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. Jane

     /  February 3, 2014

    Can you help me do a research title about Hashtags on Social Networking Sites or about Cross-Cultural Relationship of Filipino and American? Thank you! 🙂

  2. Selina Isabelle

     /  February 1, 2014

    Hi. My friend and I are greatly in need of topic for our research paper and we were wondering if the topic ‘gadgets and their effects to social life’ would be a good topic to propose? If it is, could you lend us a hand in narrowing it down to something more specific? Thankyou. 🙂

    • Wow.

      That’s a big and interesting topic.
      Maybe focus on a particular social network
      and its particular affect,

      like how instagram or snapchat change photo habits of young people.

      Best wishes!

  3. aslyn liane

     /  January 23, 2014

    hey! this is my first time to write a research paper.i’m thinking about Homeless or methology for my topics. but the problem is i’m lack of information. and this is hard to do………..i just in a second year. but my teacher want me to do it…..pls! can someone help me. guys!

  4. Morgan

     /  January 19, 2014

    I have to write a research paper for my college English class. I want it to be related to my major: Social Work. Having a hard time choosing a topic.

  5. conceptor ilinanga

     /  January 15, 2014

    research topic: what is the prevalence and correlates of Gender-based violence among university female students.
    2. what are the attitudes and behavior of university students towards voluntary HIV counseling and testing.
    3. what is the prevalence of alcohol abuse among university students

  6. Em-em

     /  January 14, 2014

    I really need a topic for my research paper but I can’t think of a good one. Can you suggest anything related with technology, teenagers, college stress. Thank you 🙂

  7. jeremy

     /  January 13, 2014

    i would like to ask your help in conceptualizing a great topic for our thesis in our sociology class. unfortunately, as of now, i still do not have any ideas about it.. i am from the Philippines.. actually, it would be better if the topic would be related to our society’s present status. i hope you would respond…thanks a lot!

  8. rengie

     /  January 12, 2014

    I’m so great and thankful of your sample topics because i find so hard to make a topic about my research papers i don’t know what to do and when i read your topics i have three topics that i get….1. How text messaging affecting teen literacy? 2. In what ways do video games affect children and teenagers?
    3. How was yoga introduced to westerners?What are the origin of yoga?What are the health benefits of yoga?pls help me which one of this topic i make thank you!

  9. Vanessa

     /  January 11, 2014

    Hi! Me and my friends are struggling to find the perfect topic for our research and I really need help. I’m thinking something about how Sherlock Holmes solved every case he had or something about him and crime scene investigations….I’m not sure if I should suggest that to my friends…

  10. Fei

     /  January 9, 2014

    Hi. I would like to ask for suggestions as to what topic could I research regarding social anxiety and/or shyness? I’m an undergrad btw and its my first time writing a research paper. Thank you very much!

  11. jehan josef

     /  January 8, 2014

    sr. I am from the phillipines can you help to think topic for my research paper about photography?

  12. i’m so confused about on what would be the best suited title on my term paper with a topic about education. will someone please be able to help me! i will submit with 100 pages but i didnt have started anything yet and im running out of time. please help!

  13. hi mr.morton….. i have a prodject in english its all about a research paper can you plsss help me to find a best topic..i hope you help me becuase if I cannot past this prodject.I cannot be graduet.I was now a 4rth year student. thank you MR.MOLTON. I just wait youre reply

  14. lily

     /  December 12, 2013

    thanks soo much! really helped!

  15. Sophia

     /  December 7, 2013

    For my research paper I have to answer the central question how/why has the topic shaped a facet of the American culture identity? The general topic within my group is corruption in American society, but do you know any specific topics of corruption in America that can answer the question? I was thinking along the lines of either government or why women wages are less than men’s, but I’m open to any topic ideas. Please help!

    • Yes, many. I would look at an historic incident, like Watergate or Rod Blagojevich. The fact that women statistically earn less than men is not so much an example of corruption, but rather sexism and gender bias.

  16. Mariah Striker

     /  November 27, 2013

    Should marijuana be legalized in Virginia to help all of our cancer patients and our wounded soldiers.

  17. Duc

     /  November 27, 2013

    Hello Mr. Morton!
    At first I just wanna say thank you for all what you’re doing here. you help a lot of students like us who are seeking for help. second, I think I’m going to do a research about “technologies and crime investigation”. it’s about 7 pages long. and it has to have something to do with the past, present, and future. I’m wondering how to start the research. Please advise for the outline works.
    Thank you and have a great Thanks Giving!

  18. taylor

     /  November 21, 2013

    would a 5 page research paper on yoga be a good topic?

    • You need to tighten your focus: How was yoga introduced to Westerners? What are the origins of yoga? What are the health benefits of yoga? Something like that…

  19. Daniel

     /  November 18, 2013

    hi sir, i want to research on the topic the impact of rural banks on cocoa farmers in the Juaboso district. i am studying accounting. thank you

    • Finding information on that topic may be difficult. Perhaps you would do better studying the impact of rural banks with a wide net. Take what you learn and apply it to your study of the Juaboso district. You will generate the connections. Best wishes!

  20. Danielle

     /  November 13, 2013

    Hello, I am currently trying to find a topic to research for a refutation paper. My professor said that we could choose any topic, and resource of our own choosing, but I’m sort of having trouble choosing a topic. I’m thinking about talking about music for my paper, and I wanted to know if that would be a good topic to use for a refutation paper?

  21. Lin

     /  November 10, 2013

    Hey! So i have to write a Scientific Research paper, but i have no idea about what to write it.): It has to be 20-25 pages long and i would have to make a survey about it and research it at the end. So i cant really make a paper about space, planets or other things like that.
    Anyways thanks for the previous suggestions.:D

  22. Anna

     /  November 9, 2013

    Mr. Morton! I am going to write a topic about ” impact of sleep on health and education”. but i’m not sure if this topic is good or not. and what should i do in this topic. would you introduce me some main ideas for this topic? Thank you very much!!!

    • That sounds good to me. The best thing to do is to read first and then make main ideas. Gather material, read it all, take the stuff that you like and find interesting, and rephrase it in a way that makes sense to your reader. Be sure to credit your sources. That’s what I would do.

  23. Aisha

     /  November 3, 2013

    So I’m thinking something about fairytales/movies that shape the expectations of our youth? Something with media as well,shaping minds of adults? How can I incorporate STEM for med school? Any ideas to narrow this down?

  24. karina frost

     /  November 2, 2013

    I have to compare drama in the medieval age and in the renaissance. my teacher asked me to write an outline that consists of two parts, can you please give me an idea about this.

  25. marliz

     /  October 29, 2013

    hi, im college student and Im having struggle to find the better topic for my research paper. I would like something that has to do with business but, I don’t know what, any suggestions?

  26. Dikra

     /  October 24, 2013

    Hii, im a university student arab country and i have to do a monograph by the end of the year , the problem is that i need a topic that has relation to literature ,novels .. So can you plzz help me to choose a topic thank you 🙂

  27. gueunis e.macarture

     /  October 24, 2013

    hi!i ‘ve found your page very interresting,i’m student in gabon(africa) university,i want to ask you among all subjets you ‘ve put,the 52nd-“how did Cold War tension affect the US and the World?”which can be scientific interest as a subject?thank you!!

  28. Angel Aira

     /  October 24, 2013

    Hi, Can you please give me atleast 5 topic for our research paper that is easy to find a references on a library book? Please help me!!! I need it tomorrow or on oct. 27 plsss 🙁

  29. Eliza

     /  October 23, 2013

    – Im having difficulty choosing a research project question and wanted to know which one of the following possible topics is the best:
    – How reading helps in developing a child’s imagination
    – the relationship between self-image and self-esteem
    – the relationship between self-image and self-injury
    – does self-image distort social behaviour and interactions?
    – how is text messaging affecting teen literacy?

    Thank you

  30. Chelsea

     /  October 23, 2013

    Hi Mr Morton
    I am currently in year 11 and I am trying to work out a research topic to do with fitness and I need to conduct an interview can you please help me because I don’t know who to interview about fitness
    thank you chelsea

  31. norah

     /  October 23, 2013

    our professor wants us to make a survey about the topic we’re going to write our research paper about.. and he wants “research questions” ..if i want to write about “body language” what questions should i choose?
    thank you

    • Well, what you want to focus on and learn about is up to you,
      but some example research questions for that topic might include:

      How is body language used by police and law enforcement?
      How is body language used in business?
      In what ways do political leaders use body language?

      These might get you started…

  32. Samantha

     /  October 22, 2013

    I have to write a 10 page research paper and I am thinking about something to do with steroids or something related to pharmacy. Do you have any suggestions?

  33. Khoshnam Rahmani

     /  October 18, 2013

    Hi. I am a graduate student of Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Please suggest some topics or research questions. The field is so wide that I can not end up choosing a question for writing a paper or doing a research. I would appreciate it if you could send it to my email. Thanks.

  34. Cari

     /  October 17, 2013

    I am having trouble narrowing my topic for my research paper. My topic is nursing and war, I was thinking doing something on civil war nursing, but that has been done too much. Any suggestions for a more narrow topic that has not been done to much?

  35. Kelsey

     /  October 12, 2013

    I have to write a research paper for my AP English class. I was wondering if you have any ideas for topics related to the arts? I was thinking about art funding. Any suggestions?

  36. Johnny Tran

     /  October 11, 2013

    I’m starting to do my senior project and paper. I have an idea that i wanna do for my project and its on the lines of constructing on houses etc. Can someone help me get an idea for my senior paper?

  37. Can i pls have a research work on the topic “How are black holes formed?”

  38. Dee

     /  October 8, 2013

    I’m interested in how non for profits work or the effects on the economy it has. Any ideas?

  39. Sonia

     /  October 7, 2013

    I need some serious help here. I need a topic for an argumentative essay that will also be turned into my research paper. I think that genetic modification would be interesting, but so is our dependency on technology. I’m not that good at stretching out a topic to talk about because when I write, I make a couple of sentences and that’s it. I can’t do a whole page or longer.

  40. Sandra Lewis

     /  October 7, 2013

    Hi!! I’m writing a research paper on the penalties that the banks had to pay to mortgagors that were wrongfully foreclosed on. I have no clue where to start or what my paper should be titled. Can you help?

  41. Jessica

     /  October 7, 2013

    First of all, I think this is a great list of topics. Second of all, I need assistance in narrowing down a cause and effect thesis for human genetic engineering (i.e, designer babies, etc.)

  42. sara azad

     /  October 4, 2013

    I need to do a research paper on a literary topic , I am thinking about african literature but I am not sure …can you please give me an idea about this?

  43. anwar

     /  October 2, 2013

    hello, i am new to writing research paper or term paper, but i am interested to write one. i am in education field. i hve benn thinkng what topic should i write and now i’ve come to a dead end.

  44. Hannah S.

     /  September 30, 2013

    I am in 7th grade and I am entered in the Science Fair this year, I am required to do a specific project, such as conducting an experiment (with variables) and writing a Science Research Paper on that topic. I am really stumped on what to do it on, plus the topic of my experiment is due this Friday. Do you have any ideas about what I can write my research paper on and do my Science Fair project?
    P.S. My research paper must be on my Science Fair topic. (Just in case I din’t make that clear.) Thanks! 🙂

  45. lotus

     /  September 29, 2013

    Is Google scholar reliable?

  46. Delmecia

     /  September 28, 2013

    I am doing a research paper on Homelessness. I am not sure where to start with this paper. I particularly want to write about the homeless that are selling the papers by the highways, outside starbucks, etc.

    • Right, this publication is called “Street Wise” (at least in Chicago), and it gives homeless people a way to help themselves. You may want to write about this publication, or other programs and nonprofit organizations that are trying to help homeless people.

  47. lotus

     /  September 28, 2013

    Hi, I’m new in writing research paper and English literature. I have to write about literature or teaching English. Can you give me an idea about choosing topic or examples of these topics?

  48. dannie

     /  September 25, 2013

    I’m new in writing a research but my interest is in healthcare sector. it can be carehome nursing home or hospital. how do I form a topic or go about it.
    appreciated if help is given.

    • I’d identify a specific interest within that larger section and begin reading more about it. Such as: how has home care for cancer patients changed in the last 30 years with the advent of personal computers? Or, have smart phone applications had an impact on home-care? Best wishes!

  49. Nor-ain Pascan

     /  September 23, 2013

    hi, I’am about to find a topic for our Nursing Research and it should be related to our course only.. can you help me and give me an idea about this?

    • Well, I don’t really know anything about your course, so I really can’t help you too much. I suggest that you go back and look at your syllabus and find something that interested you. Then form some questions about it and start reading other sources.

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