    What are the impact of Physician productivity and ambulatory care sustainability?

  13. jelli100

     /  September 1, 2016

    How smoking affects the human body
    What trees do for life on earth
    History of Tap Dance
    How exactly was slavery abolished


    My minecraft youtube @jelli100

  14. sadaf

     /  August 28, 2016

    Aoa….i am student of anthropology…i need your help in choosing topic for research purposal

  15. Macelia Williams

     /  August 25, 2016

    I am a student of criminal justice and in search of a topic please help me. From Monrovia,Liberia

  16. Idris

     /  August 24, 2016

    Hi, what do you think about this research question: How traditional healing contribute to mental health?


    • If you are in a class in which the professor has spent a significant amount of time discussing “traditional healing,” I think it’s a great topic. If you are not in such a class, perhaps you should continue exploring topics.

  17. Rey

     /  August 24, 2016

    Hi Mr. Morton,

    I am thinking of a topic for my research.

    Currently working in a financing company particularly in credit and collection division. The topic that used to research is related to my Job, But its quite hard to create and arrange as it would be, can you share me what should be the title/topic that I have to.

    Thank you

  18. Vivian

     /  August 22, 2016

    What would be a good topic for my microsoft class. we need to do research papers

  19. princess

     /  August 17, 2016

    hi please im reading HRm, but then i want a topic related to how the blind and deaf live in society

  20. ama ahenkan

     /  August 15, 2016

    I have present a proposal for my research but cant settle on any can u help. will like do something on advertisement, sanitation and career women

  21. Rumani

     /  July 11, 2016

    What happened to the world in 2008 or why did
    recession hit the world?

    • Or, how did poorly rated collateral debt obligations and rampant speculation on credit default swaps securing these poorly rated CDOs lead to the destruction of several large financial entities?

  22. Aileen

     /  July 11, 2016

    “How to improve and manage health data collection with the use of ICT tool?” Is the topic okay or need adjustment?

  23. Adi

     /  May 17, 2016

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

  24. zephyr

     /  May 9, 2016

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

  25. 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

  26. 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??

  27. 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:)

  28. 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

  29. 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….

    • 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!

  30. maryglory

     /  April 12, 2016

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

  31. 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

  32. Juee Shinde

     /  April 9, 2016

    you can also add a question about the bermuda triangle

    • 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.


     /  April 7, 2016

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

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

  34. 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!!!!!!

    • Jess

       /  July 10, 2016

      You could chose an inspiring tennis player/Olympian/Paralympian from Russia and write a report about him/her. Or you could look at how cats and chocolate affect you psychologically and me you feel happy. Let me know if this helps! 🙂

  35. jelyn

     /  April 3, 2016

    Hi. Can you cite some research papers about grammar?

    Thank you.

  36. 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.


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