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 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.

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. Lori

     /  January 24, 2013

    My major is Medical Management, I need a research paper relating to my major. 8-10 pages long. HELP

  2. Andrea

     /  January 24, 2013

    I have to write a 15 page English research paper. Would the different forms of government be a good topic?

    • That sounds highly interesting to me. As you research you’ll have to refine your thesis to focus on the specific forms that you will cover, but I’d get going with that.

  3. Katherine

     /  January 22, 2013

    Hi Mr. Morton! can suggest on what information should i gather on my research about the effects of social media? 😀

  4. Sarah

     /  January 20, 2013

    I was so frustrated with trying to find a research topic for college, and now —thanks to these suggestions— I can’t figure out which one I would like to do more than the other! Thank you so much!

  5. bear

     /  January 19, 2013

    How music affects people

  6. Kelcee Baker

     /  January 16, 2013

    I am graduate student and I’m also a reading teacher. I am wanting to write my graduate research paper on having students read independently. My purpose is whether 20 minutes builds fluency, vocabulary, and schema? Basically is reading independently worth the fight? Is this a good topic? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  7. Antonella

     /  January 15, 2013

    What effects does Posiriasis have on a Human Body?

  8. Researchergurl

     /  January 15, 2013

    Is researching your family history a good topic to use?

    • Well, it depends on how noble your family is. If you can’t find any published resources on your family it will be difficult to create a research paper that will meet guidelines. Perhaps you can research your family history as a side project?

  9. COLD war

     /  January 10, 2013

    Hey sir i was thinkng of writing about how the Cold war ended and how the America became the victor of the war you think its okay? We need it in our English class T.T

    • Wow, that sounds like an excellent topic. Maybe open it up a bit “Why America became the victor if in fact America was the victor?” 😀

  10. K Upchurch

     /  January 9, 2013

    Social anxiety…
    How is it different from shyness? And, are we a society of anxiety?

    This is for a 7 page english research paper… would there be enough evidence, do you think?

  11. lizzie

     /  January 1, 2013

    what about handwriting analysis? it’s for a 15 page English research report.

  12. sohail sarang

     /  December 23, 2012

    Thanks alot….

  13. Yari

     /  December 5, 2012

    I have a 5 page research paper due nex month for my English Class. It can be on anything. Is this a good topic :
    “The effect an inhaler has on people with asthma.”

  14. Ariauna

     /  December 3, 2012

    are ghost really real

  15. LukiJ

     /  December 3, 2012

    What about how the government is doing things forbidden to them by the constitution?

  16. Jae

     /  November 28, 2012

    Thanks a lot for this. I do have some topics for my research paper .. but I want a topic that talks about Teenagers and our ecosystem knowing that our mother nature is almost ruined. any suggestions guys ??? I really need your help.. :)))

  17. These really help me in my research paper topics. Thank you so much.

  18. have any experimental research topics?

  19. Alj

     /  November 20, 2012

    Hi Mr. Mortini and to everyone there. Can you help me in choosing a topic about Internet or technology? What is the best and why? Please help me. Your ideas can help me a lot. Thank you.

  20. madelyn aguila

     /  November 18, 2012

    why are teenagers so aggressive?

  21. Godluvsevry1

     /  November 15, 2012

    What do you think about the topic of how banning the Bible and prayer from schools has affected teens moral values?
    Or should I make it less broad and say how it’s affected them by how much respect they have for themselves??

    • I think that it may be hard to find substantial research on either of those. I would research differences between parochial schools and public schools as well as available data and attempt to prove your arguments in that way. Best wishes!

  22. Christtina

     /  November 14, 2012

    How can society make a girl or boy insecure?

  23. Hana

     /  November 13, 2012

    What about Horse Slaughter, to ban, or not to ban?

  24. Christeen

     /  November 12, 2012

    Do you think writing about how our government is slowly taking away our rights is a good subject?

    • Oh yes, that is an idea that is certainly worth exploring. Specifically, the erosion of civil liberties and privacy post 9/11 will substantiate a wealth of discussion.

  25. Wendy

     /  November 11, 2012

    Help! I need to write a 5-7 page research paper for my english 101 class on any topic as long as its important to society! Any ideas ??

  26. Karl lusby

     /  November 10, 2012

    Dear Mr Morton,i want to do a research paper to while away the winter months i have a few ideas what i want to do but don,t know where to start please help thank you

  27. Dylan Gray

     /  November 5, 2012

    Hello, for my English 1102 class we have to do a research paper but we have to take a position and support that position with research. I’ve never done a research paper like this before because I’m used to doing them as strictly informational. Do you have any suggestions as to what I may write about. I am a big fan of music (classical and choral) so I am thinking perhaps of doing a paper on Music and it’s affect on today’s young people.

  28. Corinne Warren

     /  November 1, 2012

    How has unemployment effected older adults over 50

  29. Mr. Rosemarybeachlover can u please show me ur research paper!!! or anyone else here please …i cant access reasearch papers on google just abstract part visible..:(

  30. Casanovas

     /  October 21, 2012

    Do you think writing on the benefits of sign language in infants and disabled children would make a good topic for a research paper?

  31. Why are we existing

  32. Liz

     /  October 7, 2012

    I’m having a difficult time trying to select a topic for my research paper. It’s a sociology class on Marriage, Families and Relationships. The topics I’m thnking about are too broad…anyone out there have any suggestions?? I would really appreciate it…thank you!

  33. joyce nowland

     /  September 22, 2012

    Gender roles in Nurses, are male nurses being discriminated by female nurses?

    • Or the other way around, right? Are male nurses hired preferentially over women? I don’t know where you’d begin researching that, but I find it an interesting topic.

  34. Crumb

     /  September 19, 2012

    I’m doing a research paper in my English class and I’m having trouble finding a topic without having any bias. I was thinking about doing something about skin care, mostly because I have acne. Any tips on how I would go about doing this? Thanks! Oh and conspiracy theories sounds like a fun topic!

    • Maybe research the chemicals that are used in skin care products, determine from where they come and what other products in which they might be found.

  35. Jamyle

     /  September 7, 2012

    Thank You so much:)

  36. wow it really helped me thanks 101 research paper topics………………………………………:)

  37. shynnon

     /  July 10, 2012

    how has tourism been of a great help to widelife?

  38. this is great! really helpful thanks

  39. may i have more ideas about dis topic to carry out this research project?
    How is text messaging affecting teen literacy?

  40. I made a 100 on my Reaseach paper!

  41. app

     /  June 7, 2012

    this is a great website for me:)

  42. these are very helpful for me

  43. Biraj Karkee

     /  May 20, 2012

    Great help for me

  44. this is all very interesting guyss 🙂

  45. azhar

     /  April 4, 2012

    what is the fourth necessity of life

  46. Anonymous

     /  March 25, 2012

    Why do people dream?

  47. Dustin

     /  March 23, 2012

    Should “pink slime” be used in schools if fast food places stoped the use of it? Or what is pink slime and how is it made?

  48. Ginger Kehoe

     /  March 20, 2012

    Why do humans fall in love?

  1. Identifying Credible Internet Research Sources | 5 Things to Look For | ereadingworksheets
  2. 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.