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. Alex

     /  November 19, 2014

    Dear Mr. Morton
    I want to do a research paper about social media and its impact on society. I think this is way too broad, do you have any ideas that i could write about?

  2. Aldous

     /  November 19, 2014

    Hi, Thanks for the ideas but my research project is on agricultural/horticultural area..mostly fruits and vegetables. Could you provide me an idea on how to frame a specific question? It needs to be related to horticulture & economic aspects.

  3. Evans

     /  November 18, 2014

    Hi! I’m evans ,a political science student specializing in political theory and systems. I fully understand that the topic that i should use in my research should be based on my own personal interest for me to be motivated in doing it. I just want to ask if ever you can give me any suggestion of any political topic that captures your interest. I just want to have many options for me to choose from.. 🙂

    • I’m sorry. I don’t consider myself knowledgeable on that topic. Perhaps visitors to this site can provide more insight into the topic.

  4. Tanina Cienfuegos

     /  November 18, 2014

    I really want to write my research paper on a topic surrounding the death penalty, but I am having a really hard time coming up with a research question/thesis. Help? Thanks!

    • I think that you need to research more. If you have a general topic in mind, just start learning more about it. Your research question will come to shape.

  5. Katie

     /  November 16, 2014

    Mr. Morton,

    I really wanted to write a paper on the first one (why do we sleep) but i’m not sure where I could find information on it. Got any ideas?

  6. ♫Marisol ♥ Romero♫ (6th grade)

     /  November 15, 2014

    another topic could be “can butterflies really die from someone touching it’s wings?”

  7. ♫Marisol ♥ Romero♫ (6th grade)

     /  November 14, 2014

    Another topic could be “Why do leaves change color?”

  8. lucille

     /  November 14, 2014

    What topic is appropriate in writing research related about electrical engineering? Please. I need some opinion.

  9. Alej

     /  November 13, 2014

    I want to write about impact of social media on society but I need to narrow down my topic. Does anybody have any ideas?

  10. yashika sharma

     /  November 10, 2014

    I am a college student and i am supposed to research and write around 30 page report can you please help me with choosing an easy and interesting topic that can complete the 30 page condition ?

  11. Ling

     /  November 7, 2014

    What could be the best title I can put into my research proposal. My topic is about apes, is it a good topic? Isn’t too broad?

    • That’s a bit too broad, but get started research, reading, and learning about your topic. You’ll narrow it down.

  12. jess

     /  November 3, 2014

    Hello everyone. Ok so I am in a college English class and for our final we have to do a research paper which is worth 200 points! I have written so many papers in my life I have enough to fill a couple trash bags, literally! I am just so stuck and have no idea what to write my final paper on. I could use all the help I can get.
    Thanks everyone!

  13. Odum-Arhin Francis

     /  October 27, 2014

    Francis from Ghana please can you take someones topic and research differently about it

  14. johnson

     /  October 27, 2014

    HY: hope you are fine.i need help regarding my research topic .i would like to make research on student interest to choose their cources e.g after passing college they have different choices to join undergraduate programs like Bsba , electrical ,software engineering ,medical .ACCA etc but either students use their own choice ore they are force by their parents .
    Dear MR. Morton i need the appropriate topic of my above discussion because m really confused :different result has come to me e.g
    kindly email me the comment .GOD BLESS YOU

  15. Allan Oscar

     /  October 26, 2014

    Would you help me write a research on computer viruses and they affect computers.

    • I can help you by telling you the first step is to start learning about your topic. So go do some research.

  16. S Hudson

     /  October 23, 2014

    I am roped into writing a research paper on the gap year between high school and college. I can pull a more narrow topic out, but that must be my general scope. Please help?! I cannot find much solid information, other than newspaper articles and college guides for parents, and my deadline for outline and rough draft is bearing down on me!

  17. donns

     /  October 23, 2014

    Mr. Morton…a good idea for you might be to come up with a research paper on how to select a topic, and basically lay it out like any other subject you would write about. that would be a good piece of information to pass along to some of these people who cannot begin to write something if they are not either passionate about it, interested in it, knowledgeable on it, and take it from the braininstorming down to the all the in’s and out, and how to quote resources, how to use different types of notations and interpreting quotes ..all the way from the thesis type open, content and layout, paragraphs, closing arguments or closing statements..research and resource citing, and brainstorming…that would be an awesome tool for you.

  18. Amanda

     /  October 20, 2014

    Is there to much pressure on girls to have a perfect body image?

  19. Zeen

     /  October 20, 2014

    Hi am dng ma masters in food science and nutrition. I wish to do my thesis on food safety and awareness among school going students. Cn u help me in formulating my topic?

  20. Sabrina

     /  October 19, 2014

    Hello. I Need to write a ten page research paper for my college English class. However, I’m a senior in high school, and I haven’t made the transition from a high school writing level to an English one. I’m having trouble picking between two topics for my paper, and was wondering which one I’d get the most information out of, since it needs to be ten pages long. My questions are: Why does Germany have a lower rate of gun related crimes than the U.S? OR how does society affect the insecurities of teens/ young adults? Thanks in advance.

  21. Joseph

     /  October 17, 2014

    Hi.I have a project and I need any interesting topic which contain 60 research paper.and I need the topic before this coming sunday. If you can help me that would great

  22. Hind

     /  October 15, 2014

    I am a post graduate student in translation. I am looking for a good research topics. can you help me please?
    Thank you

  23. jessica bess

     /  October 13, 2014

    Hi I have to write a research paper as well. I’m interested in mental health and anti depressants..please help me with one. Thx

  24. Alisha

     /  October 13, 2014

    I am struggling to come up with a topic for a research proposal due. The theme is popculture and week have to oic ONE medium writhing pop culture to talk about. For sum reason I cant commit to a topic. I was thinking about talking about beauty and advertising and then I thought about the world of beauty contests and its relivance today? What is the purpose.

  25. Paulina

     /  October 13, 2014

    I have to come up with the research paper topic and I have a problem with this. I’m thinking about something connected with fashion or fairy tales, but i can’t create anything concrete. Do you have any ideas? +it has to be connected somehow with UK or USA
    I appreciate any suggestions

  26. Patience Chelete

     /  October 7, 2014 just starting my degree in marketing, I have to come up with a desktop research topic I can tackle. Business related please help

  27. Lindy

     /  October 6, 2014

    Me again 🙂
    Thank you for your reply!
    So i took your advise and found something to write that i am passionate about…
    School uniform- the problem is that I have to angle the research project so that it is business related so I decided on BRANDING!
    The problem is, how do I turn this into a research proposal?

    I was thinking along the lines of comparing sportsclubs and their marketing strategies to the marketing strategies of schools.. But am I going off track?

    School uniforms are not allowed in Sweden but I though instead of the traditional “school uniform” a school can brand gym clothes school bags and other merchandise…

    But once again how do i present this as a research proposal?

    Is this topic even interesting?

    Any ideas on how I can make this appealing and more focused on business?

    Thank you for your time


    • Hello again.

      It’s sounds like you are divided.
      If you want to focus on business,
      I think that you should toss out the
      school uniform stuff and just focus on branding.

      Branding is a cornerstone of business.

      I am not really knowledgeable enough on the subject
      to give you a good proposal, but I can tell that there’s
      meat on that bone from a distance.

      What I mean is that you should research the topic
      of branding, even informally on just web pages or whatever,

      read an article or two, and you’ll begin to narrow in on
      suitable proposal that is interesting to you.

      Best wishes.

  28. collette

     /  October 2, 2014

    Hi I’m in my 2nd year degree on health and social care, I have to do a presentation and essay on finding 2 research papers and critiquing them but struggling to find a topic. I was thinking on something to do with drug and alcohol abuse, please could you help

    • Hmm… I don’t suggest abusing drugs and alcohol just because you have a project due. It would probably be more constructive to work on your project.

      Just joking. Ha ha. Ok, how about researching the efficacy of court ordered drug and alcohol treatment. In other words, can people reform when they are ordered to by the state?

      I hope that helps,

    • donns

       /  October 23, 2014

      drugs and alcohol is a tired subject…it has been done over and over and if you want to tackle a controversial subject…try to illustrate just how little people know including those who approved Obama care. Try to find evidence supporting the plan and tear into it. There are tons of of published data and research information on this. or find someone who agrees with it and challenge yourself to prove that they really don’t understand the million page health care no better than those who are selling it as good for the people. I mean if you standardize insurance…..his plan states you standardize human input and rationale. Any male who would pay for maternity services like a female with no option to change because its a standard coverage is selling themselves short on what health care should be.And taking the medical diagnosis out of the hands of a dr…and putting them in the hands of some medical analysts to decide what health care service is acceptable to my 75 year old father who has heart problems based on life expectancy. Sounds to me if you can’t determine males don’t need maternity insurance…are you really that confident they need managed standard coverage who have the say on appropriate treatment for yourself or loved ones. That is a topic you could actually learn from and educate others on. Also, Ebola is such a new disease to our generation. find the policies and essays on health care workers and safety. Since their was a break down it would be a good way to clear up some of the confusion on who, what, and how one can get ebola ….and is it worth the panic of an epidemic as some have done….or is it more volitile than we really know. There is not much you can say about drugs and alcohol abuse that has not been said. Be creative and that is what will make you stand out …you are smart and want to do good because you asked….be confident and tackle something controversial that you might actually help educate people on ..and when people take something they learned away from your work…you will forever be a part of that person and when you make an impact that is when you will feel good about everything you believe and do.

  29. lindy

     /  September 27, 2014

    Hi everyone

    Please help, i nned to write a research proposal and I am stuck 🙁 I want to write about OutSourcing but the topic is so braod and there as so many articles written about this that I am afraid that my work will end up not being original. Any ideas on how I can naroow it down?
    Lindy (Sweden)

    • Well, it’s been said that there’s nothing new under the sun. I don’t entirely agree with this notion, but the idea is that most things have been said before. What’s important then is the way that you say these things. If you are interested in the topic of outsourcing, begin reading and learning about it. The rest of it will fall into place once you develop your knowledge on the subject.

      Best wishes!


    • donns

       /  October 23, 2014

      You could approach this is a couple of ways. If you want to take an economical view of it you can approach it from one of two very conflicting views. Economically 1. the down fall of many American companies and the stagnate growth to the current US economy 2. Approach it for the cost savings the US business realizes due to out sourcing because of lower wages, lower over head, lower attrition, etc. The benefits of what it brings to do this but also recognizing the drawbacks to the consumer. The issue of out sourcing often presents companies with foreign interstate issues not to mention the non local stigma it brings to the old timers. also, if you have ever contacted a company who has their customer service outsourced most often to places like india and other places the language barrier is terrible to the avg consumer. For a while outsourcing things as human resources, health care, customer care , support and service was a hot niche. But for the most part it complicates a lot of business decisions whether it be in the area of customer satisfaction, reach ability,tax laws, operating laws, and not to mention implications posed by what we termed as flip chart customer service. Hope this helps.

  30. Jasmine

     /  September 22, 2014

    Another interesting and pretty broad topic would be the JFK assassination

  31. Tang Lee

     /  September 9, 2014


    I’m struggling to come up with an original or a different approach to a research topic about film remakes, particularly discussing about U.S and Asia.

    Do you have any unique topics or ideas related to that?

    • Hmm… Not really a subject of expertise for me. Anyone else?

    • MissusWe

       /  November 19, 2014

      What about the remake of “The Grudge”? What was the idea behind the original, what changes were done between the original and the remake?

  32. Taylor

     /  September 8, 2014

    “Who is sponsored most? Monster energy or Rockstar energy?” would this be a good enough topic on a research paper?

    • This might be difficult to research. I’m sure there’s been a lot of work done on energy drinks, however. Why don’t you just start researching energy drinks and see where the research leads you.

  33. adish

     /  September 2, 2014

    Would you help me writng research about the black American community….u can write about any topic conserning abt them..if u can tel me

    • Hm… I’m no expert but I’ll try to make some suggestions. You could look at inequalities in the school system, the role of churches in African American communities, racial profiling by police officers, the role of the welfare system in undermining the family unit, or the school to prison pipeline. You could pursue a more cultural topic as well, perhaps dealing with music, dance, food, or art. I hope that helps.

  34. clariise

     /  August 27, 2014

    Hi 🙂
    I’m looking for some topics in our research paper but I’m just new in this work . Can you help me find topics about education and society?
    please just any suggestions
    Its badly needed

    Thank you!

    • Hmm… You know what I think is pretty interesting? This notion of “unschooling.” It is controversial to say the least, but the topic sort of questions the notion of education as our society understands it. Best wishes!

  35. Katrina

     /  August 26, 2014

    Hi! I have to wrtie a research paper adressing a social issue. I would like to write something about what public housing has become. I work in oublic housing and I see families that do not want to work, complain about “$50” rent, don’t want to maintain a clean home etc… Can you help?

    • It sounds to me like you are bringing a lot of your experience / opinions to the topic. This might affect your research. I think that you are definitely interested in the topic and that’s a great place to start. Why don’t you start by researching and learning about public housing. Search some article databases. Read a few articles. You’ll find a relevant and interesting place to go with this. Just be careful not to force the research to prove your experience, like a square peg in a round hole. It is better to build from the research, not from your experience. You will find it easier to write the paper. Best wishes!

  36. Hanney

     /  August 25, 2014

    Hi 🙂 can you please help me to broad my topic regarding on street graffiti: art or vandalism? Tnx and God bless

    • Interesting topic.
      You could research different approaches that city have taken to dealing with graffiti, say New York and Chicago. Then compare and contrast the effects of each approach. Maybe just starting researching graffiti, since you are interested in the topic, and see where the research takes you. After reading a few articles you should get an idea about the type of paper that you could write. Best wishes!

      • Hanney

         /  September 4, 2014

        How about,

        Importance and difference of artistry? I observed that some of the people says it is a vandalism yet art. So I think that it is ok to focus on one idea but supported by the other contrasting idea. Thanks

        • Personal feelings aside, I think you need to develop a single position. Choose a side. Don’t try to do everything. It will probably fall apart.

  37. pride sibanda

     /  August 19, 2014

    Hie, lm doing my final year, lm interested in making a research on the reason behind poor service delivery by local authorities regardless of the revenue they local from the ratepayers.

    • Well, looks like you’ve got your topic figured out already. I’d just advise you against researching while you are so biased. Your biases may affect your ability. Perhaps begin by looking for research about problems with the delivery service in your area of interest.

      • West

         /  August 21, 2014

        I sent this earlier but got no reply
        Hello Sir,
        I opted for a dissertation topic relating to immigration and Biometrics but was discouraged by my supervisor because I may not get ready access to data as a result of confidentiality. please can you suggest interesting topic(s) under management? I am a IT systems manager and also an animal and environmental biologist. You just might be the miracle waiting to happen to me. Thank you in anticipation.

        • I like your immigration and biometrics topic. You don’t really need access to data to explore what methods are currently being used and how they’re being applied. Nonetheless, I’ll try to give you another one related to management and environmental biology: how about researching Sea World? You can examine changes to their training and management programs in response to the whale attacks and the flurry of negative media. Best wishes!

  38. john

     /  August 18, 2014

    Can you suggest a topic that related to an english subject and where do I start?

  39. joyce

     /  August 16, 2014

    hey, im thinking of doing a senior project about business management. i havent have a good one, i was hoping if you could help me out for the topic or the thesis statement.

    • I’m always interested in technology. I’d research ways in which the mobile market is affecting local or national business, perhaps researching a few example businesses. Best wishes!

  40. Fel M

     /  August 8, 2014

    Thanks, was very useful !

  41. MiaTy

     /  August 3, 2014

    Hi! I’m currently a 4th year high school student and I need a research topic that is more likely about books (novels/series) and students. I thought of ‘How Books Appeal (cover, price, popularity, content) to Students’, but my teacher said that it’s too subjective. I’m limited to survey my fellow batch mates and I have to finish it before March. Do you have any advice or any suggestions? Thanks! 🙂

    • Yes. Focus instead on something more objective, like the rise of ebooks versus print versions. You could look at the ongoing war between Hatchet and Amazon. That’s what I would do.

  42. Hi. Can you help me do a research title about “anime and manga”? please

    • How about a short history of the Manga? Or focus on a central animator. I don’t know any, but there’s got to be one. 😀

  43. bb

     /  July 27, 2014

    I am going to write a 2000 words research papers about old adults. can you please give me some interested topics?
    thank you so much

  44. okoli precious

     /  July 26, 2014

    pls what are the current techniques in diagnosis of hepatitis?

  45. sneha

     /  July 24, 2014

    hello sir,
    I am doing a research paper for my english final….I am thinking of doing something about sex-offenders…how do i talk about this topic? or can you give me any suggestions for similar topic?
    thank you so much

  46. Jill

     /  July 23, 2014

    Any research ideas to write about in Guatemala?

  47. Hello! How are you doing? Canyou please help me with my research paper? I had three weeks for choosing a topic and writing a research paper, but still I haven’t chosen a topic… I want to write about the art. How can I name the topic and can you give me some ideas? Thank you in advance)

  48. hello sir.. we were about to have a research report on english.. .can you please give me some interesting topics?

    thank you

  49. Sajad

     /  June 30, 2014

    Hello everyone, i wanted to ask if choosing stress management as research topic would be a good idea or not ?

  50. Grace

     /  June 25, 2014

    Hello. I’m amazed with all of your research ideas!
    I need help picking a topic…I’m in an interdisciplinary undergraduate program and I would like to do something that involves juvenile corrections and some business topic. I could come up with a topic on one or the other but I’m having difficulty coming up with a topic that combines both…
    Thank You so much for your help!!!

    • How about the school to prison pipeline, or how private companies profit from the juvenile justice system?


Leave a Reply to Mr. Morton Cancel 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.