Technology Research Paper

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Man’s relation to technology: a brief history, technology and biological anthropology, the sts approach, classical philosophical anthropology, philosophy of technology, the continental approach to the philosophy of technology, the analytic approach to the philosophy of technology, recent developments: bridging the gap, conclusion and future directions.

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The term technology is derived from the Greek word techné. The Greek word refers to all forms of skillful, rule-based mastery in any field of human praxis, originally encompassing both arts (like painting, sculpture, writing, and the like) and craftsmanship (like carpentry, shipbuilding, architecture, and the like). The Roman culture uses the Latin word arts for these domains. Accordingly the medieval terminology distinguishes between the seven free arts (grammar, rhetoric, logic, geometry, arithmetic, music, astronomy) and the mechanical arts (e.g., agriculture, architecture, tailoring), thus prefiguring the later distinction between arts (as linked to the study of humans and the humanities) and technology (as linked to engineering and the study and science of nature).

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The modern word technology finally refers either to procedures and skillful application of sciences for the production of industrial or manual products or to the products of these processes themselves. In this sense, technology nowadays encompasses only a part of the original Greek definition. The place of technology as being on the one hand a product of humans (being thus rooted in human anthropology and human tool usage), and being on the other hand based on a solid scientific understanding of the laws of nature (modern technology), can be seen as the two key features of contemporary and recent approaches to analyze and understand technology. Technology is then in one respect as old as humankind: Many approaches in anthropology thus refer to the general structure of technology in all of human history and relate it to the biological condition of humans. But recent anthropological thinking also reflects on the specific details of modern technology. It has often been argued that there is a structural difference between modern, science-based technology and older forms of craftsmanship of ancient or medieval types of technology. Therefore, a central question for modern anthropology is to analyze the consequences modern technology has for our picture of humankind: how to define man in the age of technology.

Reflection about the anthropological function of technology is probably as old as human self-reflection itself, since the ability to use tools and create cultural products has always been seen as a unique human feature, distinguishing humankind from most other animals (see also the next section on biological anthropology). But an analysis of technology was not at the center of political, social, anthropological, or philosophical thoughts before the development of the modern natural sciences and their counterpart, modern technology. Following Carl Mitcham (1994) one can roughly distinguish three approaches to technology before the 20th century, encompassing many topics that later became essential parts of contemporary discussions about technology (p. 275). The three approaches are as follows:

  • In the ancient world, technology is looked at with certain skepticism. The use of tools is seen as necessary for survival, but also regarded as dangerous, since it might lead to human hubris and might raise the envy and anger of the gods. In this sense, mythological thinking envisions technology as, for example, stolen from the gods (the myth of Prometheus), and thus not properly belonging to humans. The extensive use of technology is often seen as leading to megalomaniac fantasies or unjustified overstepping of religious and ethical boundaries (e.g., myth of the Tower of Babel, myth of Icarus). Philosophical reflection, however, acknowledges the value of technology for an otherwise defenseless human being. Already Plato anticipates a central thought of modern anthropology: Human beings are poorly equipped for survival in nature. They need to compensate for this lack by developing skills of rational thinking and the usage of tools (this idea later becomes a central thesis of the famous anthropology of Arnold Gehlen [1988]). But the emphasis in ancient philosophical anthropology lies not so much on man’s capacities to invent technology, but on man’s moral character (exemplified by ancient wisdom or medieval religiosity). The usage of technical knowledge should thus be kept within strict ethical boundaries.
  • In the hierarchy of knowledge, ethical wisdom is regarded in principle as higher than and superior to technological skills. Socrates points to the question that we should not only seek knowledge about how to do certain things (technical knowledge), but rather about whether we should perform certain actions (ethical knowledge); this idea can also be found in the medieval distinction between the (superior form of a) life in contemplation ( vita contemplativa ) and the (lower) life in active involvement ( vita activa ). Ancient and medieval technology is thus embedded in an anthropological vision, in which human virtues play an important role. Different forms of virtues are combined in the original crafts, as opposed to the later, modern differentiation of these virtues: In craftmanship one can find a union of economical virtues (e.g., efficient usage of limited resources), technical virtues (creating new entities that did not exist before), and often also aesthetic virtues (a sense of beauty that adds an aesthetic component to these newly created entities going beyond the modern idea that “form follows function”). In the Greek world, these three skills are combined in the realm of poiesis, while in modernity they are separated in the three domains of economy, technology, and art—each relatively independent of the others (Hösle, 2004, p. 366).
  • A profound change in the evaluation of technology emerges with modernity, a position that Mitcham (1994) summarizes as Enlightenment optimism. Already in the writings of Francis Bacon (1620), the new science of nature and its application to experimental and technological research is highly welcomed. Progress in technology is seen as very beneficial to humankind, as it may lead to the cure of diseases, mastery over nature, and a constant progress toward a more human society. Many utopian writings mark the beginning of early modern thoughts in which technology is seen as essential in leading to a brighter future for humankind (e.g., Thomas More’s Utopia [1516], J. V. Andreae’s Christianopolis [1619], F. Bacon’s New Atlantis [1627]). In a similar line of thought, Enlightenment thinkers defend science and modern technology against attacks from religious conservatism, pointing at the beneficial consequences of technological and scientific progress.
  • A countermovement to the Enlightenment is Romanticism, which accordingly has a different view on technology, referred to by Mitcham (1994) as Romantic uneasiness. Again, the central thought is an anthropological perspective in which man is seen as being good by nature, while it is civilization that poses the danger of alienating man from nature and from his fellow man, focusing only on his rational capacities and suppressing his emotional and social skills. Already Vico (1709) opposed Cartesian rationalism and feared that the new interest in science would lead to a neglect of traditional humanistic education. Rousseau’s critique of modern societies then became influential, seeing an advancement of knowledge and science, but a decay of virtues and immediacy ( Discourse on the Arts and Sciences; Rousseau, 1750). With the age of industrialism, the negative social consequences of modern labor work become the scope of interest of social theorists, leading up to Marx’s famous analysis of modern societies (see subsequent section on cultural and sociological anthropology). In opposition to the positive utopias centered on technology in early modernity, the 20th century then sees the literary success of pessimistic dystopias, in which often technological means of suppression or control play an important role (e.g., already in M. W. Schelley’s Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus [1818] and later in H. G. Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau [1896], A. Huxley’s Brave New World [1932], George Orwell’s 1984 [1948], and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 [1953]).

The tension between approaches praising the benefits of technology (in the spirit of the Enlightenment) and approaches focusing on negative consequences (in the spirit of Romanticism) still forms the background of most of the contemporary philosophical and anthropological debate; this debate circles around an understanding of modern technology, often rooted in the different “cultures” of the humanities and the sciences. It can be regarded as being a particularly vivid opposition at the beginning of the 20th century, that only later gave room for more detailed and balanced accounts of technology (some classics of the debate being Snow, 1959; McDermott, 1969).

Recent contributions toward a deeper understanding of the usage and development of technology stem from such different disciplines as biology, sociology, philosophical anthropology, metaphysics, ethics, theory of science, and religious worldviews. This research paper aims at a brief overview of important topics in the debate over technology during the 20th century to the present time. Three anthropological perspectives will be distinguished, depending on the main focus of anthropological interest. This will start with a brief summary of the biological anthropological perspective on technology, move on to those theories which focus more on social or cultural aspects, and conclude with more general philosophical anthropologies. This research paper is thus not chronologically organized, but tries to identify common themes of the debate, even though sometimes the topics might overlap (e.g., the case of Gehlen, a philosophical anthropologist who starts from a biological perspective and then moves on toward a more social view on technology).

In contemporary anthropology, technology becomes a central issue for at least two different reasons:

  • From a biological perspective the usage of tools is regarded (next to the development of language and a cognitive rational apparatus) as one of the key features of humanization. Biological anthropology thus initially focuses on the differences and similarities of tool usage in humans and animals, trying to understand the role technology plays in general for an understanding of humans’ biological and social nature. With the focus on human evolution, attention is often drawn to the question of which role technology played at the beginning of humankind.
  • While in this way always being a part of human culture, technology becomes arguably one of the single most influential key features of society only in modernity. According to Max Weber, science, technology, and economy form the “superstructure” of modernity, while they all share a common “rationality” (mainly of means-ends reasoning in economy and technology). The experience of the powers and dangers of modern technology (as in industrialized labor work, medical progress, nuclear energy and weapon technology, environmental problems due to pollution, and extensive usage of resources, etc.) has triggered many social, political, and philosophical reflections that—in opposition to biological anthropology—aim primarily at understanding the specifics of modern

Let us look at these two tendencies in turn, starting with the biological perspective, before moving to the social or cultural anthropology of technology.

Biological anthropologists are interested in the role technology played during humanization, and they attempt to give evolutionary accounts of the development of tool usage and technology and compare tool usage in man with tool usage in other animals. The development of technology has often been regarded as an evolutionarily necessary form of adaption or compensation. Since most of man’s organs are less developed than those of other species, he needed to compensate for this disadvantage in the evolutionary struggle for life (see Gehlen, 1980). Initially the usage of tools was considered a unique human feature, distinguishing the genus Homo from other animals (Oakley, 1957), but research on tool usage in different animals, especially chimpanzees, led to a more or less complete revision of this thesis (Schaik, Deaner, & Merrill, 1999).

Nowadays, many examples of tool usage in the animal kingdom are known (Beck, 1980). For example, chimpanzees use sticks to fish for termites, and elephants have been described as having a remarkable capacity for tool usage. Even though tool usage must thus be regarded as more common among animals, attention still needs to be drawn to the specifics of man’s tool usage, which arguably in scope and quality goes beyond what is known from the animal kingdom. It has been pointed out that our biological anatomy offers us several advantages for an extended usage of tools: walking erectly frees the two hands, which can then be used for other purposes. Furthermore, the position of the human thumb and short straight finger are of great benefit, especially in making and using stone tools (Ambrose, 2001). Still debated, however, is whether social and technological developments go hand in hand or whether one of the two factors is prior.

Even though many anthropologists tended to see social behaviors and cultural revolutions mostly as a consequence of a change in tool usage or a development of new technologies, it has also occasionally been argued that the development of social skills precedes the development of technical skills (e.g., in joint group hunting). It has additionally been acknowledged that chimpanzees also pass over some of their technical knowledge through the mechanism of learning and establishing cultural “traditions” that resemble, to some extent, human traditions (Wrangham, 1994; Laland, 2009). But there seems to be a specific difference in human and primate learning, namely in the fact that human children learn tool usage mainly via imitation and by simply copying a shown behavior, even if it is not the most efficient solution to a given problem. Opposed to this, chimpanzees seem to learn through a process called emulation, which implies that they diverge from the paradigmatic solution that has been “taught” to them. It has been argued that learning through imitation has been selected in humans, even though it is a less flexible strategy, because it is a more social strategy of learning (Tomasello, 1999, p. 28). In this way, biological anthropology mirrors a debate in social anthropology about the role of technology; this can be seen either as a driving force born out of necessity that calls for social changes (technical determinism), or as highly mediated or even constructed by culture (social constructivism).

Technology and Social/Cultural Anthropology

As already mentioned, technology was identified early on as a key feature of modern society (Misa, Brey, & Feenberg, 2004). Many studies have been written about the impact of modern technology on society, focusing mainly on the industrial revolution (e.g., Haferkamp, 1992; Pressnell, 1960; Smelser, 1969) or on the more recent revolution of the information society (e.g., Castells, 1999; Nora, 1980), as well as on the impact of technological change on traditional societies.

The analyses of Karl Marx and the Frankfurt School are influential, not only in trying to grasp the role of modern technology in society, but also in hinting on potential anthropological roots of technology and their essential interrelation with social aspects of the human condition. Marx insisted that the study of technology holds the highest relevance for human sciences, since it reveals the way humans deal with nature and sustain life (Marx, 1938). An essential feature of man’s nature is that he has to work in order to sustain his life, that he is the “toolmaking animal” or—as he has later been called—the Homo faber. Marx analyzes the role of technology in Chapter 13 of his first volume of Das Kapital. He argues that the division of labor becomes fostered through machines, which at the same time replace more and more traditional manpower and can furthermore be operated by less skilled employees, thus leading to very bad labor conditions for the working class. Technology in general is, however, still greeted as an option to make humans’ lives easier; it is mainly the social distribution of the possession of the means of production that Marx regards as problematic. (Also later thinkers, inspired by Marxian thought, tend to see technology as an important means toward establishing a better future.) On the other hand, at the same time, technology is seen as rooted in man’s will to dominate nature.

Following this later insight in particular, Theodor Adorno argues that Western civilization has developed powerful tools to ensure its self-preservation against nature. Technical rationality is regarded as the exercise of strategic power to dominate (external) nature, but it is at the same time also leading to a suppression of the inner nature of man (Adorno, 1979). The main strategy of this rationality is quantification, which lies at the heart of the mathematical-scientific interpretation of nature and the development of modern technology. At the same time it brings forth a type of rationality, which leads to a selfmutilation. The will to exercise power becomes the main feature of modern rationality, thus leading to a dialectic that turns the noble aims of the Age of Enlightenment into a morality of humankind that is its very opposite: A new barbaric system of oppression and dictatorship arises, using technology for totalitarian purposes.

While Adorno seeks redemption mainly in the arts (Adorno, 1999), seeming to promise the possibility of a completely different kind of subjectivity, Jürgen Habermas (1971) tries to propose an antidote; this does not lie outside of modern-Enlightenment rationality, but rather returns to its original intention. Habermas argues with Marx and Adorno, asserting that technological knowledge has its anthropological roots in the will to dominate nature and therefore serves a strategic interest of man. With this, man is not only Homo faber but also a social animal. Besides the strategic means-end rationality he also possesses a communicative rationality, aimed at defining common moral values and engaging in discourse over ethically acceptable principles of actions. In thus distinguishing two types of rationality, Habermas tries to incorporate much of the German tradition of cognitivistic ethics into his approach. It is important for Habermas that technology be brought under the control of democratic decision-making processes; his discourse ethics has thus helped to inspire ideas of participatory technology assessment.

Outside the Frankfurt School, technology has not been at the center of social and cultural anthropology, as has been often complained (Pfaffenberger, 1988, 1992). Langdon Winner (1986) coined the term technological somnambulism to refer to those theories that neglect the social dimension of technology. According to this dominant tradition, the human-technology relation is “too obvious” to merit serious reflection. Technology is seen as an independent factor of the material and social world, one that forms a relatively autonomous realm of ethically neutral tools to acquire human ends. But already Winner argues that technology is essentially social and is shaped by cultural conditions and underlying value decisions. He claims in a famous article (Winner, 1980) that Long Island’s low bridges were intentionally built in a way that would keep buses away, making it more difficult for the poor, and mainly the black population, to reach the island. Even though this particular claim has been challenged, Winner seems to be correct in pointing out that value decisions play a role in creating technology, and that the social value system leaves its trace in technological artifacts.

In line with this renewed interest in social issues, a new field of studies related to technology emerged in the 1980s, focusing explicitly on this neglected relation between society and technology: the so-called STS approach. Having been labeled the “turn to technology” (Woolgar, 1991), science and technology studies (STS) analyzes society’s impact on science and technology, and science and technology’s impact on society. Several writers draw attention to the social shaping of technology. An influential author is Bruno Latour, who contributed to both the initial appeal to social constructivism (that he later gave up) and the development of the actor-network theory; both are at the center of the debate about the theoretical underpinnings of STS.

Social Constructivism

Woolgar and Latour employ a social-constructivist perspective in their early case study on the production of scientific results, in which they analyze scientists’ attempt to establish and accumulate recognition and credibility of their research through the “cycle of credibility” (Latour, 1979). The main idea of social constructivism is the attempt to interpret alleged objective “facts” in the social world as being socially constructed, so that knowledge of the world and its interpretation depends on social mechanisms and cannot be traced back to objective facts (Berger & Luckmann, 1966). In this sense technology is also not an objective, independent given, but shaped by social ideas and societal interpretations.

Actor-Network Theory

In the 1980s and 1990s, Latour became one of the main proponents of the actor-network theory (Latour, 2005); this is also attractive to scholars who reject social constructivism, since it can be combined with the idea that not all of technology is socially constructed. The social-constructive interpretation of this theory aims to develop a framework in which society and nature, or society and technology, are not separated. The idea of technology as a sociotechnical system implies that agent and tool form a unity, which cannot be explained completely by referring to one of the two elements in isolation. According to this idea, technological artifacts dispose over some form of agency and can be—to some extent—regarded as actants. This ascription of intentionality and agency to technical systems is, however, highly debated. The debate between realism and social constructivism has thus not been settled.

Philosophical Anthropology and the Philosophy of Technology

Research in philosophical anthropology peaked in early 20th-century Germany, discussed in the next section. But outside of anthropological discussions, the topic of technology became an important issue for philosophy, so in this brief overview, important contributions and themes of the continental and analytic tradition will be discussed next. Finally, more recent developments and topics in the philosophy of technology will be sketched that do not try to revitalize a philosophical anthropology, but that nevertheless do touch in one way or another on anthropological perspectives on technology.

Classical philosophical anthropology was mainly interested in understanding the essence of human nature and often draws specific attention to the role of technology. Important contributions came from Gehlen, Plessner, and Scheler during the first half of the 20th century. The attempt to link technology to a biological interpretation of man in Gehlen’s early works especially deserves attention. Given his biological constitution, man must be seen as deficient by nature ( Mängelwesen ), since he is not endowed with instinctive routines and is not adapted well to a specific natural environment, but rather is open to the world ( weltoffen ). He compensates for this deficiency with the help of his mental capacities and tool usage. Gehlen interprets human language and human institutions as relief mechanisms ( Entlastungen ) that help him to interpret and organize the plentitude of impressions (the sensory overload, Reizüberflutung ) that he is exposed to. Most technologies can thus be regarded to be either organ-amplification ( Organverstärkung ) or organ-replacement ( Organersatz ) (Gehlen, 1988). In Man in the Age of Technology (1980), Gehlen focuses more on sociological perspectives of technology. He identifies two essential cultural breaks marking principle changes in humans’ world interpretation and social organization, both of which are linked to technological developments: (1) the neolithic revolution of sedentism, marking the passage from a hunter’s culture to a society of agriculture and cattle breeding, and (2) the industrial revolution in modernity (Gehlen, 1980).

Scheler also analyzes man’s rational capacities from a biological perspective, but he concludes that a purely naturalistic approach does not render justice to our selfunderstanding. The human ways of sustaining life are from an often inefficient biological perspective. Therefore, it must be pointed out that the main function of human knowledge is not only to strategically ensure humans’ own survival, but also to be directed toward the discovery of moral values and toward the process of self-education ( Bildung ). Humans not only live in an environment, but also reflect on their place in the world—a capacity that marks a fundamental difference between humans and animals (Scheler, 1961).

This type of philosophical anthropology came to a certain end when the main interest of philosophers shifted from understanding “man” to understanding “society” during the 1960s. With the recent developments of sociobiology, philosophers have taken a renewed interest in the linkage between biological and cultural interpretations of man. Let us look at some tendencies of later research in the philosophy of technology.

If we look at a philosophical interpretation of technology, we find the first origins of a discipline of the philosophy of technology by the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century (see Kapp, 1877, and Dessauer, 1933). During the first half of the 20th century, the philosophical analysis of technology can, roughly speaking, be divided into two main schools of thought: the continental, often skeptical approach, and the analytical, often optimistic approach . As with all such very generic typologies, this distinction likewise does not claim to be more than an approximation, while the general tendency of recent research seems precisely to be to overcome this gap and to aim for a convergence or crossfertilization of these two approaches. Therefore, what follows is an ideal-type distinction that tries to make some of the basic ideas of these two approaches more visible and aims at understanding their more general features.

The continental approach originally focused on a humanities-centered perspective on technology, its (mainly negative) consequences for society, and its rootedness in a problematic feature of human anthropology (the will to power), and finally tried to understand technology as such (its “essence”). The analytic approach, on the other hand, originally focused on a more science-based understanding of technology, its (mostly beneficial) potential for the progress of societies, and its rootedness in a rational (scientific) way to approach nature, and it finally tried to look not at technology as such but at specific problems or specific types of technologies.

In the continental philosophy of technology, technology is often interpreted as closely linked to a certain form of consciousness, a form of approaching nature (and also human interaction) from a perspective that is rooted in a scientific understanding of the world, which itself is rooted in the will to dominate nature. This approach is seen to replace or at least to endanger a value-based approach to reality. In this sense, Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology regards science and technology as a mere abstraction from the fullfledged real experience of the world we live in. In this way, the sphere of technical knowledge is limited and needs to be guided by value decisions, which do not have their basis in scientific or technical knowledge, but stem from our ethical knowledge of our life-world.

While technology is not at the center of Husserl’s interest, José Ortega y Gasset (1914/1961) was one of the first philosophers who aimed at a deeper understanding of the relation between human nature and technology. Rejecting Husserl’s later emphasis on the transcendental subject, he insists that human nature can only be understood by the formula “I am I plus my circumstances.” Philosophy can thus neither start from the isolated subject (as in idealism), nor can it interpret everything from the perspective of the material conditions (as in materialism). Rather, it must find a middle ground. The essence of humans is for Ortega not determined by nature; this distinguishes humans from plants or animals or from physical objects—all having a defined, specific given nature. Man must determine his own nature by himself by way of the creative imagination. Technology is interpreted as the material realization of this self-image; it is a projection of an inner invention into nature. According to Ortega, technology evolved in three phases: It started as a collection of accidental findings of means toward ends by pure chance. In a later state, these findings became traditions and skills that were passed on to the next generation. Modern technology marks a radical difference, since it is based on a systematic scientific approach, which forms the third phase. This approach, however, tends to become the dominant mode of thinking, so that man’s creative capacity for imagination (which is at the heart of man’s very essence) is in danger of being replaced or losing its importance (Ortega y Gasset, 1914/1961).

Martin Heidegger’s (1977) analysis of technology in his essay “The Question Concerning Technology” is also very influential. His philosophy aims at understanding the notion of being, which—so claims Heidegger—has been misinterpreted or neglected by traditional European philosophy. Since man is the only known being that can ask for the meaning of being, Heidegger’s analysis in Sein und Zeit starts from an interpretation of the existence of such a being ( Da-sein ). Even though his book is meant to be an exercise in philosophical (fundamental) ontology, it offers many anthropological insights about the specific human form of existence, in which the knowledge and the denial of one’s own mortality form essential human features.

In his later work, Heidegger (1977) understands technology as a specific form of disclosing reality. Asked for the essence of technology, people usually refer to it as a means to achieve an end (instrumental definition), or they define technology as an essential human activity (anthropological definition). Even though Heidegger admits that these definitions are “correct,” they do not disclose the essential truth about technology for two reasons. Essentially, (1) technology is not a tool for achieving an end, but rather the perspective under which everything that exists is seen only as a potential resource to achieve an (external) end. Furthermore, (2) this disclosure of reality is not a human-directed practice: Humans are driven objects rather than being themselves the active subjects. According to these conclusions, the instrumental and the anthropological definitions of technology do not capture the whole truth of technology. Let us look at these two points in turn, as follows:

  • The essence of technology lies, according to Heidegger, in its capacity to disclose reality ( entbergen ) under a very specific, limited perspective. This perspective reduces everything to a potential object for manipulation, a resource ( Bestand ) for further activity. Technology is thus a way to disclose something hidden. Following his analysis of the Greek word for truth ( aletheia ) as referring to something undisclosed, he sees thus a “truth” at work, under which reality presents itself as a mere collection of resources for external purposes, rid of all inner logic and teleology that was so prominent in traditional understandings of nature. Heidegger points at the different ways in which a river is seen by a poet in an artwork ( Kunst werk), on the one hand, and, on the other hand, in which the same river is seen by an engineer as a potential resource for energy generation in a power plant ( Kraft werk).
  • Heidegger then goes on to claim that opposed to the image of man being in control of technology and using it for his purposes, he should rather be seen as being provoked ( herausgefordert ) by this coming to pass. Heidegger clearly wants to reject the optimistic idea of “man being in control” through the help of modern technology and, rather, revert it to its opposite: man being driven by a force greater than himself. He calls this driving force the essence of technology, the en-framing ( Ge-stell ) that prompts humans to look at nature under the idea of its usability. In doing so, man is in highest danger, but not because of potential hazards or specific negative consequence of modern technology. The danger is, rather, that he loses sight of understanding nature in a different way and that he might finally end up understanding also himself and other humans only as potential “resources” or potential material for manipulation and instrumentalization. Heidegger suspects that art might be a potential antidote to this development: In Greek, techne originally encompassed also the production of beautiful objects in art. Thus, a deeper understanding of technology might reveal its relation to art and might point to the fact that art offers a potential answer to the challenge that modern technology poses to human self-understanding.

Certainly, Heidegger’s contribution to the modern philosophy of technology lies more in highlighting this essential dimension of technology as a threat, rather than in elaborating strategies to counter these inherent dangers. Heidegger’s article is arguably the single most influential essay written in the philosophy of technology, although his mannered, often dark language allows for different interpretations and often lacks the clarity of philosophical contributions from the analytical school. But the idea that “technology” and technological rationality is a limited form of looking at reality—one that is in strong need of a countervision, and that might further lead to a deformation of intersubjective human relations and that finally affects human self-understanding—has ever since been a prominent topic in different thinkers from Adorno and Marcuse to Jürgen Habermas, as illustrated earlier. This idea has often been linked with an ethical concern: Modern technology calls for new ethical guidelines, and despite some beneficial consequence, poses a potential threat to human existence. Much of this ethical debate about modern technology was triggered by its potential to radically destroy human life, be it through nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons or by consequences of environmental pollution and climate change.

Heidegger’s pupil Hans Jonas (1984) was one of the first philosophers to emphasize the need for a specific “ethics for the age of technology,” feeling that modern technology urges us to radically reconsider our ethical intuitions in order to meet the new challenges. Nevertheless, based on humans’ anthropological need to seek protection against nature, classical technology never fully reached this aim. Nature remained always more powerful than men, and the consequences of human actions were mostly not far-reaching. Traditional ethics could therefore focus on the “near and dear.” Modern technology, however, radically changes the picture: Its scope is unknown in premodern times; its consequences and potential dangers could be fatal, far-reaching, and irreversible. Focusing on the environmental problems of modern societies with, as the darkest perspective, the possible extinction of humankind, Jonas suggests broadening the scope of our ethical obligations: If our actions are more far-reaching than ever before in the history of humankind, we need to acquire a new ethical countervision. Jonas finds this remedy in the anthropological feature of our feelings of responsibility. Responsibility often expresses an asymmetrical relation, as in parents who feel responsible to care for their children. The old ethical intuition to derive obligations from the rights of free and conscious individuals, able to participate in argumentation and democratic decisions, seems to be too narrow to account for most environmental problems: Future generations are not yet born, animals and nature cannot in the same sense be regarded as having rights, as has been established in previous ethical approaches to the idea of universal human rights. But obligations may also stem from the idea of responsibility, from the idea that something has been given into our care.

Analytic philosophy is rooted in the quest for clear conceptualization, sound argumentation, and scientific precision. For early analytical philosophy in the Vienna Circle, the mathematical nature of scientific knowledge could serve as a role model for knowledge as such: hence, the need for and the extended usage of logical formalization within analytic philosophy. Skeptical of the quest to address the essence of things like “the technology” in general, analytic philosophers very often focus on concrete problems linked to very specific technologies. Even though many thinkers in the line of logical positivism thus greeted scientific knowledge as the highest form of knowledge, this did not always lead to an unbalanced embrace of technology. In Bertrand Russell (1951), we find a skeptical attitude toward the social benefits of technology, especially if it is linked with totalitarian ideology. Thus, he stresses the importance of democratic education; if placed in a democratic context and applied in well-defined careful steps, technology is, however, beneficial for progress in a way in which Karl Popper (1957) typically advertises as piecemeal social engineering. Important early contributions to an analytic philosophy of technology stem further from Mario Bunge (1979), whose ideas closely link to the program of logical empiricism and oppose the “romantic wailings about the alleged evils of technology” (p. 68).

Even though this distinction between humanities’ philosophy of technology and engineering’s philosophy of technology (Mitcham, 1994) marks the background of the philosophical discussion on technology in the early 20th century, the debate soon moved beyond this opposition. Three tendencies seem to be of importance.

First, continental philosophy was moving away from the attempt to come up with metaphysical, religious, or anthropological answers to the big questions. With the emergence of postmodernism, the alleged end of the “big stories” was proclaimed, thus making a metaphysical approach less fashionable. Appealing to ontology (as in Heidegger), to metaphysics, or to religious ideals (as in Jonas) seemed less promising. Even though early continental philosophy was very critical with regard to strategic rationality and technology, it has been criticized by postmodernism as not moving radically beyond the central modernistic Western ideal of a rational philosophical synthesis or universal world interpretation.

Second, the focus within the philosophy of technology moved toward a renewed interest in looking at concrete technologies and the challenges they pose for analytical and ethical reflection, a movement that has been called the empirical turn in the philosophy of technology (Kroes, 2001).

Third, different attempts were soon made to bridge the gap between the two camps. In post-world-war Germany, the Society of German Engineers (VDI) established a dialogue about the responsibilities of scientists and engineers, addressing topics and worries of the humanities. The experience of the massive and systematic use of technology for organized mass murder during the holocaust and the development of technology for modern warfare, including the development of the nuclear bomb, raised issues about the responsibilities of engineers. The debate of the VDI meetings resulted in a series of important publications on the philosophy of technology (Rapp, 1981); these must be recognized as an important attempt to synthesize different strands of philosophical thinking, even though it can be asked how far the VDI school was really successful in transcending its engineering-philosophical origins (Mitcham, 1994, p. 71).

Along a similar line, authors have tried to combine the phenomenological approach with American pragmatism, thus bridging insights of a more continental and a more analytical tradition. Common to phenomenology and pragmatism is the idea of the priority of praxis over theory and thus the tendency not to see technology as applied science but, rather, science as a purified or abstract form of (technological) praxis. Following the works of John Dewey, thinkers like Paul T. Durbin (1992), Larry Hickman (1990), and Don Ihde (1979) have tried to establish a pragmatist phenomenological approach to technology. The insights of Don Ihde that each technology either extends human bodily experience (e.g., the microscope) or calls for human interpretations (e.g., the thermometer) are of particular anthropological interest. If technology amplifies our experience, then it always does so at the cost of a reduction: In highlighting or amplifying certain aspects of reality, it makes invisible other aspects of this very same reality (as in an ultrasonic picture) (Ihde, 1979). The way technology thus “mediates” our interpretation of the world, and our actions within it, has been a further object of extended research (e.g., Verbeek, 2005).

A further attempt to bridge humanist and engineering tradition has been made by Carl Mitcham (1994), who nevertheless tries to defend the priority of the humanist perspective, but at the same time develops an analytic framework that should serve for further investigation within the philosophy of technology. He distinguishes among technology as object (tools), as type of knowledge, as activity, and as volition (expression of man’s intention or will). The 1980s and 1990s saw an increased interest, especially in the analyses of the first three aspects of this distinction.

With regard to the fourth aspect, ethical issues have been a central topic for many philosophers of technology, ranging from debates about the responsibility of scientists and engineers, medical and bioethics, business ethics, technology assessment, risk assessment and decision under uncertainty, to environmental ethics. Two of these fields are of particular interest from an anthropological perspective: In environmental ethics, those theories might shed light on anthropological questions seeking to interpret the environmental crisis as essentially rooted in human nature. It has been argued that it is a human tendency to value short-term (individual) interests more highly than long-term (collective) interests, thus putting a pessimistic neo-Hobbesian anthropology in the middle of the debate. According to Garrett Hardin (1968), it is this very human tendency (together with a mismatch in the growth of the human population that exceeds the growth of the supply of the food or other resources) that leads to the “tragedy of the commons.” Research in game theory and environmental sociobiology indicates the possibility of holding a more optimistic view of the development of cooperative strategies in humans (Axelrod, 1984), though the issue is still debated and there is room for a more pessimistic perspective, as has been defended early on by some sociobiologists (Dawkins, 1978) or recently by some philosophers (Gardiner, 2001).

In the ethical debate on transhumanism, finally, many links can be found to classical anthropological questions about the essence of man (e.g., Baillie, 2005; Fukuyama, 2004). The central debated question is whether it is morally allowed, forbidden, or even demanded from us to enhance our human capacities through new technologies, ranging from short-term nonevasive ways (like taking performanceenhancing drugs) to fundamental irreversible changes (like genetic engineering). While bioconservativists argue against an extended usage of enhancement technologies, transhumanists point to the potential benefits of these new options. It is reasonable to assume that these issues will be with us as technology advances and opens new possibilities to alter the human condition. This opens a radical new challenge to anthropology, which until recently dedicated itself to understanding the given human nature, while it now has to face the normative question of which we should choose as our future nature, once technology offers radical new options of changing human nature (e.g., as by slowing down or even stopping the process of aging). It seems that the anthropology of the future must take into consideration, more and more, normative claims and it must reach out to incorporate ethics to prepare itself for the challenges modern technology poses.

Looking at recent tendencies in research, it can be argued that the initial focus on linking technology with a universal, philosophical anthropological vision, also rooted in biological knowledge, was one of the key achievements of early philosophical anthropology in the works of Gehlen and others. What made these anthropologies remarkable was their attempt to bring together the different traditions of anthropological thought, ranging from philosophy to sociology and biology. A turn toward a more social perspective was established first by Gehlen himself, the Frankfurt school, and later STS studies, sometimes leading away from or even lacking both an underlying philosophical vision and an interest in our biological nature. Very recently, however, sociologists and philosophers have shown an increased interest in biology (as is visible in the ever-growing numbers of publications in sociobiology and the philosophy of biology). This increased attention has not yet led to a revival of an interest in the links between anthropology and technology. But in order to understand man—both in his evolutionary origins and (maybe even more) in his current historical situation—it seems to demand attention to man’s amazing capacity to develop technology.

It can reasonably be argued that what is thus needed is a new vision of how to synthesize the different fields of biological, social, and cultural anthropology. It seems that after the empirical turn to gather extended details over the biological and social aspects of technology, there is now a call for a new philosophical turn, seeking a new discourse synthesis. Many classical questions of anthropology will tend to remain unanswered, if academic research remains focused only on disciplinary perspectives, which always look at only a part of the whole picture. It is certainly true that man is a social animal, that he has biological roots and that he can ask ethical and philosophical questions about the good and about his place in this universe. The disciplinary separations in biology, sociology, and philosophy (to name just a few) tend, however, to distract from the fact that man in reality is a unity, meaning that a true answer to the most fundamental question of anthropology (What is man?) calls for a plausible combination of these approaches. To synthesize the different aspects of our knowledge about our own human nature is certainly far from being an easy task, but it seems more needed than ever.

But if this is not yet a big enough challenge, there is even a second aspect that makes the quest for a synthesis even more challenging. It seems that a new anthropological vision of humankind must answer a question that classical anthropology has not been dealing with: If technology soon allows us to alter our very nature, then we must know not only what the human condition is, but also what the human condition should be.

Ethics might again enter anthropological reflection, as has been hinted at already by early thinkers such as Scheler and Jonas. Recent attempts to place man in the middle of both a normative vision of ideals, on the one side, and against a profound overview of our descriptive knowledge about our essence, on the other side (as in the voluminous attempt at a synthesis in Hösle, 2004), deserve attention, as they might be the first steps toward a renewed synthetic anthropology that tries to bridge the gaps among the different disciplines. A deepened understanding of technology must be a central part of these efforts, since the way we use tools and produce artifacts is one of the remarkable features of humankind—a feature in much need of guidance by descriptive knowledge and ethical wisdom, especially in our age in which technology (of which humans have been the subject) is about to discover the condition humana as its potential object in a way more radical than ever before.


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sample technology research paper

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Free Technology Paper Samples

Should artificial intelligence be regulated.

The 21st century is commonly referred to technological revolution. A great deal of experts in this domain consider our humanity to be on the path towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution leading the world to a much greater transformation. Before such a hypothesis, it is critical to determine to what AI is attributed as well as its purpose like technology itself....

Words: 1523 | Pages: 7

Overview Of Wireless Networks Evolution

Introduction Recently, there is a substantial evolution of mobile usage and traffic , So the wireless network should design new architectures adopting the advances in cloud computing, Mobile wireless has evolved over the years from Zero Generation (0G), First Generation (1G), Second Generation (2G), Third Generation (3G), until Fourth Generation (4G LTE) technology are being deployed with the performance and...

Words: 1746 | Pages: 8

My Passion About Graphic Designer

Passion is a great thing, and I believe it is one of the things that I have been able to identify the best ways of being within a career. Am a graphic designer by profession and proud to say that I am building myself up something I love and something that I have looked forward to doing for a long...

Words: 693 | Pages: 3

Technology is Killing Our Society

Topic Technology is killing our society is the topic I settled for. I choose this topic because nowadays, people are getting addictive with internet to the point where they don't take care their children. Children are more motivated to be in their smartphones playing video games online than playing with their friends; nowadays people are attracted to this new era...

Words: 1540 | Pages: 7

Analytical Paper on the Development of the Graphic Design

The Development of Graphic Design In truth, graphic design is one of the most creative disciplines to which artists can be exposed. Precisely, it is an art that integrates combines visual representation and display of information as well as ideas. As such, artists invest their effort in creating works that strive to offer solutions to an identified problem or even...

Words: 1083 | Pages: 5

Human Centered Computing

Abstract This work explores human centered computing. It is an aspect of computing that explores the entire spectrum of interactions that occur between human beings and computing devices. In line with this regard, the survey paper analyses previous works that have been undertaken in this area of study by other scholars. In this regard, the paper acknowledges the contribution of...

Words: 2034 | Pages: 9

Effects of Word Processing Programs and Writing Software on Students’ Writing Ability

Introduction Mixed reactions have since emerged in researches conducted to identify the effects of word processing programs and computer writing software on students’ writing capabilities. Some studies have shown positive effects towards the use of computer word processing programs. On the other hand, others have indicated barely minimal difference in cases where the programs or software are used by students...

Words: 1493 | Pages: 7

Architecture Behind the Keyless Entry System

To start with a smart key is an automatic right of entry and approval system that is an alternative to traditional keys that were in use previously as the standardized option in several cars and points of entry. The smart key was first were created in 1995 by Siemens group of companies and pioneered into use by Mercedes-Benz and named...

Words: 2643 | Pages: 12

Impact of the Internet on Investment Privacy

Executive Summary There is no form of information communication that can be completely guaranteed to be private, and the embarrassing wikileaks and the Hillary Clinton saga unearthed the vulnerability of private interactions over the internet. However, the big debate over privacy through the internet is concerned with the big data where large marketing companies can use private information of individuals...

Words: 7131 | Pages: 30

Profile Piece on Web Developing

Introduction Choosing a career requires a lot of thought and detailed information about the career of choice. Web design has been a field of personal interest from an early age. This has mainly been driven by my passion for design and technology. My choice for web design is reassured after conducting my interview with John a professional web designer. I...

Words: 1110 | Pages: 5

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Hiring CS Graduates: What We Learned from Employers

Computer science ( CS ) majors are in high demand and account for a large part of national computer and information technology job market applicants. Employment in this sector is projected to grow 12% between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than the average of all other occupations. Published data are available on traditional non-computer science-specific hiring processes. However, the hiring process for CS majors may be different. It is critical to have up-to-date information on questions such as “what positions are in high demand for CS majors?,” “what is a typical hiring process?,” and “what do employers say they look for when hiring CS graduates?” This article discusses the analysis of a survey of 218 recruiters hiring CS graduates in the United States. We used Atlas.ti to analyze qualitative survey data and report the results on what positions are in the highest demand, the hiring process, and the resume review process. Our study revealed that a software developer was the most common job the recruiters were looking to fill. We found that the hiring process steps for CS graduates are generally aligned with traditional hiring steps, with an additional emphasis on technical and coding tests. Recruiters reported that their hiring choices were based on reviewing resume’s experience, GPA, and projects sections. The results provide insights into the hiring process, decision making, resume analysis, and some discrepancies between current undergraduate CS program outcomes and employers’ expectations.

A Systematic Literature Review of Empiricism and Norms of Reporting in Computing Education Research Literature

Context. Computing Education Research (CER) is critical to help the computing education community and policy makers support the increasing population of students who need to learn computing skills for future careers. For a community to systematically advance knowledge about a topic, the members must be able to understand published work thoroughly enough to perform replications, conduct meta-analyses, and build theories. There is a need to understand whether published research allows the CER community to systematically advance knowledge and build theories. Objectives. The goal of this study is to characterize the reporting of empiricism in Computing Education Research literature by identifying whether publications include content necessary for researchers to perform replications, meta-analyses, and theory building. We answer three research questions related to this goal: (RQ1) What percentage of papers in CER venues have some form of empirical evaluation? (RQ2) Of the papers that have empirical evaluation, what are the characteristics of the empirical evaluation? (RQ3) Of the papers that have empirical evaluation, do they follow norms (both for inclusion and for labeling of information needed for replication, meta-analysis, and, eventually, theory-building) for reporting empirical work? Methods. We conducted a systematic literature review of the 2014 and 2015 proceedings or issues of five CER venues: Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE TS), International Symposium on Computing Education Research (ICER), Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE), and Computer Science Education (CSE). We developed and applied the CER Empiricism Assessment Rubric to the 427 papers accepted and published at these venues over 2014 and 2015. Two people evaluated each paper using the Base Rubric for characterizing the paper. An individual person applied the other rubrics to characterize the norms of reporting, as appropriate for the paper type. Any discrepancies or questions were discussed between multiple reviewers to resolve. Results. We found that over 80% of papers accepted across all five venues had some form of empirical evaluation. Quantitative evaluation methods were the most frequently reported. Papers most frequently reported results on interventions around pedagogical techniques, curriculum, community, or tools. There was a split in papers that had some type of comparison between an intervention and some other dataset or baseline. Most papers reported related work, following the expectations for doing so in the SIGCSE and CER community. However, many papers were lacking properly reported research objectives, goals, research questions, or hypotheses; description of participants; study design; data collection; and threats to validity. These results align with prior surveys of the CER literature. Conclusions. CER authors are contributing empirical results to the literature; however, not all norms for reporting are met. We encourage authors to provide clear, labeled details about their work so readers can use the study methodologies and results for replications and meta-analyses. As our community grows, our reporting of CER should mature to help establish computing education theory to support the next generation of computing learners.

Light Diacritic Restoration to Disambiguate Homographs in Modern Arabic Texts

Diacritic restoration (also known as diacritization or vowelization) is the process of inserting the correct diacritical markings into a text. Modern Arabic is typically written without diacritics, e.g., newspapers. This lack of diacritical markings often causes ambiguity, and though natives are adept at resolving, there are times they may fail. Diacritic restoration is a classical problem in computer science. Still, as most of the works tackle the full (heavy) diacritization of text, we, however, are interested in diacritizing the text using a fewer number of diacritics. Studies have shown that a fully diacritized text is visually displeasing and slows down the reading. This article proposes a system to diacritize homographs using the least number of diacritics, thus the name “light.” There is a large class of words that fall under the homograph category, and we will be dealing with the class of words that share the spelling but not the meaning. With fewer diacritics, we do not expect any effect on reading speed, while eye strain is reduced. The system contains morphological analyzer and context similarities. The morphological analyzer is used to generate all word candidates for diacritics. Then, through a statistical approach and context similarities, we resolve the homographs. Experimentally, the system shows very promising results, and our best accuracy is 85.6%.

A genre-based analysis of questions and comments in Q&A sessions after conference paper presentations in computer science

Gender diversity in computer science at a large public r1 research university: reporting on a self-study.

With the number of jobs in computer occupations on the rise, there is a greater need for computer science (CS) graduates than ever. At the same time, most CS departments across the country are only seeing 25–30% of women students in their classes, meaning that we are failing to draw interest from a large portion of the population. In this work, we explore the gender gap in CS at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, a large public R1 research university, using three data sets that span thousands of students across six academic years. Specifically, we combine these data sets to study the gender gaps in four core CS courses and explore the correlation of several factors with retention and the impact of these factors on changes to the gender gap as students proceed through the CS courses toward completing the CS major. For example, we find that a significant percentage of women students taking the introductory CS1 course for majors do not intend to major in CS, which may be a contributing factor to a large increase in the gender gap immediately after CS1. This finding implies that part of the retention task is attracting these women students to further explore the major. Results from our study include both novel findings and findings that are consistent with known challenges for increasing gender diversity in CS. In both cases, we provide extensive quantitative data in support of the findings.

Designing for Student-Directedness: How K–12 Teachers Utilize Peers to Support Projects

Student-directed projects—projects in which students have individual control over what they create and how to create it—are a promising practice for supporting the development of conceptual understanding and personal interest in K–12 computer science classrooms. In this article, we explore a central (and perhaps counterintuitive) design principle identified by a group of K–12 computer science teachers who support student-directed projects in their classrooms: in order for students to develop their own ideas and determine how to pursue them, students must have opportunities to engage with other students’ work. In this qualitative study, we investigated the instructional practices of 25 K–12 teachers using a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews to develop understandings of how they used peer work to support student-directed projects in their classrooms. Teachers described supporting their students in navigating three stages of project development: generating ideas, pursuing ideas, and presenting ideas. For each of these three stages, teachers considered multiple factors to encourage engagement with peer work in their classrooms, including the quality and completeness of shared work and the modes of interaction with the work. We discuss how this pedagogical approach offers students new relationships to their own learning, to their peers, and to their teachers and communicates important messages to students about their own competence and agency, potentially contributing to aims within computer science for broadening participation.

Creativity in CS1: A Literature Review

Computer science is a fast-growing field in today’s digitized age, and working in this industry often requires creativity and innovative thought. An issue within computer science education, however, is that large introductory programming courses often involve little opportunity for creative thinking within coursework. The undergraduate introductory programming course (CS1) is notorious for its poor student performance and retention rates across multiple institutions. Integrating opportunities for creative thinking may help combat this issue by adding a personal touch to course content, which could allow beginner CS students to better relate to the abstract world of programming. Research on the role of creativity in computer science education (CSE) is an interesting area with a lot of room for exploration due to the complexity of the phenomenon of creativity as well as the CSE research field being fairly new compared to some other education fields where this topic has been more closely explored. To contribute to this area of research, this article provides a literature review exploring the concept of creativity as relevant to computer science education and CS1 in particular. Based on the review of the literature, we conclude creativity is an essential component to computer science, and the type of creativity that computer science requires is in fact, a teachable skill through the use of various tools and strategies. These strategies include the integration of open-ended assignments, large collaborative projects, learning by teaching, multimedia projects, small creative computational exercises, game development projects, digitally produced art, robotics, digital story-telling, music manipulation, and project-based learning. Research on each of these strategies and their effects on student experiences within CS1 is discussed in this review. Last, six main components of creativity-enhancing activities are identified based on the studies about incorporating creativity into CS1. These components are as follows: Collaboration, Relevance, Autonomy, Ownership, Hands-On Learning, and Visual Feedback. The purpose of this article is to contribute to computer science educators’ understanding of how creativity is best understood in the context of computer science education and explore practical applications of creativity theory in CS1 classrooms. This is an important collection of information for restructuring aspects of future introductory programming courses in creative, innovative ways that benefit student learning.

CATS: Customizable Abstractive Topic-based Summarization

Neural sequence-to-sequence models are the state-of-the-art approach used in abstractive summarization of textual documents, useful for producing condensed versions of source text narratives without being restricted to using only words from the original text. Despite the advances in abstractive summarization, custom generation of summaries (e.g., towards a user’s preference) remains unexplored. In this article, we present CATS, an abstractive neural summarization model that summarizes content in a sequence-to-sequence fashion while also introducing a new mechanism to control the underlying latent topic distribution of the produced summaries. We empirically illustrate the efficacy of our model in producing customized summaries and present findings that facilitate the design of such systems. We use the well-known CNN/DailyMail dataset to evaluate our model. Furthermore, we present a transfer-learning method and demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach in a low resource setting, i.e., abstractive summarization of meetings minutes, where combining the main available meetings’ transcripts datasets, AMI and International Computer Science Institute(ICSI) , results in merely a few hundred training documents.

Exploring students’ and lecturers’ views on collaboration and cooperation in computer science courses - a qualitative analysis

Factors affecting student educational choices regarding oer material in computer science, export citation format, share document.

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  • Social Sciences

100 Technology Topics for Research Papers

  • Author: Virginia Kearney

These topics can help inspire your next technology-based research paper!

These topics can help inspire your next technology-based research paper!

geralt CC0 Public Domain via Pixaby

Will You Be a Problem Solver?

Every year, technological devices become faster, smaller, and smarter. In fact, your cell phone holds more information than the room-sized computers that sent a man to the moon!

In my essay Can Today's College Students Solve World Problems? I talk about how advances like the green revolution and more fuel-efficient cars solved many of the problems I worried about as a college freshman in 1979. Yet these new solutions also cause new problems. For example, the invention of the gasoline engine made travel faster and easier but also raised concerns about air pollution and global warming.

This generation has many problems to solve, but as I've worked with college students over the last 25 years, I know they are poised and ready to be problem solvers. My goal in writing this article is to motivate students to research problems they care about so that they will be poised to find creative and innovative solutions for our future. Below, you will find many questions, ideas, links, research, and videos to get you started on your research essay.


This Article Includes Steps for Researching How to Write Your Paper Over 100 Tech Topics: 1. General 2. Reproduction 3. Health 4. Genetic Engineering 5. Technical Experiments on Humans 6. Relationships and Media 7. War 8. Information and Communication Tech 9. Computer Science and Robotics

Steps in Researching

  • Understand your Research Assignment: What kind of research paper has your instructor assigned? Re-read your assignment sheet and any information in the textbook. For example, I ask my students to choose a technology topic for a Summary, Analysis, and Response essay , which asks them to research three or more perspectives on an issue.
  • Find a Topic Idea : Look over the topic lists below to find a question that interests you. For an Exploratory paper , you will need a topic that has three or more perspectives to explore. If you are doing a Position, Argument, or a Cause paper , you will need to know the different perspectives, but you will use your answer to the question as your thesis statement.
  • Read about the Topic : Once you find one you like, you can learn more about that issue by looking at some of the hyperlinked articles. You can look for more research articles at your school library or online at Google Scholar. Additionally, check science magazines for a non-technical audience like Discover, Scientific American, or Popular Scientist. Science Daily is a good website to check for breaking news and research.
  • Choose a Question to Research : After you find a topic idea you like, write out the question and make a list of other similar issues or words you could use as keywords to research. You can use the other questions on the topic list to help you out.
  • Use Your Keyword Ideas to Look for Articles : You can start by looking through a search engine to see what you can find, but don't use articles that don't fit the type of authoritative sources your instructor requires.
  • Use Links to Find Good Sources : One hint is to follow the links in articles that are written for a non-specialist that go to the original sources and research articles. You can also use your library resources to find more academic articles.
  • Follow my instructions in writing your essay: Easy Ways to Write a Thesis Sentence , Writing Argument Essays , and, How to Write a Paper Without Making Common Mistakes .

Technology Topics

Here is a list of twenty starter topic ideas for research essays. See below for many more!

  • How has COVID-19 changed medical technologies? What will be the lasting impact on how we attack other viruses and even cancer?
  • What are the long-term effects of living in a technological world? Are these mostly negative or positive?
  • Are children under 10 now growing up in a different world than college-age students did? How is it different, and what does that mean for them?
  • What is the most important new technology for solving world problems?
  • How has social media helped solve and create problems in countries outside the U.S.?
  • Will governments like China and North Korea continue to be able to control citizens' access to the Internet and social media?
  • How do social media, texting, cell phones, and the Internet make the world bigger? Smaller?
  • What are the implications of ever-increasing globalization through technology to the global economy?
  • Technology is changing so quickly that we are frequently using computers, software programs, and other technologies that have frustrating glitches and problems. Is there a solution?
  • How does our experience of social interactions with other humans influence the way we interact with machines?
  • When does it become morally wrong to genetically engineer your child?
  • How have COVID shutdowns, virtual learning, and remote work changed our relationship with technology?
  • How is online education going to change the way students learn?
  • Does the Internet need controls or censorship? If so, what kind?
  • Do digital tools make us more or less productive at work?
  • To what extent is the development of new technologies having a negative effect?
  • How will technology change our lives in twenty years?
  • Should people get identity chips implanted under their skin?
  • Should people in all countries have equal access to technological developments?
  • Can video gaming help solve world problems?
  • How are brains different from computers?
  • Is organic food better for you than genetically modified foods?
  • What are genetically modified food technologies able to do? How does this compare with traditional plant breeding methods?
  • Should genetically modified food technologies be used to solve hunger issues?
  • Since it is now possible to sequence human genes to find out about possible future heath risks, is that something everyone should have done? What are the advantages or disadvantages?
  • If people have genetic testing, who has the right to that information? Should healthcare companies and employers have access to that information?
  • If parents have genetic information about their children, when and how should they share it with the child?
  • What sort of genetic information should parents seek about their children, and how might this influence raising that child?
  • Are self-driving cars a good or bad idea?
  • How might travel in the future be different?
  • Should information technologies and Internet availability make work from home the norm?

Reproduction Technologies

  • What is the best way for infertile couples to have a child?
  • Should research into mechanical reproduction technologies be unlimited?
  • What do we do about frozen embryos that won't be used by the donating couple?
  • Should "adopting" frozen embryos be encouraged more widely?
  • Is mechanical reproduction ethical?
  • Is there a difference between raising adopted and birth children?
  • How can we best take care of the problem of unwanted pregnancies?
  • What makes a person a mother or a father?
  • What regulation should there be on infertility technologies?
  • Should health insurance plans cover infertility technologies?
  • How far is "too far" in reproductive technologies?
  • Should we be trying to use cloning and surrogate parenting to bring back extinct species?

Your Gamete, Myself : An article about egg and sperm donation

  • How important is it to have a genetic connection with your children?
  • Do egg donors and children have rights to a relationship?
  • Should egg and sperm donors be compensated?
  • Should children created through egg or sperm donation have the right to contact their donor?
  • Should there be a limit to the number of children a sperm donor can have?

The Curious Lives of Surrogates : Discussing the reason why some women choose to be surrogate mothers.

  • Is surrogate pregnancy a good way for a couple to get a baby?
  • Is it right that surrogacy is heavily advertised to military wives?
  • What should the children’s rights be in the case of surrogate pregnancy?
  • Should surrogates be used for any reason or only for health reasons?
  • Is it ethical for a woman to carry someone else’s child?
  • Should there be regulations on international surrogacy?



Wellington House: Britain's WW1 Propaganda Bureau

Health technologies.

The Beating Heart Donors : Discussing organ transplant procedures.

  • What do we need to do in order to make organ donation a better experience for everyone involved?
  • When is a person dead? How do we define death? Should there be changes in our definition of “brain death"?
  • Should organ donors be given pain medications?
  • Should we choose organ donation for ourselves and our loved ones?
  • Do organ donors feel pain?
  • What is the best method of organ replacement to solve the problem of a shortage of donors?

How Pig Guts Became the Next Bright Hope for Regenerating Human Limbs

  • Will regenerating human limbs be a reality in our lifetime?
  • What is the best way to help people who have lost a limb?
  • Is it ethical to use tissue from animals in people?
  • Are using embryonic stem cells necessary, or will technological innovations make these obsolete?
  • Should more funding grants from the National Institute of Health (which tend to support research projects without immediate practical applications) go to practical research projects which produce direct medical help to individuals?
  • When considering war, should we factor in the medical costs of soldiers who will return wounded?

The Bypass Cure : Tells of new evidence that Gastric Bypass surgery can cure diabetes.

  • What is the best way to help solve the problem of a rising number of people with Type 2 diabetes in the U.S.?
  • What is the best way to treat people with morbid obesity?
  • Should bypass surgeries be used as a standard cure for type 2 diabetes?
  • What is the cause of the recent increase in diabetes in the U.S.?
  • How much of diabetes type 2 and obesity is genetic? How much is behavioral?
  • Should people with obesity and diabetes, or other diseases pay more for health care?

Should bypass surgery be used to cure diabetes?

Should bypass surgery be used to cure diabetes?

tps Dave, CC0, via Pixabay

Genetic Engineering Technologies

Genetic Engineering of Humans Research Links

  • The CRISPR baby scandal
  • Help Wanted: Adventurous Woman to Give Birth to a Neanderthal Baby
  • Human Genome Project fact sheets
  • How Genetic Engineering will reshape society
  • Is human cloning a good or bad idea?
  • Should we ban human cloning?
  • What makes people human?
  • What is the role of religion/faith in making decisions about using reproductive technologies?
  • How does cloning change the value of human life?
  • How should we best solve the problem of genetic diseases?
  • Is there a point when genetic engineering has gone too far?
  • Who should decide the limits of how genetic engineering is used?
  • What is the best way to use the technologies of genetic engineering to help humans?
  • Which genetic engineering projects should be given the most funding?

Technologies and Human Identity

Medicine, Experiments, and Human Identity

  • Should human life be deemed more important than animal life?
  • What is the dignity of human life, and how should we observe this in medical situations?
  • Who decides how far medical research should go?
  • Should there be limits to the scientific investigation of humans?

DNA Test Gives Students Shock

"I was Numb: Family Secrets Revealed in DNA testing"

How DNA Tests Can Affect Race Identification

  • What should people do when DNA tests reveal family secrets?
  • What should determine our racial identity? Is it our DNA, our appearance, our choice, our family, or our cultural environment?
  • How important is DNA information in forming our identity?
  • Should people get Ancestry DNA testing?
  • Should identifying as multi-racial be more common?

Ways to Leave Your Body : Tells about out-of-body technologies like virtual reality as well as other ways to be outside yourself.

  • What is the self? Can it be found in scientific investigation?
  • Does science have the final say about who we are? Will technology create an Inception effect where people will not be able to distinguish out-of-body from in-body experiences?
  • How will virtual reality technology change us?
  • Is virtual reality the future?
  • Should there be a limit to the research on virtual reality?
  • What are the uses and benefits of virtual reality technologies?

The Switched On Brain : Describes studies that are using light waves in the brain to cure psychiatric diseases.

  • Is controlling brains with technology like light ethical?
  • How important is it to find alternative treatments (something other than drugs) for mental illness?
  • What is the best way to treat mental illness?
  • Has an increase in the use of technology affected the rise of mental illness in the U.S.?
  • If it were possible, should technologies be used to control drug addictions?
  • Should we seek ways to control the brain with technologies?
  • What are the social dangers of brain-controlling technologies?


rony michaud CC0 Public Domain via Pixaby

Technology and Relationships

I s "Phubbing" Ruining Your Social Relationships? by James Roberts

  • Has social media changed our relationships in a good or bad way?
  • How important is it to monitor and limit our social media intake?
  • Is addiction to technology something we should worry about?
  • Are the distractions of using social media negatively influencing the workplace?
  • Has the media hurt or helped family communication? Friendship communication? Romantic relationships?
  • What is the best way to manage technology in relationships?
  • What is the best way to maintain a close relationship?

When Texting is Wrong , by Randy Cohen in the New York Times.

  • Is using technology in college classrooms a good or bad idea?
  • What is the best way for educators to incorporate social media into their classrooms?
  • What is the best way for educators to use technology to teach?
  • Should there be social rules about cell phone use in schools or the workplace?
  • How are technologies changing the way people interact in the workplace?
  • Have texting and social media damaged this generation's ability to communicate in person?
  • Do cell phones and social media make family relationships stronger?
  • How has texting changed the way we communicate with one another?
  • What are the dangers of texting?
  • When is texting rude? Has texting made this generation less respectful of other people? Who decides?

They Loved Your G.P.A., and Then They Saw Your Tweets by Natasha Singer in the New York Times

  • How should people manage their social networking profiles? How important is this?
  • Should there be limits to the access a university or employer has to social profiles?
  • Should teachers have limits on social networking with students?
  • How should professionals use Facebook or other social media?
  • Should there be more regulations on social media privacy?
  • How large a role should social profiles have in hiring and other decisions?
  • How justifiable is it to take legal action against someone for posts on social media sites?

Are nuclear bombs still needed for modern war?

Are nuclear bombs still needed for modern war?

Zapka, USAF [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

War Technology

Russia-Ukraine Conflict and How it Prompted U.S. Drone Technology

How Technology is Revolutionizing How Intelligence is Gathered

Living with the Bomb: The Atomic Bomb in Japanese Consciousness by Mark Selden

Living with the Bomb in National Geographic

  • How has drone warfare changed the way we think about war?
  • Does increasing military technology really make us safer?
  • Do more guns make people more or less safe?
  • How much money should the U.S. devote to military research for better weapons?
  • What would happen if someone detonated a nuclear bomb today?
  • How should the U.S. and other nations deal with Iran and North Korea and their development of nuclear weapons technology?
  • Should we destroy our nuclear weapons?
  • How has modern warfare technology changed the way we view war?
  • Has technology made the world safer or less safe?
  • Should drones be used in modern warfare?
  • What is the effect of taking people out of direct combat with the enemy?
  • Will nanobot drones be the future of warfare?

Information Communication Technologies (ITC)

Is Google Making Us Stupid? by Nicholas Carr in the Atlantic Monthly

  • Is technology changing the way we read?
  • Does an online format cause readers to skim rather than fully digest information?
  • Is being able to find information quickly online a good or bad thing?
  • How do we gauge intelligence?
  • How is Google search changing us?
  • How should we change teaching to incorporate new technologies?
  • How important is it that schools teach using iPads, Smart Boards, social media, and other new technologies?
  • Is there an intelligence developed through conventional reading and research which is being lost in the digital age?
  • If Google prefers its own brand of information, are we getting the best when we search?

Does the Internet Make You Smarter? by Clay Shirky in the Wall Street Journal

  • Should there be regulation of sites such as Wikipedia, which provide information that is not necessarily credible?
  • Are blogs better than books?
  • How necessary is teaching traditional research skills to today’s young people?
  • Do schools and parents need to encourage or discourage media use?
  • How is reading digitally different than reading print?
  • Is the digital generation going to be smarter or dumber?
  • Is Google affecting the attention span of young people?
  • Is using technology for entertainment a bad thing?

Information Storage (see videos)

  • How can storing information on DNA create new information system technologies?
  • Are there any ethical objections to using DNA for storage?
  • Is unlimited data storage a good thing? How can humans manage these large amounts of information?
  • Should we worry about the fact that the line between the human brain and a computer is getting blurred? Is it a problem that computers will soon be able to think?
  • Should we build robots to do many of the tasks people don't like to do? How relevant is the Wall-E scenario for our future?

Computer Science and Robotics

How Google is Remaking Itself Into a "Machine Learning First" Company (Wired)

Google Says Machine Learning is the Future, so I Tried It Myself (The Guardian)

  • Where is the hardware and software borderline in cloud computing?
  • What will be the consequences of everything moving into the cloud?
  • Can reinforcement learning teach robots to be more intelligent and more like humans?
  • Since open-source is becoming more of a trend in computer science, how can computer programmers be able to protect a device?
  • How will big data and bioinformatics change biology?
  • What is machine learning? How important is it?
  • Where will machine learning have the most impact?
  • How will virtualization change entertainment?

How will virtual reality change education?

  • Is virtual reality a good or bad thing?
  • What is the next level for the Internet? How can the Internet be changed to make it better?
  • If computers take over many of our tasks, what will humans do?
  • Which computer languages are going to be most important in the future?
  • If there is a new computer language to be invented, what does it need to do to be better than the languages we now have?
  • How are robots changing health care?

Five Kinds of Arguable Claims

These technology research topics represent arguable claims or ideas people don't agree on. Arguable claims make good research topics because there are several points of view that you can investigate.

Claim TypeExplanationArguable Claim Examples: Pro Global WarmingCon Global WarmingExploratory Essay Topics


What is it?

Global warming is real and can be documented with scientific evidence.

Global warming is a myth.

Is global warming real?


What does it mean?

Global warming is a serious and immediate threat to human and animal life.

Even if true, global warming is not an immediate threat.

How would global warming affect us?


What caused it?

Global warming is caused by man.

Natural processes on Earth and solar flares cause temperature fluctuations on earth.

What causes temperature fluctuations on earth?


What is important and why?

Global warming is an important problem now.

Global economic stability is more important than worrying about global warming.

How important is global warming?


What should we do about it? Who should do it?

The Kyoto Protocol needs to be adopted by all nations.

The Kyoto agreements would threaten world economies.

How should the world respond to the data suggesting global warming is happening?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: How is digital learning going to change schools and education?

Answer: I think the question of how digital learning and the Internet is changing the way we educate and learn is perhaps one of the key investigations of our generation. Many of my students have done papers on some aspect of this topic, and they have uncovered some fascinating evidence. Some of the most exciting information involves studies which examine:

How does reading on a screen differ from reading from a print page?

Do people retain as much information from a video as from a live lecture?

Does online interaction with classmates and an instructor increase participation, especially of less extroverted students?

Does digital learning equal the playing field for underrepresented groups?

How can digital learning help people in developing nations catch up with people in developed nations?

Does digital learning help or hinder important skills like critical thinking?

How should traditional education change to keep up with digital learning?

Are students with no access to computers in the classroom (traditional learning) learning more than those who have constant access via iPads or computers?

Which is better, school-supplied digital devices or having students bring their own computer from home (assuming those without computers are supplied a school computer)?

Question: Is modern technology helping humans be more efficient or lazier?

Answer: Technology or social media topics are something that everyone wants to investigate because so many of us are worried about our own use of phone and social media. You will find a lot of research articles that will help you write this paper. Because so many of my students have done this sort of topic, I will give you a hint: the more specific you are in talking about the type of technology or behavior you are going to argue about, the better.

Question: I am tasked with writing a research article on Information technology. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: Many of the topics in this article involve using information technology. To find a good topic, I'd suggest you start with the section which is labeled "Information and communication tech," but if you don't find anything there, you should look through the other sections for a topic which involves computers.

Question: Can you suggest a topic about computers and defense for a research paper?

Answer: 1. What is the role of computers in air defense?

2. What is the most important use of drones in warfare currently?

3. Does computer control of our defense systems make us more vulnerable?

4. How does the military prevent hacking attempts on their computer systems?

Question: What do you think of, "What is the impact of automation and the use of technology on the auditors after 115 years?" for a technology research paper topic?

Answer: This would be a good question if you narrowed it down to a specific industry.

Question: Where is the hardware and software borderline in cloud computing?

Answer: That is an interesting question. Here are some others on that topic:

1. How is cloud computing going to change the way we use computers?

2. Should companies move everything to the cloud?

Question: What do you think about sarcasm detection in social media? Do you have any suggestions about this topic?

Answer: This topic would be under the more overall topic of how social media can be improved or changed to work better. Here are some questions:

1. Will sarcasm detection make social media better for users?

2. Can sarcasm detection and other filters actually improve problems in social media use?

3. Is there a way to prevent social media to be used for personal gain or bullying?

4. How can we prevent problems in social media from ruining the platform?

5. Is there anything an individual can do to monitor their own social media use?

Question: What do you think of, "How does incorporating information technologies in the classroom affect students?" as a research paper topic?

Answer: Here are some other topic ideas:

1. Do students learn better when information technologies are incorporated in the classroom?

2. Is there a "best age" for introducing information technologies in the classroom?

3. How can information technologies be best used by teachers to enhance learning?

Question: Is there a type of intelligence developed through conventional reading and research which is being lost in the digital age?

Answer: Excellent question. Many of my students have been researching this topic recently. "Is Google Making Me Stupid" is a good article to start with in researching this topic.

Question: What do you think of the topic, "Do cell phones and social media make family relationships stronger?" for a research paper?

Answer: That seems to be a topic answer. I'd suggest you make the question more neutral:

1. How have cell phones and social media changed family relationships?

Question: What do you think of the topic, "How are robots changing healthcare?" for a technology research paper?

Answer: Here are some other questions about robots and healthcare:

How can doctors save time by using robots?

Can robots effectively help doctors give better health care in remote areas?

What is the best use of robots in healthcare?

Will robots eventually replace doctors?

Is robotic surgery better?

Question: What do you think of the topics, "Has media hurt or helped family communication?" and "Has it interfered with communication between friends?" for technology research papers?

Answer: You could combine these ideas with one of the questions below:

1. What has been the effect on personal relationships of an increasing reliance on social media to communicate?

2. How are young people's relationships changing because of social media?

3. Does social media interfere or help face-to-face communication?

4. How can we use social media effectively to enhance our personal relationships with family and friends?

Question: How would the following question work as a technology research paper topic: Can the use of iPad as a tool enhance children's social interactive skills?

Answer: Here are other topics on that subject:

1. How are schools effectively using iPads in the classroom?

2. Will using iPads in schools help or hurt children's social skills?

3. Can iPads help create a more interactive classroom environment?

Question: Can you suggest a topic about automotive technology?

Answer: 1. How will electric cars change automotive technology?

2. How will driverless cars influence automotive technology?

3. What is the biggest challenge now in the automotive technology industry?

4. What is the outlook for jobs in the automotive technology industry in (country name)?

5. Should students consider automotive technology for their careers?

Question: What do you think of "When will we have robots?" as a topic?

Answer: You have an interesting question but I think that it might be even better if you elaborated a bit more. Here are some possibilities:

Will robots ever be a part of the family?

Will robots take over most human jobs in factories?

What industries and jobs are most likely to be done by robots in the future?

Will robots replace humans as caretakers of the young and old?

Will robots become as intelligent as humans?

Are human-like robotic androids a real possibility in the future?

Will robots ever be able to do everything humans can do?

When will the average person have a personal robot?

Are devices like "robotic vacuum cleaners" and Alexa really robots?

What is a robot?

Question: Do you have any suggestions for the technology essay topic "How can the impact of digital advertising be assessed in developing countries?"

Answer: That is an interesting problem solution question. Here are some other possible questions on the same topic:

What is the impact of digital advertising in developing countries?

How can small businesses use digital advertising effectively?

What types of digital advertising are most successful in developing countries?

Can digital advertising be used to solve social problems in developing countries? I know some studies are being done about this last topic, and there is the wonderful example of the "Dumb Ways to Die" campaign which reached worldwide notoriety by using a catchy tune to urge people not to do things that would cause them to be hit by a train.

Question: My assignment was to choose a technology to question in my final project. I chose chip implantation in humans. Is this a sound topic?

Answer: A paper about chip implantation in humans is an exciting and vital topic to evaluate, and since there are already some experiments being done in Sweeden and elsewhere to see how efficient and successful this technology can be, you should have some current information to use for your research. If you are critiquing this practice, you might want to consider:

Is human chip implantation an invasion of privacy?

How safe is chip implantation for humans? Consider health risks and possible allergy problems.

Should you volunteer to get a microchip? What are the advantages or disadvantages?

Will microchipping keep us safer or put our finances and personal information in danger?

Question: What do you think of "Personal devices for improving productivity at school" as a research topic?

Answer: Using a question works better for your topic. Then your personal opinion or research is the answer. Here are some ideas:

1. Will personal devices improve the productivity of students at school?

2. Should schools provide personal devices or should students bring them from home?

3. How do personal devices affect student productivity?

4. How do personal devices affect the productivity of educators?

5. How to personal electronic devices affect the modern classroom?

Additionally, you can narrow down this topic by choosing a particular age group to deal with: elementary, high school, or college.

Question: Is the correlation between mathematics and music a legitimate research project?

Answer: Yes. Here are some ways to formulate that question:

1. What is the relationship between mathematics and music?

2. Is there a link between mathematics and music?

3. Should students try to study both math and music in college?

Question: What do you think of the topic, "To what extent is the development of new technologies having a negative effect?" as a research paper?

Answer: Many of my students are worried about the negative influence of new technologies. You might want to narrow your topic to just one type of new technology to research and discuss this more effectively. Here are some ideas:

1. How are cell phones negatively affecting our lives?

2. To what extent do cell phones make teens lives worse?

3. How is having a computer making a business person's life harder?

4. How does email make the workplace less efficient?

5. What effect does social media have on the workplace?

Question: What do you think of the topic, "Should we destroy our nuclear weapons?" for a research paper?

Answer: Here are other topics on this idea:

1. What is the purpose of continuing to have nuclear weapons?

2. Will reducing nuclear weapons help in the process of peace?

3. What is the danger of having so many nuclear weapons?

4. How could we ensure that nuclear weapons are really destroyed?

Question: I am tasked with writing a position paper in the "energy and environmental technology" field. Do you have any topic ideas?

Answer: How dangerous is "fracking" to the environment?

Which is worse for the environment: natural gas or coal?

How important for the environment is the development of electric cars?

Question: Can you suggest questions on technology and international law?

Answer: 1. To what degree should companies be held liable for statements made by a hacked chatbot?

2. How can elections be protected from international interference through technology and media?

3. Will Blockchains's "Smart Contracts" cause problems?

4. How will DNA data storing cause problems with liability, IP protection, and other international legal issues, especially if someone puts it in their body?

5. Who should regulate cryptocurrency?

Question: Can you please give me a topic for my concept paper?

Answer: Concept papers are also called explaining papers. Here are some topic ideas:

Question: What do you think of the research paper topic "Are memes funny or hurtful?"

Answer: That question is about the effect or importance of memes. Here are some other ways to word that idea, along with a few other questions on that topic:

1. When are memes useful?

2. Do memes serve an important social purpose?

3. When do memes go from being a humorous or helpful satire to being abusive or harmful?

4. Does satire in social media work differently than satire in print media?

5.Do memes provide an important social function on the internet?

6. How are memes a part of our modern art history?

7. How do memes reflect postmodernism?

8. How can film theory apply to memes?

Question: Can you give me some automotive topics?

Answer: 1. How will electric cars change to the automotive industry?

2. How with the Internet of Things have an impact on the automobile industry?

3. What is the "Industry 4.0" transformation and how will this affect design, manufacture, operation and factory processes for automobile production?

4. How will advanced analytics inform automobile product development?

Question: I was asked to choose a topic about something that had the long-term impact internationally. Is the advancement in military technology a good topic for a research proposal?

Answer: What kind of advancement? Why does it have an impact? Picking a question which is more narrow can make your topic better. Here are some ideas:

1. What type of military technology is going to change warfare the most in the future?

2. What is the long-term impact of military drone technology?

3. What will be the long-term impact of the nuclear capabilities of North Korea?

4. How has advancement of military technology impacted the wars in the Middle East?

Question: Can you list topics on the effect technology has had on sexual harassment?

Answer: 1. How has social media made sexual harassment better or worse?

2. Does texting increase sexual harassment at work?

3. How has technology changed the ability to claim sexual harassment?

Question: Would "Is bringing back extinct animals helpful?" be a good technology topic for a research paper?

Answer: Scientists are considering bringing back the long-extinct Wooly Mammoth, but they are also thinking about ways to perhaps revive creatures which are close to extinction, such as the western black rhino and the southern white rhino. Here are some other questions on this topic:

1. Is it possible to bring back extinct animals?

2. Why do scientists want to bring back extinct animals?

3. Are movie scenarios like "Jurrasic Park" really possible?

4. Should humans bring back extinct animals?

5. Is it ethical for humans to re-create extinct animals just to study them?

6. What are the possible dangers in bringing ancient DNA back to life?

Simran on July 03, 2019:

I am given a research paper by my English teacher and I chose the topic of technological development and I am not coming up with any specific topic can you suggest me any specific topic related to technological development that has enabled us to make progress, innovate and communicate in a different way?

lynsey on March 30, 2019:

i really appreciate your work

but i needed a topic relating to helping the physically challenged or people with disabilities

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on March 29, 2019:

You have an interesting idea. You could broaden the topic a bit to ask “what effect does automation have on people’s jobs?” Other examples are self check-out stations automated postal machines and kiosks that let you order food.

Said Ichola on March 29, 2019:

What impact Automated Teller Machine has on the unemployment?

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on February 04, 2019:

Hi Teressa, Your topic question needs to be clarified a bit. I'd suggest asking "How does the use of mobile learning technology in the classroom affect student's learning? However, I'm not sure if "mobile learning" is the correct term you want to use. I've not heard that term before. Perhaps you mean "social media," or "mobile phones?" Your answer to your question will be your thesis for the research paper. You will need to either do original research to help you answer this question, or look up the research done by others. I know that there has been research which answers both pro and con on this topic.

Theresse on February 04, 2019:

Hi! My topic is about the effect of Mobile learning Technology to students achievement. I would like to ask if this title is good for a thesis?And can I ask some suggestions regarding to a research questions? Thank you.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on January 05, 2019:

Hi Rossy, The title should be the main thing you want people to learn from your article. I'm not sure what that is from what you have written so far, so I will just guess with my suggestions:

The best way to keep your computer operating in tip-top condition.

How to Best Operate and Maintain Computers

Tips for Computer Maintenance

Rosssy on January 04, 2019:

Hi! My topic is Computer operation and maintenance . Can you suggest what would be the possible tittle?

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on December 22, 2018:

Hi Tere--Developing good methodological techniques and whether you should use the mixed method is really a question you need to ask your instructor, who will be grading your work. Here are some questions that can guide you; What is the effect of using Podcasting and Video Blogs in helping students to learn? Which is better: podcasts or video blogs?

Tere on December 21, 2018:

Hi. My topic is about the effect of Podcasting and Video Blogs to the students in my research. Do you have any suggestions on how can I formulate a good methodological techniques? Can I use the mixed method? How about formulation of question problems? Thank u

Jena Quiape on December 18, 2018:

Hi can you please help me give some example of tittle about the social media for the students

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on December 18, 2018:

Nichole, here are some high school topics:

Nichole Batuto on December 17, 2018:

uhm hey can you give some topic ideas about high school? or inside the school only that is not broad because this is our first time to do a baby thesis.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on December 08, 2018:

Start with a story that illustrates your thesis.

socorro50 on December 07, 2018:

Hi Virginia, I need to write on the article "Even bugs will be Bugged" the theses statement is "While Technology is making our lives easier it is compromising our Privacy", I'm having a hard time getting started and my paper is due in 3days. HELP!

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on September 26, 2018:

Hi Jebs, You will find some good topics in my article "150 English Essay Topics." You can find that by looking at my profile or using a search engine with my name and your topic.

Jebs Aviles on September 26, 2018:

Hi... Can you please help me with "Effect of Network Information Dissemination Through Social Media" research questions?

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on September 13, 2018:

Hi Ibrahim--Check out my other science essay topics articles or Google my name "VirginiaLynne" with the topic you want. Here is one of them:

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on September 05, 2018:

Hi Paula, your best bet is to write down a list of technologies that people rely on too much, then for the 3 most interesting technologies (in your opinion) write a list of ways that people's lives are hurt by that over-reliance. You will probably find that one of the technologies gives you either more to write about, or more interesting ideas. That will help you choose a topic.

Paula Greene on September 05, 2018:

I've been asked to write a persusasive paper on modern technology that's controversial because people may or may not rely on it too much. I need to narrow this down to one facet, but having a hard time deciding on which direction to go with. The max on words is 2,500, and I tend to over write, so I really need to narrow down as much as possible. Can you help me with this?

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on August 02, 2018:

Robert, you can try:

How can virtual reality help people in their daily lives?

Is virtual reality only for games and entertainment, or does it have practical uses?

Robert vanderwood on August 02, 2018:

Can you please help me with virtual reality research questions?

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on June 26, 2018:

Aish, here are some ideas:

1. What are the different philosophies of supply chain management?

2. How does supply chain management help businesses to function more efficiently?

3. What is the future of E-commerce?

Aish on June 23, 2018:

Dear Virginia,

Can you help me for select the research topic of undergraduate level.I would like to do my research in area of E-commerce and supply chain management. So please give me simple topics for doing my research. Thank you.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on June 08, 2018:

Hi Jecah, Look under the topics for Computer Science here and in my article on Science Topics.

jecah on June 08, 2018:

Hi :) do you have any topics about Information Technology? i really need it for my capstone project. thank you

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on May 27, 2018:

Hi Nancy, I have a number of these topics in my "Science Topics" article. Here are a couple:

1. How will IT and Big Data become important in biology (or medicine)?

2. What is the top problem in creating useful artificial intelligence?

Nancy on May 24, 2018:

hii virginia,

our teacher told us to write a litreature review about any IT (information technology and system) related topic. can u please suggest me any relevant one? thanks in advance.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on April 29, 2018:

Different kinds of medical management systems are a good topic. Your question would be something like, "What is the best way for medical record system to be set up?

secilia on April 29, 2018:

Hi , I want to develop a system on where patients will be recorded as for now their names are recorded in books. My topic is patients record management systems. Is my topic ok?

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on April 16, 2018:

Secillia, you should do a question like: What is the best system for a clinic to track the visits of patients on a daily basis?

secilia on April 15, 2018:

I want to do my research in a clinic developing a system lik on how to calculate the number of patient who vista daily. My topic is calculating the number of patients who vists daily. Is my question right

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on March 08, 2018:

That is an interesting question Oni, and I think you could possibly write a good paper about that. You could actually try an even broader question: How can the Internet Of Things be used to help in disease control?

Oni Anu on March 08, 2018:

Is it possible to use Internet Of Things for disease control surveillance system?

Hi Paola, you are right that you need to narrow the topic and one of the ways to do this is to turn it into a question which then can have several possible answers. Your answer will be the thesis. Here are some ideas:

How can parents best monitor their children's use of media?

How much online time should children have each day?

What are the risks of using the Internet that parents need to know?

Paola on March 05, 2018:

I am trying to do a research paper on technology. The question that I came up with is: Are Parents Underestimating Children’s Risky Online

Experiences? I feel as if this question is way too broad. There are parents that are aware of how risky online experiences can be or are!

Can someone help me narrow it down?

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on March 02, 2018:

Hi Layla, I think you've written two good questions. I don't know whether these would be hard to research. The first question is descriptive and would be an explaining paper. The second paper is an evaluation. You could also do something like: How has social media changed the way the government and governed people communicate? How has Twitter changed the way people think about government? Do people know more or less now about their government than before there was technology and social media?

laylalankford on March 01, 2018:

Aloha! I am looking for a research topic for Technology and Government. I came up with

How are technologies changing the way people interact with government entities.

Are cellphones and computers enabling us to communicate effectively with government.

I am not positive if these are strong topics to do a research paper on. Any advice or suggestions?

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on February 22, 2018:

A variety of topics could be done on concrete civil engineering. Here are a few:

What is the best way to make concrete earthquake safe?

How is smart concrete changing the way civil engineers design their projects? Smart concrete has dormant bacteria spores along with calcium lactate which fills in cracks and self-heals the concrete.

Is smart concrete really better?

How can concrete be used in zero energy buildings?

Hi Sarah, you can narrow your topic by talking about either one particular kind of social network, like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Another way to narrow the topic is to talk about what kind of information, such as political action, current news, disaster preparedness, or even a very specific situation like school shootings.

vivek behera on February 22, 2018:

tell me some topic related to concrete technology related to civil engineering

Sarah on February 21, 2018:

Hi, I also need a help for narrowing the topic because my teacher thinks it is kind of wide. I proposed for my topic to be "The impact of social networks on dissemination of information" but he wants me to narrow it and I don't really know how.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on February 20, 2018:

Hi William, you probably want to add something about what they are hacking. If students are your focus group, then you might want to add what they hack, such as school records, or their grades.

William on February 20, 2018:

Hi, could you help me narrower the topic please? My topic is to do a research to investigate the perception of hacking among student, but my teacher say it is too wide range.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on February 19, 2018:

Hi Jencee, you could do a topic like: What is the best IT school for _____(pick an It major)?

Why do IT students need to take courses in English?

What is the difference between online and traditional IT schools?

Which IT major do most female students prefer?

How can more females be attracted to IT careers?

Jencee on February 19, 2018:

Hello, I like your ideas but I'm still having problems about choosing a research topic. Can you help me? My teacher told us to think of what we could research about IT students or IT schools.. Thank you!

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on February 11, 2018:

1. How does technology use change the way a business (state a type of business) practice?

2. What is the best new technology to develop alternative energy businesses?

3. How can using new technologies help a restaurant business improve efficiency and customer service?

Showkat Ahmed on February 11, 2018:

suggest me some topics about technologies and businesses???

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on January 21, 2018:

Hi Jerick, the science of criminology is also called forensics. The topics in this article are for research rather than experimenting. For an experiment topic, you might want to do something about trying to pick up fingerprints from different surfaces. You would have to look up how to pick up fingerprints first. This is not hard to do. My kids did this at a science museum. Then you would test different surfaces like paper, glass, wood, metal etc. The question could be "which surface is the easiest to get a clear fingerprint from?" If you do this experiment, please come back and tell me how it went!

jerick on January 21, 2018:

hi ma'am, can you help us? were constructing a topic on our research but its difficult. the instruction of our teacher is, it must be apply with experimenting based on our course and my course is about criminology. thank you

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on December 12, 2017:

Ian and Aye--I'd suggest that you look at my other articles, especially the one that gives science essay ideas.

Ian and Aye on December 12, 2017:

Hello maam! Can you help us? We are having a difficulty on choosing our topic and constructing a title for it. We are Education students major in Biology. Can you please give or suggest some qualitative research or topics? We are from Philippines and we need your help.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on December 05, 2017:

Hi Ariemar, any of the questions here would make a good title. You can shorten it a bit. I like using questions for a title because it makes the reader interested in the answer, and therefore more open to reading your paper. Perhaps you could use, "Is Social Media Use Harmful to Students?"

IBUY on November 29, 2017:

Hi. Its a wide range of good gopics but can I ask for your suggestion of research topics about engineering?

Mehak on November 06, 2017:

i want to know some useful topics about educational technology

KRISHNA MAHATO on October 22, 2017:

thanks for your topics

mae on September 18, 2017:

good topics about digital learning please.

sebastian on September 05, 2017:

marine Technology for good topic?

Meseret Tadesse from Ethiopia,wsu. on August 14, 2017:

thank! for your topics and idea.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on July 24, 2017:

Hi ASD, you would need to narrow down your topic and idea in order to find a good title. You might want to look at my other topic ideas in my other articles on Science ideas.

Philip on July 21, 2017:

This list was super helpful, there are some great ideas and topics to write about...thanks for publishing this.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on July 10, 2017:

Hi Ariane--check out my other ideas on science topics by looking at my profile or searching on the site for my other articles. Here are a few ideas: What are the advantages of Free Space Optics? How is the Philippines most vulnerable to cyber attacks? How can we better protect our data from hackers?

Ariane on July 10, 2017:

Hi good day! May I ask your help?? Help me find the best title for my course is information system. About the computer system..I'm from Philippines..thank you ma'am

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on June 29, 2017:

Hi, Thea--Look at my article on Science Research Topics. Find the link either in the sidebar or on my profile page.

Thea on June 29, 2017:

I need a research topic about science. A topic which is similar to investigatory project or science project.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on June 28, 2017:

Thanks, Allie, You might want to check my article about science topics. In reality, most of chemical engineering is moving over to computational engineering and nanotechnology. So a good topic might be, "how is computational engineering changing chemical engineering" or "how is the chemical engineering profession changing?" Many colleges are actually dropping the name "chemical engineering" entirely.

Allie on June 27, 2017:

The suggested topics given are all good. But can you also please give me an example of a research topic about chemical engineering? Its for my research paper in K12.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on June 12, 2017:

Hi Mitch- for robotics and computer science topics, you might want to try: How will nanobots change biology? Are smart houses safe? Is facial recognition software making privacy impossible? How should we allow facial recognition software to be used? Is it a good idea for us to move everything to the cloud? What careers will robots take over in the next 20 years?

mitch on June 12, 2017:

can you give an example of a research topic about robots or computer science?

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on March 13, 2017:

Des, for younger students, it is a good idea to pick a topic that they can research with videos as well as well as articles. I'd suggest going to YouTube and searching for educational videos on bread and pastry. That might give you some ideas. You also might want to start with a kitchen science type of approach. Then start with a question that students can look for to answer. For example, "What are the different ways to make bread around the world?" or "What are the different ways to make bread rise?" or "What is the history of sourdough bread?"

I'm Des on March 12, 2017:

Do you have some techniques in formulating research titles for specialized subjects in K to 12, most specially about bread and pastry. Your help and suggestion will be much appreciated. Thank you.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on October 07, 2016:

Hi Restituto--I have everything you would need to write a research paper here on HubPages. Look for "Problem Solution paper" and "Research Essay."

restituto on October 05, 2016:

hi! can you help me for my research paper which is all about in technology that affects in colleges student and how we solve it.. thanks!

sanjay on September 01, 2016:

super, great job. Thank you. This can be a lifesaver :)

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on June 19, 2016:

Hi Madhavi--I don't understand why you would be running out of time trying to choose a Ph.D proposal. Generally, you should be working that out with the professor in charge of your research. However, I do think that this is something that people are actually researching on right now in education and probably this could be a general topic area for your research. However, you would need a narrow and specific focus for a Ph.D. along with specific areas of learning you would be examining.

MADHAVI on June 18, 2016:

Hi,I would like to confirm about one essay topic of above mentioned...i.e..How important is it that schools teach using ipads,smart boards,social media and other new technologies?... is it a research topic which can be picked up for a phd research proposal????

PLz help me by responding immediately on running out of time..

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on February 05, 2016:

Hi, Virginia, some of these topics are just good common sense discussion, but some go very deep and beyond even human understanding. For instance, we have been discussing in a spiritual study group whether souls will be willing to occupy cloned bodies. Highly unscientific, but it might be a good paper for a theology class. Anyway, its a very interesting article and well presented. I would love to be a student today and present papers on some of these topics.

WETHEBEST on November 18, 2015:

Awesome Topics

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on October 26, 2015:

Hi Marcus. I think that some of these topics could be used for a Master's research essay, but you would have to talk with your professor about the requirements for your degree. Many of the links I've given are based on actual research articles which are published in professional journals. Since those full academic essays are hard for non-specialists to read, I use the more popular explanations of those articles. However, for a Master's thesis, you could access the original articles.

Marcus on October 26, 2015:

Are these topics suitable for Masters Level research essays?

khodadad on September 07, 2015:

useful tips

christian reloxd on August 23, 2015:

mayur on June 18, 2015:

Nice Work,..!

This is really useful for students as well as research people also.

jessica smith on May 27, 2015:

Hello !!! I have read your article. You shared informative tips about research papers. It will be very helpful for everyone. Thank you.

tamil on March 14, 2015:

thanks for learning about technology topic

terrycosta on January 27, 2015:

Very useful!

Benjamin Dalton on October 13, 2014:

Your article is imperative and quite inspiring for the people who are connected with the technology. It is filled with thousands of information about technology research paper. The subjects you have written about are just phenomenon. Looking forward some more articles based on science and technology.

Sarah Forester from Australia on February 13, 2014:

Heaps of great ideas here!

Tech Reviewer from Online on December 05, 2013:

Great article and really nicely written as well. I've shared on my Facebook & Twitter. If you are interested, I'm helping at this start up called - it is entirely about technology and they are looking for new writers to submit articles. You get your work professionally edited and published and all for free so if you are interested in writing about technology give it a look! Thanks.

Rae Saylor from Australia on December 04, 2013:

THIS IS EPIC! Thanks for compiling this list, pal -- really enjoyed going over it! Voted up :)

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on November 22, 2013:

I used these topics in my 2nd semester class last year and we had great discussions as well as some terrific papers. I'm really looking forward to using them again this year.

jenp123 on November 21, 2013:

Interesting ideas! I teach with technology at lot, and I always want my students to think critically about uses, but don't always have these great questions to engage them with. Thank you, and voted up!

kazuki on July 30, 2013:

DATALOAD from Michigan on May 22, 2013:

Great work. Some of your suggestions beg to be further explored.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on May 13, 2013:

Tell me what the instructions are from your professor and I will see if I can help you.

zainy on May 13, 2013:

i have a problem there is so many confusion for selecting research paper toppic related to information technology field but i can't decide so plz help me out ,as im IT student

Andrew Spacey from Sheffield, UK on April 24, 2013:

Phenomenal subject list - a great resource for those seeking ideas on controversial and regular topics.

I congratulate you on the work!

Is Google making us stupid? I like that one. I haven't made my mind up yet - only on alternate days.

Votes for this hub.

Joan Whetzel on January 30, 2013:

Great ideas from diverse subject areas. Cool.


100 Science Topics for Research Papers


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sample technology research paper

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The Top 10 Most Interesting Technology Research Topics

With technological innovation streamlining processes in businesses at all levels and customers opting for digital interaction, adopting modern technologies have become critical for success in all industries. Technology continues to positively impact organizations , according to Statista, which is why technology research topics have become common among college-level students.

In this article, we have hand-picked the best examples of technology research topics and technology research questions to help you choose a direction to focus your research efforts. These technology research paper topics will inspire you to consider new ways to analyze technology and its evolving role in today’s world.

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What makes a strong technology research topic.

A strong research topic is clear, relevant, and original. It should intrigue readers to learn more about the role of technology through your research paper. A successful research topic meets the requirements of the assignment and isn’t too broad or narrow.

Technology research topics must identify a broad area of research on technologies, so an extremely technical topic can be overwhelming to write. Your technology research paper topic should be suitable for the academic level of your audience.

Tips for Choosing a Technology Research Topic

  • Make sure it’s clear. Select a research topic with a clear main idea that you can explain in simple language. It should be able to capture the attention of the audience and keep them engaged in your research paper.
  • Make sure it’s relevant. The technology research paper topic should be relevant to the understanding and academic level of the readers. It should enhance their knowledge of a specific technological topic, instead of simply providing vague, directionless ideas about different types of technologies.
  • Employ approachable language. Even though you might be choosing a topic from complex technology research topics, the language should be simple. It can be field-specific, but the technical terms used must be basic and easy to understand for the readers.
  • Discuss innovations. New technologies get introduced frequently, which adds to the variety of technology research paper topics. Your research topic shouldn’t be limited to old or common technologies. Along with the famous technologies, it should include evolving technologies and introduce them to the audience.
  • Be creative . With the rapid growth of technological development, some technology research topics have become increasingly common. It can be challenging to be creative with a topic that has been exhausted through numerous research papers. Your research topic should provide unique information to the audience, which can attract them to your work.

What’s the Difference Between a Research Topic and a Research Question?

A research topic is a subject or a problem being studied by a researcher. It is the foundation of any research paper that sets the tone of the research. It should be broad with a wide range of information available for conducting research.

On the other hand, a research question is closely related to the research topic and is addressed in the study. The answer is formed through data analysis and interpretation. It is more field-specific and directs the research paper toward a specific aspect of a broad subject.

How to Create Strong Technology Research Questions

Technology research questions should be concise, specific, and original while showing a connection to the technology research paper topic. It should be researchable and answerable through analysis of a problem or issue. Make sure it is easy to understand and write within the given word limit and timeframe of the research paper.

Technology is an emerging field with several areas of study, so a strong research question is based on a specific part of a large technical field. For example, many technologies are used in branches of healthcare such as genetics and DNA. Therefore, a research paper about genetics technology should feature a research question that is exclusive to genetics technology only.

Top 10 Technology Research Paper Topics

1. the future of computer-assisted education.

The world shifted to digital learning in the last few years. Students were using the Internet to take online classes, online exams, and courses. Some people prefer distance learning courses over face-to-face classes now, as they only require modern technologies like laptops, mobile phones, and the Internet to study, complete assignments, and even attend lectures.

The demand for digital learning has increased, and it will be an essential part of the education system in the coming years. As a result of the increasing demand, the global digital learning market is expecting a growth of about 110 percent by 2026 .

2. Children’s Use of Social Media

Nowadays, parents allow their children to use the Internet from a very young age. A recent poll by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital reported that 32 percent of parents allow their children aged seven to nine to use social media sites. This can expose them to cyber bullying and age-inappropriate content, as well as increase their dependence on technology.

Kids need to engage in physical activities and explore the world around them. Using social media sites in childhood can be negative for their personalities and brain health. Analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of the use of technology among young children can create an interesting research paper.

3. The Risks of Digital Voting

Digital voting is an easy way of casting and counting votes. It can save the cost and time associated with traveling to the polling station and getting a postal vote. However, it has a different set of security challenges. A research paper can list the major election security risks caused by digital voting.

Voting in an online format can expose your personal information and decisions to a hacker. As no computer device or software is completely unhackable, the voting system can be taken down, or the hacking may even go undetected.

4. Technology’s Impact on Society in 20 Years

Technological development has accelerated in the last decade. Current technology trends in innovation are focusing on artificial intelligence development, machine learning, and the development and implementation of robots.

Climate change has affected both human life and animal life. Climate technology can be used to deal with global warming in the coming years, and digital learning can make education available for everyone. This technology research paper can discuss the positive and negative effects of technology in 20 years.

5. The Reliability of Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars are one of the most exciting trends in technology today. It is a major technology of the future and one of the controversial technology topics. It is considered safer than human driving, but there are some risks involved. For example, edge cases are still common to experience while driving.

Edge cases are occasional and unpredictable situations that may lead to accidents and injuries. It includes difficult weather conditions, objects or animals on the road, and blocked roads. Self-driving cars may struggle to respond to edge cases appropriately, requiring the driver to employ common sense to handle the situation.

6. The Impact of Technology on Infertility

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) helps infertile couples get pregnant. It employs infertility techniques such as In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT).

Infertility technologies are included in the controversial technology topics because embryonic stem cell research requires extracted human embryos. So, the research can be considered unethical. It is an excellent research topic from the reproductive technology field.

7. Evolution of War Technology

Military technologies have improved throughout history. Modern technologies, such as airplanes, missiles, nuclear reactors, and drones, are essential for war management. Countries experience major innovation in technologies during wars to fulfill their military-specific needs.

Military technologies have controversial ideas and debates linked to them, as some people believe that it plays a role in wars. A research paper on war technology can help evaluate the role of technology in warfare.

8. Using Technology to Create Eco-Friendly Food Packaging

Food technologies and agricultural technologies are trying to manage climate change through eco-friendly food packaging. The materials used are biodegradable, sustainable, and have inbuilt technology that kills microbes harmful to human life.

Research on eco-friendly food packaging can discuss the ineffectiveness of current packaging strategies. The new food technologies used for packaging can be costly, but they are better for preserving foods and the environment.

9. Disease Diagnostics and Therapeutics Through DNA Cloning

Genetic engineering deals with genes and uses them as diagnostics and therapeutics. DNA cloning creates copies of genes or parts of DNA to study different characteristics. The findings are used for diagnosing different types of cancers and even hematological diseases.

Genetic engineering is also used for therapeutic cloning, which clones an embryo for studying diseases and treatments. DNA technology, gene editing, gene therapy, and similar topics are hot topics in technology research papers.

10. Artificial Intelligence in Mental Health Care

Mental health is a widely discussed topic around the world, making it perfect for technology research topics. The mental health care industry has more recently been using artificial intelligence tools and mental health technology like chatbots and virtual assistants to connect with patients.

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Artificial intelligence has the potential to improve the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. It can help a health care provider with monitoring patient progress and assigning the right therapist based on provided data and information.

Other Examples of Technology Research Topics & Questions

Technology research topics.

  • The connection between productivity and the use of digital tools
  • The importance of medical technologies in the next years
  • The consequences of addiction to technology
  • The negative impact of social media
  • The rise and future of blockchain technology

Technology Research Questions

  • Is using technology in college classrooms a good or bad idea?
  • What are the advantages of cloud technologies for pharmaceutical companies?
  • Can new technologies help in treating morbid obesity?
  • How to identify true and false information on social media
  • Why is machine learning the future?

Choosing the Right Technology Research Topic

Since technology is a diverse field, it can be challenging to choose an interesting technology research topic. It is crucial to select a good research topic for a successful research paper. Any research is centered around the research topic, so it’s important to pick one carefully.

From cell phones to self-driving cars, technological development has completely transformed the world. It offers a wide range of topics to research, resulting in numerous options to choose from. We have compiled technology research topics from a variety of fields. You should select a topic that interests you, as you will be spending weeks researching and writing about it.

Technology Research Topics FAQ

Technology is important in education because it allows people to access educational opportunities globally through mobile technologies and the Internet. Students can enroll in online college degrees , courses, and attend online coding bootcamps . Technology has also made writing research papers easier with the tremendous amount of material available online.

Yes, technology can take over jobs as robotics and automation continue to evolve. However, the management of these technologies will still require human employees with technical backgrounds, such as artificial intelligence specialists, data scientists , and cloud engineers.

Solar panels and wind turbines are two forms of technology that help with climate change, as they convert energy efficiently without emitting greenhouse gases. Electric bikes run on lithium batteries and only take a few hours to charge, which makes them environmentally friendly. Carbon dioxide captures are a way of removing CO 2 from the atmosphere and storing it deep underground.

Technology helps companies manage client and employee data, store and protect important information, and develop strategies to stay ahead of competitors. Marketing technologies, such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), are great for attracting customers online.

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450+ Technology Research Topics & Ideas for Your Paper

Technology Research Topics

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Technology is like a massive puzzle where each piece connects to form the big picture of our modern lives. Be it a classroom, office, or a hospital, technology has drastically changed the way we communicate and do business. But to truly understand its role, we need to explore different technology research topics.

And that's where this blog will be handy! Powered by solid experience, our professional term paper writers gathered multiple technology research paper topics in literally any direction. Whether you're a student looking for an intriguing subject for your project or just a tech enthusiast trying to broaden your understanding, we've got your back. Dive into this collection of tech topics and see how technological progress is shaping our world.

What Are Technology Topics?

Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes. It's the smartphone in your hand, the electric car on your street, and the spacecraft exploring Mars. It might also be the code that protects your online privacy and the microscope that uncovers mysteries of the human cell.

Technology permeates our lives, revolutionizing the way we communicate, learn, work, and play. But, beyond the gadgets and gizmos, there's a world of diverse technology research topics, ideas, concepts, and challenges.

Technology topics zoom in on these ideas, peeling back the layers of the tech universe. As a researcher, you might study how AI is changing healthcare, explore the ethical implications of robotics, or investigate the latest innovations in renewable energy. Your project should probe into the 'how,' the 'why,' and the 'what next' of the technology that is reshaping our world. So, whether you're dissecting the impact of EdTech on traditional learning or predicting the future of space exploration, research topics in technology are limitless.

Branches of Technology Research Paper Topics

Undoubtedly, the reach of technology is extensive. It's woven its way into almost every corner of our lives. Before we move to technological research topics, let’s first see just where technology has left its mark. So, here are some areas where technology is really shaking things up:

  • Government services: E-governance, digital IDs, and digital voting are just a few examples of technology's application in government services.
  • Finance: Fintech innovations include cryptocurrencies, mobile banking, robo-advising, and contactless payments.
  • Education: Technology is used in a wide variety of educational contexts, from e-learning platforms and digital textbooks to educational games and virtual classrooms.
  • Communication: Social media, video conferencing, instant messaging, and email are all examples of tech's role in communication.
  • Healthcare: From electronic medical records and telemedicine to advanced imaging technology and robotic surgery, technology is surely transforming healthcare.
  • Agriculture: Technological advancements are revolutionizing agriculture through precision farming, automated machinery, drones, and genetic engineering.
  • Retail: It also influences retail through e-commerce, mobile payments, virtual fitting rooms, and personalized shopping experiences.
  • Environment: Tech is used in climate modeling, conservation efforts, renewable energy, and pollution control.

These are far from all sectors where technology can be applied. But this list shows how diverse topics in technology can be.

How to Choose a Technology Research Topic?

Before you select any idea, it’s important to understand what a good technology research topic is. In a nutshell, a decent topic should be interesting, relevant, and feasible to research within your available resources and time. Make sure it’s specific enough, but not to narrow so you can find enough credible resources. 

Your technology topic sets the course of your research. It influences the type and amount of information you'll search for, the methods you'll use to find it, and the way you'll interpret it. Ultimately, the right topic can make your research process not only more manageable but also more meaningful. But how to get started, you may ask. Don’t worry! Below we are going to share valuable tips from our thesis writers on how to choose a worthy topic about technology.

  • Make research Study the latest trends and explore relevant technology news. Your task is to come up with something unique that’s not been done before. Try to look for inspiration in existing literature, scientific articles, or in past projects.
  • Recognize your interests Start with what you are genuinely curious about in the field of technology. Passion can be a great motivator during the research process.
  • Consider the scope You want a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow. It should provide enough material to explore without being overwhelming.
  • Check availability of resources Ensure there are sufficient trustworthy resources available for your chosen topic.
  • Evaluate the relevance Your technology research idea should be pertinent to your field of study and resonate with current trends. This can make your research more valuable and engaging for your audience.

Top List of Technology Research Topics

Are you looking for the best research topics about technology? Stop by! Here, we’ve carefully collected the topic ideas to ignite your curiosity and support your research. Each topic offers various data sources, allowing you to construct well-supported arguments. So, let's discover these fascinating subjects together!

  • AI's influence on healthcare.
  • Challenges of cybersecurity in a connected world.
  • Role of drones in modern agriculture.
  • Could renewable energy replace fossil fuels?
  • Impact of virtual reality on education.
  • Blockchain's potential beyond cryptocurrencies.
  • Ethical considerations in biotechnology.
  • Can smart cities enhance quality of life?
  • Autonomous vehicles – opportunities and threats.
  • Robotics in manufacturing.
  • Is big data changing decision-making processes?
  • E-waste : Challenges and solutions.
  • Role of IoT in smart homes.
  • Implications of 5G technology.
  • EdTech: A revolution in learning?

Good Technology Research Topics

Ready for another batch of inspiration? Get ready to discover great technology topics for a research paper across various disciplines. These ideas are designed to stimulate your creativity and provide substantial information for your research. So, let's explore these exciting themes together!

  • Impact of nanotechnology on medicine.
  • Harnessing quantum computing potential.
  • Augmented reality in tourism.
  • Can bioinformatics revolutionize disease prediction?
  • Sustainability in tech product design.
  • Darknet : A hidden side of the internet.
  • How does technology influence human behavior?
  • Assistive technology in special education.
  • Are smart textiles transforming the fashion industry?
  • Role of GIS in urban planning.
  • Space tourism: A reality or fantasy?
  • Potential of digital twins in engineering.
  • How is telemedicine shaping healthcare delivery?
  • Green IT : Addressing environmental issues.
  • Impact of machine learning on finance.

Interesting Technology Research Paper Topics

For those craving intriguing angles and fresh ideas, we present these interesting topics in technology. This collection is filled with thought-provoking subjects that cover the lesser-known areas of technology. Each topic is concise, clear, and ready to spark a fascinating research journey!

  • Cyber-physical systems in industry 4.0.
  • Social implications of deepfake technology.
  • Can gamification enhance learning outcomes?
  • Neuromorphic computing: Emulating the human brain.
  • Li-Fi : Light-based communication technology.
  • Health risks of prolonged screen time.
  • Quantum cryptography and secure communication.
  • Role of technology in sustainable agriculture.
  • Can we predict earthquakes with AI?
  • Virtual influencers: A new trend in marketing.
  • Tech solutions for wildlife conservation.
  • Role of 3D printing in organ transplantation.
  • Impact of automation on the job market.
  • Cloud gaming: A new era in the gaming industry.
  • Genomic editing: Possibilities and ethical concerns.

New Technology Research Topics

Understanding the fast-paced world of technology requires us to keep up with the latest developments. Hence, we bring you burning  technology research paper topics. These ideas reflect the most recent trends and advances in technology, offering fresh perspectives for your research. Let's take a look at these compelling subjects!

  • Potential of hyper automation in business processes.
  • How is AI changing digital marketing?
  • Brain-computer interfaces: The future of communication?
  • Quantum supremacy : Fact or fiction?
  • 5D data storage: Revolutionizing data preservation.
  • Rise of voice technology in consumer applications.
  • Using AI for mental health treatment.
  • Implications of edge computing for IoT devices.
  • Personalized learning with AI in education.
  • Role of technology in reducing food waste.
  • Digital twin technology in urban development.
  • Impact of AI on patent law.
  • Cybersecurity in the era of quantum computing.
  • Role of VR in disaster management training.
  • AI in talent recruitment: Pros and cons.

Unique Technology Research Topics

For those wanting to stand out with truly original research, we offer 100% authentic topics about technology. We understand that professors highly value unique perspectives. Below we've meticulously selected these technology paper topics to offer you something different. These are not your everyday technology subjects but rather unexpected gems ready to be explored.

  • Digital ethics in AI application.
  • Role of technology in countering climate change.
  • Is there a digital divide in developing countries?
  • Role of drones in disaster management.
  • Quantum internet: Possibilities and challenges.
  • Digital forensic techniques in cybersecurity.
  • Impact of technology on traditional art forms.
  • Biohacking: Can we really upgrade ourselves?
  • Technology and privacy: An inevitable trade-off?
  • Developing empathy through virtual reality.
  • AI and creativity: Can machines be artists?
  • Technology's impact on urban gardening.
  • Role of technology in accessible tourism.
  • Quantum biology: A frontier of science.
  • Unmanned underwater vehicles: Opportunities and threats.

Informative Research Topics in Technology

If you are seeking comprehensive information on technologies, this selection will definitely provide you with insights. As you may know, every study should be backed up by credible sources. Technology topics for research papers below are very easy to investigate, so you will surely find a bunch of academic resources.

  • Exploring  adaptive learning systems in online education.
  • Role of technology in modern archaeology.
  • Impact of immersive technology on journalism.
  • The rise of telehealth services.
  • Green data centers: A sustainable solution?
  • Cybersecurity in mobile banking.
  • 3D bioprinting : A revolution in healthcare?
  • How technology affects sleep quality.
  • AI in music production: A new era?
  • Technology's role in preserving endangered languages.
  • Smart grids for sustainable energy use.
  • The future of privacy in a digital world.
  • Can technology enhance sports performance?
  • Role of AR in interior design.
  • How technology is transforming public libraries.

Controversial Research Topics on Technology

Technological field touches upon areas where technology, ethics, and society intersect and often disagree. This has sparked debates and, sometimes, conspiracy theories, primarily because of the profound implications technologies have for our future. Take a look at these ideas, if you are up to a more controversial research topic about technology:

  • Facial recognition technology: Invasion of privacy?
  • Tech addiction: Myth or reality?
  • The ethics of AI in warfare.
  • Should social media platforms censor content?
  • Are cryptocurrencies a boon or a bane?
  • Is technology causing more harm than good to our health?
  • The bias in machine learning algorithms.
  • Genetic engineering: Playing God or advancing science?
  • Will AI replace human jobs?
  • Net neutrality: Freedom of internet or control?
  • The risk of AI superintelligence.
  • Tech companies' monopoly: Beneficial or detrimental?
  • Are we heading towards a surveillance society?
  • AI in law enforcement: Safeguard or threat?
  • Do we rely too much on technology?

Easy Technology Research Paper Topics

Who ever thought the tech field was only for the tech-savvy? Well, it's time to dispel that myth. Here in our collection of simple technology research topics, we've curated subjects that break down complex tech concepts into manageable chunks. We believe that every student should get a chance to run a tech related project without any hurdles.

  • Impact of social media on interpersonal communication.
  • Smartphones: A boon or a bane?
  • How technology improves accessibility for people with disabilities.
  • E-learning versus traditional learning.
  • Impact of technology on travel and tourism.
  • Pros and cons of online shopping.
  • How has technology changed entertainment?
  • Technology's role in boosting productivity at work.
  • Online safety: How to protect ourselves?
  • Importance of digital literacy in today's world.
  • How has technology influenced the music industry?
  • E-books vs printed books: A tech revolution?
  • Does technology promote loneliness?
  • Role of technology in shaping modern communication.
  • The impact of gaming on cognitive abilities.

Technology Research Topics Ideas for Students

As an experienced paper writing service online that helps students all the time, we understand that every learner has unique academic needs. With this in mind, the next section of our blog is designed to cater specifically to different academic levels. Whether you're a high school student just starting to explore technology or a doctoral candidate delving deep into a specialized topic, we've got different technology topics arranged by complexity.

Technology Research Topics for High School Students

High school students are expected to navigate complex topics, fostering critical thinking and promoting in-depth exploration. The proposed research paper topics on technology will help students understand how tech advancements shape various sectors of society and influence human life.

  • How have smartphones changed our communication?
  • Does virtual reality in museums enhance visitor experience?
  • Understanding privacy issues in social media.
  • How has technology changed the way we listen to music?
  • Role of technology in promoting fitness and healthy lifestyle.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of online learning.
  • Does excessive screen time affect sleep quality?
  • Do video games affect academic performance?
  • How do GPS systems work?
  • How has technology improved animation in films?
  • Pros and cons of using smart home devices.
  • Are self-driving cars safe?
  • Technology's role in modernizing local libraries.
  • Can technology help us lead more sustainable lifestyles?
  • Can technology help improve road safety for teenagers?

Technology Research Topics for College Students

Think technology research topics for college are all about rocket science? Think again! Our compilation of college-level tech research topics brings you a bunch of intriguing, conversation-stirring, and head-scratching questions. They're designed to let you sink into the world of technology while also pushing your academic boundaries. Time to dive in, explore, question, and take your own unique stance on hot-button issues.

  • Biometrics in identity verification: A privacy risk?
  • Impact of 5G on mobile gaming.
  • Are wearable fitness devices a true reflection of health?
  • Can machine learning help predict climate change effects?
  • Are digital currencies disrupting traditional finance?
  • Use of drones in search and rescue operations.
  • Impact of e-learning on academic performance.
  • Does artificial intelligence have a place in home security?
  • What are the ethical issues surrounding robotic surgery?
  • Are e-wallets a safer option for online transactions?
  • How has technology transformed news dissemination?
  • AI in language translation: How accurate can it be?
  • Personalized advertising: Boon or bane for online users?
  • Are smart classes making learning more interactive?
  • Influence of technology on homemade crafts and DIY culture.

Technology Research Topics for University Students

Are you browsing for university technology research ideas? We've got you covered. Whether you're about to dig deep into high-tech debates, or just taking your first steps, our list of technology research questions is your treasure chest.

  • Blockchain applications in ensuring academic integrity.
  • Impact of quantum computing on data security.
  • Are brain-computer interfaces a future communication tool?
  • Does digital currency pose a threat to the global economy?
  • Use of AI in predicting and managing natural disasters.
  • Can biometrics replace traditional identification systems?
  • Role of nanotechnology in waste management.
  • Machine learning's influence on climate change modeling.
  • Edge computing: Revolutionizing data processing?
  • Is virtual reality in psychological therapy a viable option?
  • Potential of synthetic biology in medical research.
  • Quantum cryptography: An uncrackable code?
  • Is space tourism achievable with current technology?
  • Ethical implications of gene editing technologies.
  • Artificial intelligence in governance.

Technology Research Paper Topics in Different Areas

In the next section, we've arranged a collection of technology research questions related to different areas like computer science, biotechnology, and medicine. Find an area you are interested in and look through subject-focused ideas and topics for a research paper on technology.

Technology Research Topics on Computer Science

Computer science is a field that has rapidly developed over the past decades. It deals with questions of technology's influence on society, as well as applications of cutting-edge technologies in various industries and sectors. Here are some computer science research topics on technology to get started:

  • Prospects of machine learning in malware detection.
  • Influence of cloud computing on business operations.
  • Quantum computing: potential impacts on cryptography.
  • Role of big data in personalized marketing.
  • Can AI models effectively simulate human decision-making?
  • Future of mobile applications: Towards augmented reality?
  • Pros and cons of open source software development.
  • Role of computer science in advancing virtual reality.
  • Natural language processing: Transforming human-computer interaction?
  • Developing secure e-commerce platforms: Challenges and solutions.
  • Green computing : solutions for reducing energy consumption.
  • Data mining in healthcare: An untapped opportunity?
  • Understanding cyber threats in the internet of things.
  • Algorithmic bias: Implications for automated decision-making.
  • Role of neural networks in image recognition.

Information Technology Research Topics

Information technology is a dynamic field that involves the use of computers and software to manage and process information. It's crucial in today's digital era, influencing a range of industries from healthcare to entertainment. Here are some captivating information technology related topics:

  • Impact of cloud technology on data management.
  • Role of information technology in disaster management.
  • Can artificial intelligence help improve data accuracy?
  • Cybersecurity measures for protecting personal information.
  • Evolving role of IT in healthcare administration.
  • Adaptive learning systems: A revolution in education?
  • E-governance : Impact on public administration.
  • Role of IT in modern supply chain management.
  • Bioinformatics and its role in personalized medicine.
  • Is data mining an invasion of privacy?
  • Can virtual reality enhance training and development programs?
  • Role of IT in facilitating remote work.
  • Smart devices and data security: A potential risk?
  • Harnessing IT for sustainable business practices.
  • How can big data support decision-making processes?

Technology Research Topics on Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence, or AI as we fondly call it, is all about creating machines that mimic human intelligence. It's shaping everything from how we drive our cars to how we manage our calendars. Want to understand the mind of a machine? Choose a topic about technology for a research paper from the list below:

  • AI's role in detecting fake news.
  • Chatbots in customer service: Are humans still needed?
  • Algorithmic trading: AI's impact on financial markets.
  • AI in agriculture: a step towards sustainable farming?
  • Facial recognition systems: an AI revolution or privacy threat?
  • Can AI outperform humans in creative tasks?
  • Sentiment analysis in social media: how effective is AI?
  • Siri, Alexa, and the future of AI.
  • AI in autonomous vehicles: safety concern or necessity?
  • How AI algorithms are transforming video games.
  • AI's potential in predicting and mitigating natural disasters.
  • Role of AI in combating cyber threats.
  • Influence of AI on job recruitment and HR processes.
  • Can AI help in advancing climate change research?
  • Can machines make accurate diagnoses?

Technology Research Topics in Cybersecurity Command

Cybersecurity Command focuses on strengthening digital protection. Its goal is to identify vulnerabilities, and outsmart cyber threats. Ready to crack the code of the cybersecurity command? Check out these technology topics for research designed to take you through the tunnels of cyberspace:

  • Cybersecurity strategies for a post-quantum world.
  • Role of AI in identifying cyber threats.
  • Is cybersecurity command in healthcare a matter of life and death?
  • Is there any connection between cryptocurrency and cybercrime?
  • Cyber warfare : The invisible battleground.
  • Mitigating insider threats in cybersecurity command.
  • Future of biometric authentication in cybersecurity.
  • IoT security: command challenges and solutions.
  • Cybersecurity and cloud technology: A secure match?
  • Influence of blockchain on cybersecurity command.
  • Machine learning's role in malware detection.
  • Cybersecurity protocols for mobile devices.
  • Ethics in cybersecurity: Hacking back and other dilemmas.
  • What are some steps to recovery after a breach?
  • Social engineering: Human factor in cybersecurity.

Technology Research Topics on Biotechnology

Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary field that has been gaining a lot of traction in the past few decades. It involves the application of biological principles to understand and solve various problems. The following research topic ideas for technology explore biotechnology's impact on medicine, environment, agriculture, and other sectors:

  • Can GMOs solve global hunger issues?
  • Understanding biotech's role in developing personalized medicine.
  • Using biotech to fight antibiotic resistance.
  • Pros and cons of genetically modified animals.
  • Biofuels – are they really a sustainable energy solution?
  • Ethical challenges in gene editing.
  • Role of biotech in combating climate change.
  • Can biotechnology help conserve biodiversity?
  • Biotech in beauty: Revolutionizing cosmetics.
  • Bioluminescence – a natural wonder or a biotech tool?
  • Applications of microbial biotechnology in waste management.
  • Human organ farming: Possibility or pipe dream?
  • Biotech and its role in sustainable agriculture.
  • Biotech advancements in creating allergy-free foods.
  • Exploring the future of biotech in disease detection.

>> Read more: Biology Topics to Research

Technology Research Paper Topics on Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering is an area of science that involves the manipulation of genes to change or enhance biological characteristics. This field has raised tremendous ethical debates while offering promising solutions in medicine and agriculture. Here are some captivating topics for a technology research paper on genetic engineering:

  • Future of gene editing: Breakthrough or ethical dilemma?
  • Role of CRISPR technology in combating genetic diseases.
  • Pros and cons of genetically modified crops.
  • Impact of genetic engineering on biodiversity.
  • Can gene therapy provide a cure for cancer?
  • Genetic engineering and the quest for designer babies.
  • Legal aspects of genetic engineering.
  • Use of genetic engineering in organ transplantation.
  • Genetic modifications: Impact on human lifespan.
  • Genetically engineered pets: A step too far?
  • The role of genetic engineering in biofuels production.
  • Ethics of genetic data privacy.
  • Genetic engineering and its impact on world hunger.
  • Genetically modified insects: Solution for disease control?
  • Genetic engineering: A tool for biological warfare?

Reproduction Technology Research Paper Topics

Reproduction technology is all about the science that aids human procreation. It's a field teeming with innovation, from IVF advancements to genetic screening. Yet, it also stirs up ethical debates and thought-provoking technology topics to write about:

  • Advances in in Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technology .
  • The rise of surrogacy: Technological advancements and implications.
  • Ethical considerations in sperm and egg donation.
  • Genetic screening of embryos: A step forward or an ethical minefield?
  • Role of technology in understanding and improving fertility.
  • Artificial Wombs: Progress and prospects.
  • Ethical and legal aspects of posthumous reproduction.
  • Impact of reproductive technology on the LGBTQ+ community.
  • The promise and challenge of stem cells in reproduction.
  • Technology's role in preventing genetic diseases in unborn babies.
  • Social implications of childbearing technology.
  • The concept of 'designer babies': Ethical issues and future possibilities.
  • Reproductive cloning: Prospects and controversies.
  • Technology and the future of contraception.
  • Role of AI in predicting successful IVF treatment.

Medical Technology Topics for a Research Paper

The healthcare field is undergoing massive transformations thanks to cutting-edge medical technology. From revolutionary diagnostic tools to life-saving treatments, technology is reshaping medicine as we know it. To aid your exploration of this dynamic field, we've compiled medical technology research paper topics:

  • Role of AI in early disease detection.
  • Impact of telemedicine on rural healthcare.
  • Nanotechnology in cancer treatment: Prospects and challenges.
  • Can wearable technology improve patient outcomes?
  • Ethical considerations in genome sequencing.
  • Augmented reality in surgical procedures.
  • The rise of personalized medicine: Role of technology.
  • Mental health apps: Revolution or hype?
  • Technology and the future of prosthetics.
  • Role of Big Data in healthcare decision making.
  • Virtual reality as a tool for pain management.
  • Impact of machine learning on drug discovery.
  • The promise of medical drones for emergency response.
  • Technology's role in combating antimicrobial resistance.
  • Electronic Health Records (EHRs): Blessing or curse?

>> More ideas: Med Research Topics

Health Technology Research Topics

Health technology is driving modern healthcare to new heights. From apps that monitor vital stats to robots assisting in surgeries, technology's touch is truly transformative. Take a look at these topics related to technology applied in healthcare:

  • Role of mobile apps in managing diabetes.
  • Impact of health technology on patient privacy.
  • Wearable tech: Fad or future of personal health monitoring?
  • How can AI help in battling mental health issues?
  • Role of digital tools in promoting preventive healthcare.
  • Smart homes for the elderly: Boon or bane?
  • Technology and its impact on health insurance.
  • The effectiveness of virtual therapy sessions.
  • Can health chatbots replace human doctors?
  • Technology's role in fighting the obesity epidemic.
  • The use of blockchain in health data management.
  • Impact of technology on sleep health.
  • Social media and its effect on mental health.
  • Prospects of 3D printing in creating medical equipment.
  • Tele-rehabilitation: An effective solution for physical therapy?

>> View more: Public Health Topics to Research

Communication Technology Research Topics

With technology at the helm, our ways of communicating are changing at an unprecedented pace. From simple text messages to immersive virtual conferences, technology has rewritten the rules of engagement. So, without further ado, let's explore these communication research ideas for technology that capture the essence of this revolution.

  • AI chatbots: Re-defining customer service.
  • The impact of 5G on global communication.
  • Augmented Reality: The future of digital marketing?
  • Is 'digital divide' hindering global communication?
  • Social media's role in shaping public opinion.
  • Can holographic communication become a reality?
  • Influence of emojis in digital communication.
  • The cybersecurity challenges in modern communication.
  • Future of journalism in the digital age.
  • How technology is reshaping political communication.
  • The influence of streaming platforms on viewing habits.
  • Privacy concerns in the age of instant messaging.
  • Can technology solve the issue of language barriers?
  • The rise of podcasting: A digital renaissance.
  • Role of virtual reality in remote communication.

Research Topics on Technology in Transportation

Technology is the driving force behind the dramatic changes in transportation, making journeys safer, more efficient, and eco-friendly. Whether it's autonomous vehicles or the concept of Hyperloop, there are many transportation technology topics for a research paper to choose from:

  • Electric vehicles: A step towards sustainable travel.
  • The role of AI in traffic management.
  • Pros and cons of autonomous vehicles.
  • Hyperloop: An ambitious vision of the future?
  • Drones in goods delivery: Efficiency vs. privacy.
  • Technology's role in reducing aviation accidents.
  • Challenges in implementing smart highways.
  • The implications of blockchain in logistics.
  • Could vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicles solve traffic problems?
  • Impact of GPS technology on transportation.
  • How has technology influenced public transit systems?
  • Role of 5G in future transportation.
  • Ethical concerns over self-driving cars.
  • Technology in maritime safety: Progress and hurdles.
  • The evolution of bicycle technology: From spokes to e-bikes.

Technology Research Paper Topics on Education

The intersection of technology and education is an exciting frontier with limitless possibilities. From online learning to interactive classrooms, you can explore various technology paper topics about education:

  • How does e-learning affect student engagement?
  • VR classrooms: A glimpse into the future?
  • Can AI tutors revolutionize personalized learning?
  • Digital textbooks versus traditional textbooks: A comparison.
  • Gamification in education: Innovation or distraction?
  • The impact of technology on special education.
  • How are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) reshaping higher education?
  • The role of technology in inclusive education.
  • Cybersecurity in schools: Measures and challenges.
  • The potential of Augmented Reality (AR) in classroom learning.
  • How is technology influencing homeschooling trends?
  • Balancing technology and traditional methods in early childhood education.
  • Risks and benefits of student data tracking.
  • Can coding be the new literacy in the 21st century?
  • The influence of social media on academic performance.

>> Learn more: Education Research Paper Topics

Relationships and Technology Research Topics

In the digital age, technology also impacts our relationships. It has become an integral part of how we communicate, meet people, and sustain our connections. Discover some thought-provoking angles with these research paper topics about technology:

  • How do dating apps affect modern relationships?
  • The influence of social media on interpersonal communication.
  • Is technology enhancing or hindering long-distance relationships?
  • The psychology behind online dating: A study.
  • How do virtual reality environments impact social interaction?
  • Social media friendships: Genuine or superficial?
  • How does technology-mediated communication affect family dynamics?
  • The impact of technology on work-life balance.
  • The role of technology in sustaining long-term relationships.
  • How does the 'always connected' culture influence personal boundaries?
  • Cyberbullying and its effect on teenage relationships.
  • Can technology predict compatibility in relationships?
  • The effects of 'ghosting' in digital communication.
  • How technology assists in maintaining relationships among elderly populations.
  • Social media: A boon or bane for marital relationships?

Agriculture Technology Research Paper Topics

Modern agriculture is far from just tilling the soil and harvesting crops. Technology has made remarkable strides into the fields, innovating and improving agricultural processes. Take a glance at these technology research paper topic ideas:

  • Can drone technology transform crop monitoring?
  • Precision agriculture: Benefits and challenges.
  • Aquaponics and the future of sustainable farming.
  • How is artificial intelligence aiding in crop prediction?
  • Impact of blockchain technology in food traceability.
  • The role of IoT in smart farming.
  • Vertical farming : Is it a sustainable solution for urban food supply?
  • Innovations in irrigation technology for water conservation.
  • Automated farming: A boon or a threat to employment in agriculture?
  • How satellite imagery is improving crop disease detection.
  • Biotechnology in crop improvement: Pros and cons.
  • Nanotechnology in agriculture: Scope and limitations.
  • Role of robotics in livestock management.
  • Agricultural waste management through technology.
  • Is hydroponics the future of farming?

Technological Research Topics on Environment

Our planet is facing numerous environmental challenges, and technology may hold the key to solving many of these. With innovations ranging from renewable energy sources to waste management systems, the realm of technology offers a plethora of research angles. So, if you're curious about the intersection of technology and environment, this list of research topics is for you:

  • Innovations in waste management: A technology review.
  • The role of AI in predicting climate change impacts.
  • Renewable energy: Advancements in solar technology.
  • The impact of electric vehicles on carbon emissions.
  • Can smart agriculture help solve world hunger?
  • Role of technology in water purification and conservation.
  • The impact of IoT devices on energy consumption.
  • Technology solutions for oil spills.
  • Satellite technology in environmental monitoring.
  • Technological advances in forest conservation.
  • Green buildings: Sustainable construction technology.
  • Bioengineering: A solution to soil erosion?
  • Impact of nanotechnology on environmental conservation.
  • Ocean clean-up initiatives: Evaluating existing technology.
  • How can technology help in reducing air pollution?

>> View more: Environmental Science Research Topics

Energy & Power Technology Topics for Research Paper

Energy and power are two pivotal areas where technology is bringing unprecedented changes. You can investigate renewable energy sources or efficient power transmission. If you're excited about exploring the intricacies of energy and power advancements, here are some engaging technology topics for research papers:

  • Assessing the efficiency of wind energy technologies.
  • Power storage: Current and future technology.
  • Solar panel technology: Recent advancements and future predictions.
  • Can nuclear fusion be the answer to our energy crisis?
  • Smart grid technology: A revolution in power distribution.
  • Evaluating the impact of hydropower on ecosystems.
  • The role of AI in optimizing power consumption.
  • Biofuels vs. fossil fuels: A comparative study.
  • Electric vehicle charging infrastructure: Technological challenges and solutions.
  • Technology advancements in geothermal power.
  • How is IoT technology helping in energy conservation?
  • Harnessing wave and tidal energy: Technological possibilities.
  • Role of nanotechnology in improving solar cell efficiency.
  • Power transmission losses: Can technology provide a solution?
  • Assessing the future of coal technology in the era of renewable energy.

Research Topics about Technology in Finance

The finance sector has seen drastic changes with the rise of technology, which has revolutionized the way financial transactions are conducted and services are offered. Consider these research topics in technology applied in the finance sector:

  • Rise of cryptocurrency: An evaluation of Bitcoin's impact.
  • Algorithmic trading: How does it reshape financial markets?
  • Role of AI and machine learning in financial forecasting.
  • Technological challenges in implementing digital banking.
  • How is blockchain technology transforming financial services?
  • Cybersecurity risks in online banking: Identifying solutions.
  • FinTech startups: Disrupting traditional finance systems.
  • Role of technology in financial inclusion.
  • Assessing the impact of mobile wallets on the banking sector.
  • Automation in finance: Opportunities and threats.
  • Role of big data analytics in financial decision making.
  • AI-based robo-advisors vs. human financial advisors.
  • The future of insurance technology (InsurTech).
  • Can technology solve the issue of financial fraud?
  • Impact of regulatory technology (RegTech) in maintaining compliance.

>> More ideas: Finance Research Topics

War Technology Research Paper Topics

The nature of warfare has transformed significantly with the evolution of technology, shifting the battlegrounds from land, sea, and air to the realms of cyber and space. This transition opens up a range of topics to explore. Here are some research topics in the realm of war technology:

  • Drones in warfare: Ethical implications.
  • Cyber warfare: Assessing threats and defense strategies.
  • Autonomous weapons: A boon or a curse?
  • Implications of artificial intelligence in modern warfare.
  • Role of technology in intelligence gathering.
  • Satellite technology and its role in modern warfare.
  • The future of naval warfare: Autonomous ships and submarines.
  • Hypersonic weapons: Changing the dynamics of war.
  • Impact of nuclear technology in warfare.
  • Technology and warfare: Exploring the relationship.
  • Information warfare: The role of social media.
  • Space warfare: Future possibilities and implications.
  • Bio-warfare: Understanding technology's role in development and prevention.
  • Impact of virtual reality on military training.
  • War technology and international law: A critical examination.

Food Technology Topics for Research Papers

Food technology is a field that deals with the study of food production, preservation, and safety. It involves understanding how various techniques can be applied to increase shelf life and improve nutrition value of foods. Check out our collection of food technology research paper topic ideas:

  • Lab-grown meats: Sustainable solution or a mere hype?
  • How AI is enhancing food safety and quality?
  • Precision agriculture: Revolutionizing farming practices.
  • GMOs: Assessing benefits and potential risks.
  • Role of robotics in food manufacturing and packaging.
  • Smart kitchens: Streamlining cooking through technology.
  • Nanofood: Tiny technology, big impact.
  • Sustainable food systems: Role of technology.
  • Food traceability: Ensuring transparency and accountability.
  • Food delivery apps: Changing the face of dining out.
  • The rise of plant-based alternatives and their production technologies.
  • Virtual and augmented reality in culinary experiences.
  • Technology in mitigating food waste.
  • Innovations in food packaging: Impact on freshness and sustainability.
  • IoT in smart farming: Improving yield and reducing waste.

Entertainment Technology Topics

Entertainment technology is reinventing the ways we experience amusement. This industry is always presenting new angles for research and discussion, be it the rise of virtual reality in movies or the influence of streaming platforms on the music industry. Here's a list of unique research topics related to entertainment technology:

  • Impact of virtual reality on the movie industry.
  • Streaming platforms vs traditional media: A comparative study.
  • Technology in music: Evolution and future prospects.
  • eSports: Rise of a new form of entertainment.
  • Augmented reality in theme parks.
  • The transformation of theater with digital technology.
  • AI and film editing: Redefining the art.
  • The role of technology in the rise of independent cinema.
  • Podcasts: Revolutionizing radio with technology.
  • Immersive technologies in art exhibitions.
  • The influence of technology on fashion shows and design.
  • Livestreaming concerts: A new norm in the music industry?
  • Drones in entertainment: Applications and ethics.
  • Social media as an entertainment platform.
  • The transformation of journalism in the era of digital entertainment.

Technology Research Questions

As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology, numerous intriguing questions arise. Below, we present new research questions about technology that can fuel your intellectual pursuit.

  • What potential does quantum computing hold for resolving complex problems?
  • How will advancements in AI impact job security across different sectors?
  • In what ways can blockchain technology reform the existing financial systems?
  • How is nanotechnology revolutionizing the field of medicine?
  • What are the ethical implications surrounding the use of facial recognition technology?
  • How will the introduction of 6G change our communication patterns?
  • In what ways is green technology contributing to sustainable development?
  • Can virtual reality transform the way we approach education?
  • How are biometrics enhancing the security measures in today's digital world?
  • How is space technology influencing our understanding of the universe?
  • What role can technology play in solving the global water crisis?
  • How can technology be leveraged to combat climate change effectively?
  • How is technology transforming the landscape of modern agriculture?
  • Can technological advancements lead to a fully renewable energy-dependent world?
  • How does technology influence the dynamics of modern warfare?

Bottom Line on Research Topics in Technology

Technology is a rapidly evolving field, and there's always something new to explore. Whether you're writing for the computer sciences, information technology or food technology realm, there are endless ideas that you can research on. Pick one of these technology research paper topics and jumpstart your project.


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Research Method

Home » Research Paper – Structure, Examples and Writing Guide

Research Paper – Structure, Examples and Writing Guide

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Research Paper

Research Paper


Research Paper is a written document that presents the author’s original research, analysis, and interpretation of a specific topic or issue.

It is typically based on Empirical Evidence, and may involve qualitative or quantitative research methods, or a combination of both. The purpose of a research paper is to contribute new knowledge or insights to a particular field of study, and to demonstrate the author’s understanding of the existing literature and theories related to the topic.

Structure of Research Paper

The structure of a research paper typically follows a standard format, consisting of several sections that convey specific information about the research study. The following is a detailed explanation of the structure of a research paper:

The title page contains the title of the paper, the name(s) of the author(s), and the affiliation(s) of the author(s). It also includes the date of submission and possibly, the name of the journal or conference where the paper is to be published.

The abstract is a brief summary of the research paper, typically ranging from 100 to 250 words. It should include the research question, the methods used, the key findings, and the implications of the results. The abstract should be written in a concise and clear manner to allow readers to quickly grasp the essence of the research.


The introduction section of a research paper provides background information about the research problem, the research question, and the research objectives. It also outlines the significance of the research, the research gap that it aims to fill, and the approach taken to address the research question. Finally, the introduction section ends with a clear statement of the research hypothesis or research question.

Literature Review

The literature review section of a research paper provides an overview of the existing literature on the topic of study. It includes a critical analysis and synthesis of the literature, highlighting the key concepts, themes, and debates. The literature review should also demonstrate the research gap and how the current study seeks to address it.

The methods section of a research paper describes the research design, the sample selection, the data collection and analysis procedures, and the statistical methods used to analyze the data. This section should provide sufficient detail for other researchers to replicate the study.

The results section presents the findings of the research, using tables, graphs, and figures to illustrate the data. The findings should be presented in a clear and concise manner, with reference to the research question and hypothesis.

The discussion section of a research paper interprets the findings and discusses their implications for the research question, the literature review, and the field of study. It should also address the limitations of the study and suggest future research directions.

The conclusion section summarizes the main findings of the study, restates the research question and hypothesis, and provides a final reflection on the significance of the research.

The references section provides a list of all the sources cited in the paper, following a specific citation style such as APA, MLA or Chicago.

How to Write Research Paper

You can write Research Paper by the following guide:

  • Choose a Topic: The first step is to select a topic that interests you and is relevant to your field of study. Brainstorm ideas and narrow down to a research question that is specific and researchable.
  • Conduct a Literature Review: The literature review helps you identify the gap in the existing research and provides a basis for your research question. It also helps you to develop a theoretical framework and research hypothesis.
  • Develop a Thesis Statement : The thesis statement is the main argument of your research paper. It should be clear, concise and specific to your research question.
  • Plan your Research: Develop a research plan that outlines the methods, data sources, and data analysis procedures. This will help you to collect and analyze data effectively.
  • Collect and Analyze Data: Collect data using various methods such as surveys, interviews, observations, or experiments. Analyze data using statistical tools or other qualitative methods.
  • Organize your Paper : Organize your paper into sections such as Introduction, Literature Review, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. Ensure that each section is coherent and follows a logical flow.
  • Write your Paper : Start by writing the introduction, followed by the literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. Ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and follows the required formatting and citation styles.
  • Edit and Proofread your Paper: Review your paper for grammar and spelling errors, and ensure that it is well-structured and easy to read. Ask someone else to review your paper to get feedback and suggestions for improvement.
  • Cite your Sources: Ensure that you properly cite all sources used in your research paper. This is essential for giving credit to the original authors and avoiding plagiarism.

Research Paper Example

Note : The below example research paper is for illustrative purposes only and is not an actual research paper. Actual research papers may have different structures, contents, and formats depending on the field of study, research question, data collection and analysis methods, and other factors. Students should always consult with their professors or supervisors for specific guidelines and expectations for their research papers.

Research Paper Example sample for Students:

Title: The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health among Young Adults

Abstract: This study aims to investigate the impact of social media use on the mental health of young adults. A literature review was conducted to examine the existing research on the topic. A survey was then administered to 200 university students to collect data on their social media use, mental health status, and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. The results showed that social media use is positively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. The study also found that social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) are significant predictors of mental health problems among young adults.

Introduction: Social media has become an integral part of modern life, particularly among young adults. While social media has many benefits, including increased communication and social connectivity, it has also been associated with negative outcomes, such as addiction, cyberbullying, and mental health problems. This study aims to investigate the impact of social media use on the mental health of young adults.

Literature Review: The literature review highlights the existing research on the impact of social media use on mental health. The review shows that social media use is associated with depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health problems. The review also identifies the factors that contribute to the negative impact of social media, including social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO.

Methods : A survey was administered to 200 university students to collect data on their social media use, mental health status, and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. The survey included questions on social media use, mental health status (measured using the DASS-21), and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis.

Results : The results showed that social media use is positively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. The study also found that social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO are significant predictors of mental health problems among young adults.

Discussion : The study’s findings suggest that social media use has a negative impact on the mental health of young adults. The study highlights the need for interventions that address the factors contributing to the negative impact of social media, such as social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO.

Conclusion : In conclusion, social media use has a significant impact on the mental health of young adults. The study’s findings underscore the need for interventions that promote healthy social media use and address the negative outcomes associated with social media use. Future research can explore the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing the negative impact of social media on mental health. Additionally, longitudinal studies can investigate the long-term effects of social media use on mental health.

Limitations : The study has some limitations, including the use of self-report measures and a cross-sectional design. The use of self-report measures may result in biased responses, and a cross-sectional design limits the ability to establish causality.

Implications: The study’s findings have implications for mental health professionals, educators, and policymakers. Mental health professionals can use the findings to develop interventions that address the negative impact of social media use on mental health. Educators can incorporate social media literacy into their curriculum to promote healthy social media use among young adults. Policymakers can use the findings to develop policies that protect young adults from the negative outcomes associated with social media use.

References :

  • Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2019). Associations between screen time and lower psychological well-being among children and adolescents: Evidence from a population-based study. Preventive medicine reports, 15, 100918.
  • Primack, B. A., Shensa, A., Escobar-Viera, C. G., Barrett, E. L., Sidani, J. E., Colditz, J. B., … & James, A. E. (2017). Use of multiple social media platforms and symptoms of depression and anxiety: A nationally-representative study among US young adults. Computers in Human Behavior, 69, 1-9.
  • Van der Meer, T. G., & Verhoeven, J. W. (2017). Social media and its impact on academic performance of students. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 16, 383-398.

Appendix : The survey used in this study is provided below.

Social Media and Mental Health Survey

  • How often do you use social media per day?
  • Less than 30 minutes
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • 1 to 2 hours
  • 2 to 4 hours
  • More than 4 hours
  • Which social media platforms do you use?
  • Others (Please specify)
  • How often do you experience the following on social media?
  • Social comparison (comparing yourself to others)
  • Cyberbullying
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
  • Have you ever experienced any of the following mental health problems in the past month?
  • Do you think social media use has a positive or negative impact on your mental health?
  • Very positive
  • Somewhat positive
  • Somewhat negative
  • Very negative
  • In your opinion, which factors contribute to the negative impact of social media on mental health?
  • Social comparison
  • In your opinion, what interventions could be effective in reducing the negative impact of social media on mental health?
  • Education on healthy social media use
  • Counseling for mental health problems caused by social media
  • Social media detox programs
  • Regulation of social media use

Thank you for your participation!

Applications of Research Paper

Research papers have several applications in various fields, including:

  • Advancing knowledge: Research papers contribute to the advancement of knowledge by generating new insights, theories, and findings that can inform future research and practice. They help to answer important questions, clarify existing knowledge, and identify areas that require further investigation.
  • Informing policy: Research papers can inform policy decisions by providing evidence-based recommendations for policymakers. They can help to identify gaps in current policies, evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, and inform the development of new policies and regulations.
  • Improving practice: Research papers can improve practice by providing evidence-based guidance for professionals in various fields, including medicine, education, business, and psychology. They can inform the development of best practices, guidelines, and standards of care that can improve outcomes for individuals and organizations.
  • Educating students : Research papers are often used as teaching tools in universities and colleges to educate students about research methods, data analysis, and academic writing. They help students to develop critical thinking skills, research skills, and communication skills that are essential for success in many careers.
  • Fostering collaboration: Research papers can foster collaboration among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers by providing a platform for sharing knowledge and ideas. They can facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships that can lead to innovative solutions to complex problems.

When to Write Research Paper

Research papers are typically written when a person has completed a research project or when they have conducted a study and have obtained data or findings that they want to share with the academic or professional community. Research papers are usually written in academic settings, such as universities, but they can also be written in professional settings, such as research organizations, government agencies, or private companies.

Here are some common situations where a person might need to write a research paper:

  • For academic purposes: Students in universities and colleges are often required to write research papers as part of their coursework, particularly in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. Writing research papers helps students to develop research skills, critical thinking skills, and academic writing skills.
  • For publication: Researchers often write research papers to publish their findings in academic journals or to present their work at academic conferences. Publishing research papers is an important way to disseminate research findings to the academic community and to establish oneself as an expert in a particular field.
  • To inform policy or practice : Researchers may write research papers to inform policy decisions or to improve practice in various fields. Research findings can be used to inform the development of policies, guidelines, and best practices that can improve outcomes for individuals and organizations.
  • To share new insights or ideas: Researchers may write research papers to share new insights or ideas with the academic or professional community. They may present new theories, propose new research methods, or challenge existing paradigms in their field.

Purpose of Research Paper

The purpose of a research paper is to present the results of a study or investigation in a clear, concise, and structured manner. Research papers are written to communicate new knowledge, ideas, or findings to a specific audience, such as researchers, scholars, practitioners, or policymakers. The primary purposes of a research paper are:

  • To contribute to the body of knowledge : Research papers aim to add new knowledge or insights to a particular field or discipline. They do this by reporting the results of empirical studies, reviewing and synthesizing existing literature, proposing new theories, or providing new perspectives on a topic.
  • To inform or persuade: Research papers are written to inform or persuade the reader about a particular issue, topic, or phenomenon. They present evidence and arguments to support their claims and seek to persuade the reader of the validity of their findings or recommendations.
  • To advance the field: Research papers seek to advance the field or discipline by identifying gaps in knowledge, proposing new research questions or approaches, or challenging existing assumptions or paradigms. They aim to contribute to ongoing debates and discussions within a field and to stimulate further research and inquiry.
  • To demonstrate research skills: Research papers demonstrate the author’s research skills, including their ability to design and conduct a study, collect and analyze data, and interpret and communicate findings. They also demonstrate the author’s ability to critically evaluate existing literature, synthesize information from multiple sources, and write in a clear and structured manner.

Characteristics of Research Paper

Research papers have several characteristics that distinguish them from other forms of academic or professional writing. Here are some common characteristics of research papers:

  • Evidence-based: Research papers are based on empirical evidence, which is collected through rigorous research methods such as experiments, surveys, observations, or interviews. They rely on objective data and facts to support their claims and conclusions.
  • Structured and organized: Research papers have a clear and logical structure, with sections such as introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. They are organized in a way that helps the reader to follow the argument and understand the findings.
  • Formal and objective: Research papers are written in a formal and objective tone, with an emphasis on clarity, precision, and accuracy. They avoid subjective language or personal opinions and instead rely on objective data and analysis to support their arguments.
  • Citations and references: Research papers include citations and references to acknowledge the sources of information and ideas used in the paper. They use a specific citation style, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, to ensure consistency and accuracy.
  • Peer-reviewed: Research papers are often peer-reviewed, which means they are evaluated by other experts in the field before they are published. Peer-review ensures that the research is of high quality, meets ethical standards, and contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the field.
  • Objective and unbiased: Research papers strive to be objective and unbiased in their presentation of the findings. They avoid personal biases or preconceptions and instead rely on the data and analysis to draw conclusions.

Advantages of Research Paper

Research papers have many advantages, both for the individual researcher and for the broader academic and professional community. Here are some advantages of research papers:

  • Contribution to knowledge: Research papers contribute to the body of knowledge in a particular field or discipline. They add new information, insights, and perspectives to existing literature and help advance the understanding of a particular phenomenon or issue.
  • Opportunity for intellectual growth: Research papers provide an opportunity for intellectual growth for the researcher. They require critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity, which can help develop the researcher’s skills and knowledge.
  • Career advancement: Research papers can help advance the researcher’s career by demonstrating their expertise and contributions to the field. They can also lead to new research opportunities, collaborations, and funding.
  • Academic recognition: Research papers can lead to academic recognition in the form of awards, grants, or invitations to speak at conferences or events. They can also contribute to the researcher’s reputation and standing in the field.
  • Impact on policy and practice: Research papers can have a significant impact on policy and practice. They can inform policy decisions, guide practice, and lead to changes in laws, regulations, or procedures.
  • Advancement of society: Research papers can contribute to the advancement of society by addressing important issues, identifying solutions to problems, and promoting social justice and equality.

Limitations of Research Paper

Research papers also have some limitations that should be considered when interpreting their findings or implications. Here are some common limitations of research papers:

  • Limited generalizability: Research findings may not be generalizable to other populations, settings, or contexts. Studies often use specific samples or conditions that may not reflect the broader population or real-world situations.
  • Potential for bias : Research papers may be biased due to factors such as sample selection, measurement errors, or researcher biases. It is important to evaluate the quality of the research design and methods used to ensure that the findings are valid and reliable.
  • Ethical concerns: Research papers may raise ethical concerns, such as the use of vulnerable populations or invasive procedures. Researchers must adhere to ethical guidelines and obtain informed consent from participants to ensure that the research is conducted in a responsible and respectful manner.
  • Limitations of methodology: Research papers may be limited by the methodology used to collect and analyze data. For example, certain research methods may not capture the complexity or nuance of a particular phenomenon, or may not be appropriate for certain research questions.
  • Publication bias: Research papers may be subject to publication bias, where positive or significant findings are more likely to be published than negative or non-significant findings. This can skew the overall findings of a particular area of research.
  • Time and resource constraints: Research papers may be limited by time and resource constraints, which can affect the quality and scope of the research. Researchers may not have access to certain data or resources, or may be unable to conduct long-term studies due to practical limitations.

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The effects of technological developments on work and their implications for continuous vocational education and training: a systematic review.

\nPatrick Beer

  • Faculty of Human Sciences, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany

Technology is changing the way organizations and their employees need to accomplish their work. Empirical evidence on this topic is scarce. The aim of this study is to provide an overview of the effects of technological developments on work characteristics and to derive the implications for work demands and continuous vocational education and training (CVET). The following research questions are answered: What are the effects of new technologies on work characteristics? What are the implications thereof for continuous vocational education and training? Technologies, defined as digital, electrical or mechanical tools that affect the accomplishment of work tasks, are considered in various disciplines, such as sociology or psychology. A theoretical framework based on theories from these disciplines (e.g., upskilling, task-based approach) was developed and statements on the relationships between technology and work characteristics, such as complexity, autonomy, or meaningfulness, were derived. A systematic literature review was conducted by searching databases from the fields of psychology, sociology, economics and educational science. Twenty-one studies met the inclusion criteria. Empirical evidence was extracted and its implications for work demands and CVET were derived by using a model that illustrates the components of learning environments. Evidence indicates an increase in complexity and mental work, especially while working with automated systems and robots. Manual work is reported to decrease on many occasions. Workload and workflow interruptions increase simultaneously with autonomy, especially with regard to digital communication devices. Role expectations and opportunities for development depend on how the profession and the technology relate to each other, especially when working with automated systems. The implications for the work demands necessary to deal with changes in work characteristics include knowledge about technology, openness toward change and technology, skills for self- and time management and for further professional and career development. Implications for the design of formal learning environments (i.e., the content, method, assessment, and guidance) include that the work demands mentioned must be part of the content of the trainings, the teachers/trainers must be equipped to promote those work demands, and that instruction models used for the learning environments must be flexible in their application.


In the face of technology-driven disruptive changes in societal and organizational practices, continuous vocational education and training (CVET) lacks information on how the impact of technologies on work must be considered from an educational perspective ( Cascio and Montealegre, 2016 ). Research on workplace technologies, i.e., tools or systems that have the potential to replace or supplement work tasks, typically are concerned with one out of two areas of interest: First, economic and sociological research repeatedly raises the question on technological mass-unemployment and societal inequality as a result of technological advances ( Brynjolfsson and McAfee, 2014 ; Ford, 2015 ; Frey and Osborne, 2017 ). And second, management literature questions the suitability of prevailing organizational structures in the face of the so-called “fourth industrial revolution” ( Schwab, 2017 ), taking visionary leaps into a fully automated future of digital value creation ( Roblek et al., 2016 ).

Many of the contributions of scholars discuss the enormous potential of new technologies for work and society at a hypothetical level, which led to a large number of position papers. Moreover, the question on what consequences recent developments, such as working with robots, automated systems or artificial intelligence will have for different professions remain largely unclear. By examining what workplace technologies actually “do” in the work environment, it was suggested that work tasks change because of technological developments ( Autor et al., 2003 ; Autor, 2015 ). This is due to technologies substituting different operations or entire tasks and thus leave room for other activities. Jobs are defined by the work tasks and the conditions under which the tasks have to be performed. This in turn defines the necessary competences, that is the potential capacity to carry out a job (e.g., Ellström, 1997 ). Therefore, CVET needs to be informed on the changes that technology causes in work tasks and the consequential characteristics of work. Only then CVET is able to derive the required competences of employees and organize learning environments that foster the acquirement of these competences. These insights can be used to determine the implications thereof for the components of formal learning environments: content, didactics, trainer behavior, assessment, and resources (e.g., Mulder et al., 2015 ).

The aim of this systematic literature review is to get insight into the effects of new technological developments on work characteristics in order to derive the necessary work demands and their implications for the design of formal learning environments in CVET.

Therefore, the following research questions will be answered:

RQ 1 : What are the effects of new technologies on work characteristics?

RQ 2 : What are the implications thereof for continuous vocational education and training?

Theoretical considerations on the relationships between technology and work characteristics are presented before the methods for searching, selecting and analyzing suitable studies are described. Regarding the results section, the structure is based on the three main steps of analyzing the included studies: First, the variables identified within the selected studies are clustered and defined in terms of work characteristics. Second, a comprehensive overview of evidence on the relationships between technologies and work characteristics is displayed. Third, the evidence is evaluated regarding the work demands that result from technologies changing work characteristics. Finally, the implications for CVET and future research as well as the limitations of this study will be discussed.

Theoretical Framework

In this section, a conceptualization of technology and theoretical assumptions on relationships between technology and work characteristics will be outlined. Research within various disciplines, such as sociology, management, economics, educational science, and psychology was considered to inform us on the role of technology within work. Completing this section, an overview of the various components of learning environments is provided to be used as a basis for the analyses of the empirical evidence.

Outlining Technology and Recent Technological Developments

A clear definition of technology often lacks in studies, what may be due to the fact that the word itself is an “equivoque” ( Weick, 1990 , p. 1) and a “repository of overlapping inconsistent meanings” ( McOmber, 1999 , p. 149). A suitable definition can be provided by analyzing what technologies actually “do” ( Autor et al., 2003 , p. 1,280). The primary goal of technology at work is to save or enhance labor in the form of work tasks, defined as “a unit of work activity that produces output” ( Autor, 2013 , p. 186). Technology can therefore be defined as mechanical or digital devices, tools or systems. These are used to replace work tasks or complement the execution of work tasks (e.g., McOmber, 1999 ; Autor et al., 2003 ). According to this view, technology is conceptualized according to “its status as a tool” (“instrumentality”; McOmber, 1999 , p. 141). Alternatively, technology is understood as “the product of a specific historical time and place,” reflecting a stage of development within a predefined historical process (“industrialization”; McOmber, 1999 , p. 143) or as the “newest or latest instrumental products of human imagination” (“novelty”; McOmber, 1999 , p. 143), reflecting its nature that is rapidly replacing and “outdating” its predecessors. The definition according to “instrumentality” is particularly suitable for this research, as the interest focuses on individual-level effects of technologies and its use for accomplishing work. Therefore, the technology needs to be mentioned explicitly (e.g., “robot” instead of “digital transformation”) and described specifically in the form with which the employee is confronted at the workplace. Different definitions may reflect different perspectives on the role of technology for society and work. These perspectives in the form of paradigmatic views ( Liker et al., 1999 ) include philosophical and cultural beliefs as well as ideas on organizational design and labor relations. They differ with regard to the complexity in which the social context is believed to determine the impact of technology on society. Listed in accordance to increasing social complexity, the impact may be determined by technology itself (i.e., “technological determinism”), established power relations (i.e., “political interest”), managerial decisions (i.e., “management of technology”), or the interaction between technology and its social context (i.e., “interpretivist”) ( Liker et al., 1999 ). Later research added an even more complex perspective, according to which the effects of technology on society and organizations are determined by the relations between the actors themselves (i.e., “sociomateriality”; Orlikowski and Scott, 2008 ). Paradigmatic views may guide research in terms of content, purpose and goals, which in turn is likely to affect the methods and approach to research and may be specific to disciplines. For instance, Marxist sociological research following the view of “political interest” or research in information systems following the view of “management of technology.”

New technological developments are widely discussed in various disciplines. For instance, Ghobakhloo (2018) summarizes the expected areas of application of various technological concepts within the “smart factory” in the manufacturing industry: The internet of things as an umbrella term for independent communication of physical objects, big data as procedure to analyse enormous amounts of data to predict the consequences of operative, administrative, and strategic actions, blockchain as the basis for independent, transparent, secure, and trustworthy transaction executed by humans or machines, and cloud computing as an internet-based flexible infrastructure to manage all these processes simultaneously ( Cascio and Montealegre, 2016 ; Ghobakhloo, 2018 ). The central question to guide the next section is to what extent these new technologies, and also well-established technologies such as information and communication technologies (ICT), which are constantly being expanded with new functions, could influence work characteristics on a theoretical basis.

Theories on the Relationships Between Technology and Work Characteristics

A central discussion on technology can be found in the sociological literature on deskilling vs. upgrading ( Heisig, 2009 ). The definition of “skill” in empirical studies on this subject varies regarding its content by describing either the level of complexity that an employee is faced with at work, or the level of autonomy that employees are able to make use of Spenner (1990) . Theories advocating the deskilling of work (e.g., labor process theory; Braverman, 1998 ) propose that technology is used to undermine workers' skill, sense of control, and freedom. Employees need to support a mechanized workflow under constant surveillance in order to maximize production efficiency ( Braverman, 1998 ). Other authors, advocating “upskilling” ( Blauner, 1967 ; Bell, 1976 ; Zuboff, 1988 ), propose the opposite by claiming that technology frees employee's from strenuous tasks, leaving them with more challenging and fulfilling tasks ( Francis, 1986 ). In addition, issues of identity at work were raised by Blauner (1967) who acknowledged that employees may feel “alienated” as soon as technologies change or substitute work that is meaningful to them, leaving them with a feeling of powerlessness, meaninglessness, or self-estrangement ( Shepard, 1977 ). In sum, sociological theories suggest that technology has an impact on the level of freedom, power and privacy of employees, determining their identity at work and the level of alienation they experience.

According to contingency theories ( Burns and Stalker, 1994 ; Liker et al., 1999 ) technology is a means to reduce uncertainty and increase competitiveness for organizations ( Parker et al., 2017 ). Therefore, the effects of technology on the employee depend on strategic decisions that fit the organizational environment best. When operational uncertainty is high, organizations get more competitive by using technology to enhance the flexibility of employees in order to enable a self-organized adaption to the changing environment ( Cherns, 1976 ). This increases employee's flexibility by allowing them to identify and decide on new ways to add value to the organization (“organic organization”; Burns and Stalker, 1994 ). When operational uncertainty is low, organizations formalize and standardize procedures in order to optimize the workflow and make outputs more calculable (“mechanistic organization”; Burns and Stalker, 1994 ). This leads to less opportunities for individual decision-making and less flexibility for the employees. In sum, contingency theories suggest, that the effects of technology depend on the uncertainty and competitiveness in the external environment and may increase or decrease employee's flexibility and opportunities for decision-making and self-organization.

Economic research following the task-based approach from Autor et al. (2003) suggests, that technology substitutes routine tasks and complements complex (or “non-routine”) ones. Routine manual and cognitive tasks usually follow a defined set of explicit rules, which makes them susceptible to automation. By analyzing qualification requirements in relation to employment rates and wage development, it was argued that workplace automation substitutes routine and low-skill tasks and thus favors individuals who can carry out high-skilled complex work due to their education and cognitive abilities ( Card and DiNardo, 2002 ; Autor et al., 2003 ). This means, that the accomplishment of tasks “demanding flexibility, creativity, generalized problem-solving, and complex communications” ( Autor et al., 2003 , p. 1,284) becomes more important. Complex tasks, so far, posed a challenge for automation, because they required procedural and often implicit knowledge ( Polanyi, 1966 ; Autor, 2015 ). However, recent technological developments such as machine learning, are capable of delivering heuristic responses to complex cognitive tasks by applying inductive thinking or big data analysis ( Autor, 2015 ). Regarding complex manual tasks, mobile robots are increasingly equipped with advanced sensors which enable them to navigate through dynamic environments and interactively collaborate with human employees ( Cascio and Montealegre, 2016 ). In sum, economic research following the task-based approach argues that technology affects the routineness and complexity of work by substituting routine tasks. However, new technologies may be able to increasingly substitute and complement not only routine tasks, but complex tasks as well. According to the theories, this will again increase the complexity of work by creating new demands for problem-solving and reviewing the technology's activity.

Useful insights can be gained from psychological theories that explicitly take the role of work characteristics into account. Work characteristics are often mentioned by for instance sociological theories (e.g., autonomy and meaningfulness) without clearly defining the concepts. Particularly the job characteristics model of Hackman and Oldham (1975) and the job-demand-control model of Karasek (1979) and Karasek et al. (1998) are consulted to further clarify the meaning of autonomy and meaningfulness at work. With regard to autonomy, Hackman and Oldham's model 1975 conceptualizes autonomy as a work characteristic, defined as “the degree to which the job provides substantial freedom, independence, and discretion to the employee in scheduling the work and in determining the procedures to be used in carrying it out” ( Hackman and Oldham, 1975 , p. 162). According to the authors, autonomy facilitates various work outcomes, such as motivation and performance. In a similar vein, Karasek et al. (1998) stress the role of autonomy in the form of “decision authority” that interacts with more demanding work characteristics, such as workload or frequent interruptions and therefore enables a prediction of job strain and stress ( Karasek et al., 1998 ). With regard to meaningfulness, Hackman and Oldham (1975) clarify that different core job dimensions, such as the significance of one's own work results for the work and lives of other people, the direct contribution to a common goal with visible outcomes, and the employment of various skills, talents and activities all enhance the perception of meaningfulness at work. In sum, psychological theories on employee motivation and stress clarify the concepts of autonomy and meaningfulness by illustrating the factors that contribute to their experience in relation to challenging and rewarding aspects of work.

Components of CVET

In order to formulate the implications for CVET of the studied effects of technology on work characteristics, a framework with the different components of CVET is needed. The objective of the VET system and continuous education is to qualify people by supporting the acquirement of required competences, for instance by providing training. Competences refer to the potential capacity of an individual in order to successfully carry out work tasks ( Ellström, 1997 ). They contain various components such as work-related knowledge and social skills (e.g., Sonntag, 1992 ). Competences are considered here as “the combination of knowledge, skills and attitude, in relation to one another and in relation to (future) jobs” ( Mulder and Baumann, 2005 , p. 106; e.g., Baartman and de Bruijn, 2011 ).

Participants in CVET enter the system with competences, such as prior knowledge, motivation, and expectations. It is argued that these have to be considered when designing learning environments for CVET. Next to making the distinction between the different components of learning environments content, guidance, method, and assessment, it is considered important that these components are coherent and consistent ( Mulder et al., 2015 ). For instance, the content of the training needs to fit to the objectives and the background of the participants. The same goes for the method or didactics used (e.g., co-operative learning, frontal instruction) and the guidance of teachers, mentors or trainers. In addition, assessment needs to be consistent with all these components. For instance, problem based learning or competence based training requires other forms of assessment than more classical teacher centered forms of didactics, which makes a classic multiple choice test not fitting ( Gulikers et al., 2004 ). Figure 1 contains an overview of the components of learning environments for CVET.

Figure 1 . Components of CVET learning environments (adapted from Mulder et al., 2015 , p. 501).

Three steps are necessary to answer the research questions. Firstly, a systematic search and review of empirical studies reporting evidence on the direct relationships between new technologies and work characteristics. Secondly, an analysis of the evidence with regard to its implications for work demands. Thirdly, deriving the work demands and their implications for CVET.

Systematic Search Strategy

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of our research, specific databases were selected for each of the disciplines involved: Business Source Premier (business and management research) and PsycArticles (psychology) were searched via EBSCOhost, and ERIC (educational science), and Sociological Abstracts (sociology) were searched via ProQuest.

Identifying suitable keywords for technological concepts is challenging due to the rapidly changing and inconsistent terminology and the nested nature of technological concepts ( Huang et al., 2015 ). Therefore, technological terms were systematically mapped by using the different thesauri provided by each of the chosen databases. After exploding a basic term within a thesaurus, the resulting narrower terms and related terms were documented and examined within the following procedure: (a) Checking the compatibility with our definition of technology reflecting its instrumentality, (b) Adjustment of keywords that are too broad or too narrow, (c) Disassembling nested concepts. The procedure was repeated stepwise for each of the databases. Finally, 45 terms that reflect new technologies were documented and used for the database search.

Keywords reflecting work characteristics are derived from the theoretical conceptualizations previously outlined. Synonyms for different concepts within the relevant theories were identified and included. In order to narrow our search results, additionally operators for empirical studies conducted in a workplace setting were added.

In order to avoid unnecessary redundancy, the use of asterisks was carefully considered, provided that the search results did not lose significantly in precision or the number of hits did not grow to an unmanageable number of studies. The final search string is shown in Table 1 .

Table 1 . Final search string.

Eligibility Criteria and Study Selection

Technical criteria included methodological adequacy. This was ensured by only including studies published in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, the studies had to provide quantitative or qualitative data on relationships between technology and work characteristics. Only English-language studies were considered, because most of the studies are published in English and therefore the most complete overview of the existing knowledge on this topic can be obtained. This also enables as many readers as possible to have access to the original studies and analyse the findings of the empirical studies themselves.

Concerning technology, variables had to express the direct consequence or interaction with a certain technology (e.g., the amount of computer-use or experience with robots in the workplace) and indirect psychological states that conceptually resulted from the presence of the technology (e.g., a feeling of increased expectations concerning availability). Regarding work characteristics, variables had to describe work-related aspects associated with our conceptualization of work characteristics (e.g., a change in flexibility or the perception of complexity).

Regarding the direction of effects, only studies that focused on the implementation or use of technologies for work-related purposes were included. Studies were excluded, if they (a) tested particular designs or features of technologies and evaluated them without considering effects on work characteristics, (b) regarded technology not as a specific tool but an abstract process (e.g., “digital transformation”), (c) were published before 1990 due to the fact that the extent of usability and usefulness of technologies before that time should be substantially limited compared to today (e.g., Gattiker et al., 1988 ), and (d) investigated the impact of technologies on society in general without a specific relation to professional contexts (e.g., McClure, 2018 ).

Studies that were found but that did not report empirical findings on the relationships between technology and work characteristics, but rather on the relationships between technology and work demands (e.g., specific knowledge or skills) or work outcomes (e.g., performance, job satisfaction) were documented. Since the aim for this study was to derive the work demands from the work characteristics in any case, the studies that reported a direct empirical relationship between technology and work demands were analyzed separately ( N = 7).

Data Extraction

The variables expressing technology and work characteristics were listed in a table, including the quantitative or qualitative data on the relationships. Pearson's r correlations were preferred over regression results to ensure comparability. For qualitative data, the relevant passages documenting data were included. Finally, methodological information as well as sample characteristics and size are listed.

Analysis of the Results

Firstly, the variables containing work-related aspects are clustered thematically into a comprehensive final set of work characteristics. This is necessary to reduce complexity due to variations in naming, operationalization and measurement and to make any patterns in the data more visible. Deviations from the theoretically expected clusters are noted and discussed before synthesizing the evidence narratively in accordance to the research questions ( Rodgers et al., 2009 ). As proposed, the evidence on changing work characteristics is analyzed with respect to the resulting work demands in the sense of knowledge, skills, attitude and behavior, which in turn are used to determine the implications for the different components of CVET.

Figure 2 depicts a flowchart documenting the literature search. In sum, 21 studies providing evidence on relationships between technology and work characteristics were included. In addition, seven supplementary studies containing empirical evidence on relationships between technology and specific work demands were identified. These studies are taken into account when deriving the work requirements. Next, the descriptive characteristics of the included studies will be reported. After that, the evidence on relationships between technologies and work characteristics of the 21 included studies will be summarized, before finally deriving the work demands based on the evidence found.

Figure 2 . Flowchart of literature search process.

Characteristics of Studies

Table 2 contains an overview of the characteristics of selected studies. Most of the studies were published between 2015 and 2019 (52%). Nearly half of the studies were conducted in Europe (48%), followed by North America (33%). Most of the studies reported qualitative data collected with methods such as interviews (62%).

Table 2 . Characteristics of the studies.

The studies investigated a variety of technologies, such as computers (1, 7), various forms of Information and Communication technologies (ICTs; 2, 3, 17, 18, 21) in a broad sense, including specific examples of work-extending technologies and other tools for digital communication, information technology (IT) systems supporting information dissemination and retrieval within organizations (4, 9), automated systems supporting predominantly physical work procedures (5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 20), robots (15, 19), social media enabling professional networking and participation in organizational and societal practices (8, 16), and more domain-specific technologies such as clinical technology supporting professional decisions (9) and field technology for labor management (10).

Relationships Between Technology and Work Characteristics

In sum, nine work characteristics were identified and defined distinctively. Table 3 contains the operational definitions of the final work characteristics and the work-related aspects they consist of. The final work characteristics are: Workflow interruptions, workload, manual work, mental work, privacy, autonomy, complexity, role expectations, and opportunities for development.

Table 3 . Overview for final work characteristics and the exemplary work-related aspects assigned to them.

The complete overview of the selected studies and results for the relationships between technology and work characteristics is provided in Table 4 (for quantitative data) and Table 5 (for qualitative data). To further increase comprehensibility, the variables within the tables were labeled according to their function in the respective study (e.g., independent variable, mediating variable, dependent variable; see notes).

Table 4 . Studies providing quantitative evidence for the relationship between technology and work-related aspects.

Table 5 . Studies providing qualitative evidence for the relationship between technology and work-related aspects.

There is quantitative evidence on positive relationships between IT system use and complexity reported by two studies (4, 9). On a similar note, qualitative evidence suggests lower situational awareness within automated systems indicating an increase in complexity (12), and clinical technology being associated with an increase in complexity for nurses (9).

There is mixed quantitative evidence on the relationships between computer work and autonomy (1). The amount of computer work is positively related to autonomy, while technological pacing is negatively related to autonomy. Working within automated systems is negatively (5, 6) or not related (6) to different measures of autonomy. ICT use shows mixed relationships with job decision latitude (3) depending on ICT features that describe negative or positive effects of use. Evidence indicates a positive relationship between social media use and autonomy. Qualitative evidence suggests that ICT use increases autonomy (21) and flexibility (17, 18, 21).

Quantitative studies indicate strong positive relationships between computer work (1) and ICT use (2) and workload. The relationships are not consistent due to the fact that certain ICT features differ in their effects on workload. ICT characteristics such as presenteeism and pace of change are positively related to feelings of increasing workload, while a feeling of anonymity is negatively associated with workload. Evidence indicates positive relationships between time or workload pressure in the context of computer work (7), working in an automated system (5), as well as social media use (8) and provide evidence for positive relationships between various technologies and workload. Qualitative studies report similar outcomes. ICT use (18), automated systems (12, 13) as well as clinical technology (9) are reported to increase the workload.

Workflow Interruptions

Quantitative evidence indicates positive relationships between computer work and increasing levels of interruptions as well as an increasing demand for multitasking (7). Qualitative evidence suggests that ICT use is positively associated with an increased level of interruptions on the one hand and workflow support on the other hand (21). Further qualitative evidence suggests that robots at the workplace have positive effects on workflow support (19), and automated systems seem to increase the level of multitasking required in general (12).

Manual Work

Qualitative evidence suggests a decrease in the amount of physically demanding tasks when working with automated systems (11) and robots (15). In one study, qualitative evidence suggests an increase in manual work for technical jobs where automated systems are used (14).

Mental Work

Quantitative evidence indicates no relationships between monitoring tasks or problem-solving demands for technical jobs within automated systems (6). Qualitative evidence however suggests positive relationships between work within automated systems and various cognitive tasks and demands, such as problem-solving and monitoring (11, 13), while working with robots increases the amount of new and challenging mental tasks (15).

Quantitative evidence indicates that different ICT characteristics show different relationships with invasion of privacy (2). Some features are negatively related to invasion of privacy (anonymity) and others are positively related to it (presenteeism, pace of change). Qualitative evidence suggests that IT systems are not related to the perception of managerial surveillance (9), while social media is positively related to peer-monitoring (16), and field technology is negatively related to employee data control (10).

Role Expectations

Quantitative evidence indicates that ICT use is inconsistently related to role ambiguity depending on specific characteristics of the technology (2). Regarding automated systems, quantitative evidence indicates no relationship between working in an automated system and opportunities for role expansion in the form of an increased perceived responsibility (6). Qualitative evidence suggests that ICT use increases the expectations for availability and connectivity (21), and social media positively affects networking pressure (16). Qualitative evidence suggests that IT systems (9) decrease meaningful job content and role expansion. Qualitative evidence suggests that automated systems vary with regard to enhancing meaningfulness at work, dependent on whether the work tasks are complemented by the system or revolve around maintaining the system (20).

Opportunities for Development

Qualitative evidence suggests that ICT use (12) as well as working with an automated system (17) increase the demands for continuing qualification. Qualitative evidence suggests that opportunities for learning and development are prevalent with clinical technology (9) and absent when working with robots (19). Mixed qualitative evidence regarding automated systems and learning opportunities suggests that the effects depend on the differences in work roles in relation to being supported by the system or supporting the system (20).

A comprehensive summary of the outcomes can be found in Table 6 . The information in this table gives a summary of the evidence found for the different technologies and their relationships to work characteristics, more specifically to work related aspects. Important distinctive characteristics such as sample characteristics are listed in Tables 4 , 5 .

Table 6 . Overview over identified relationships between technology and work characteristics.

Subsequently, the results shown are now used as a basis for the identification of work demands that lead to the need for adapting to changes in work characteristics.

Relationships Between Technologies and Work Demands

Three sources are considered for the identification of work demands: Work demands mentioned in the studies on technology and work characteristics, work demands mentioned by the supplementary studies found during the database search ( N = 7), and work demands analytically derived from the results.

Some studies that examined the effects of technology on work characteristics also reported concrete work demands. Regarding the increasing complexity and the associated mental work, qualitative evidence suggests an increasing demand for cognitive as well as digital skills (11) in automated systems. With regard to IT systems, quantitative evidence indicates positive relationships with computer literacy (9), and analytical skills (4). With regard to the increase in workflow interruptions and the role expectations for constant availability and connectivity, time and attention management strategies are proposed in order to cope with the intrusive features of technology (2). Other strategies mentioned in the studies include self-discipline for disengaging from the ubiquitous availability resulting from mobile communication devices (18, 8) as well as the need for reflecting on individual responsiveness when working overtime due to self-imposed pressure to be available at all times (18, 21). Concerning opportunities for development, the willingness and ability to learn and adapt to technological changes and the associated changes in work (15, 4, 12) is emphasized. Moreover, employability is facilitated by using technological tools for professional networking (16).

The supplementary studies provide evidence on the direct relationships between technologies and work demands without the mediating consideration of work characteristics. This evidence is listed in Table 7 .

Table 7 . Supplementary studies on the relationship between technology and work-related demands.

There is quantitative evidence for positive relationships between the perception of controllability and exploratory use of computers (22), first-hand experience with robots and readiness for robotization (23, 24), and perceived usefulness and positive attitudes toward telemedicine technology (25), blockchain technology (26), and IT systems in general (27). Further quantitative evidence indicates mixed effects of perceived ease of use. Evidence indicates a positive relationship between perceived ease of use and perceived technological control with regard to telemedicine (25), no relationship between ease of use and attitude regarding blockchain technology (26), and a positive relationship between ease of use and attitude toward using IT systems (27). Quantitative evidence indicates that information processing enabled by technology is positively related to an increasing demand of cognitive skills (e.g., synthesizing and interpreting data) and interpersonal skills (e.g., coordinating and monitoring other people), but not related to an increasing demand in psychomotor skills (e.g., manual producing and precise assembling) (28). The level of standardization of work is positively related to interpersonal skills, but not related to cognitive and psychomotor skills (28). A high variety of tasks is positively related to the demand for cognitive skills and interpersonal skills and not related to psychomotor skills (28).

By analyzing the evidence on relationships between technology and work characteristics, further work demands can be derived. Knowledge about the specific technology at hand may be useful to decrease the perception of complexity as new technologies are introduced. This seems evident when comparing the effects of a simple computer with the effects of work within an automated system. For instance, while evidence indicates no relationship between computer work and complexity (6), work within an automated system is suggested to be associated with increasing complexity (12). Moreover, problem-solving skills (13) and cognitive skills such as diagnosing and monitoring (11, 15) increase when employees work within automated systems. Increasing autonomy suggests the need for personal skills regarding self-organizing and self-management due to greater flexibility and the associated possibilities for structuring work in many ways, particularly when working with ICTs (18, 21). Workflow interruptions and an increasing workload also increases the importance of communication skills for explicating the boundaries of one's own engagement to colleagues and leaders (17, 18, 21). Furthermore, reflecting the professional role at work may be critical due to changes in role expectations. The example of self-imposed need for availability underlines this argument (21). All this has implications for self-regulatory activities, such as reflection, and could benefit from experimenting and monitoring one's own strategies for time and attention management.

Implications for CVET: Objectives and Characteristics

The aforementioned studies describe several required behavioral aspects that are considered important due to technology at work. Emphasized is the need for components related to the organization of one's own work, namely self-discipline and time and attention management.

The identified need for reflection on one's own professional actions, for experimentation, and also for professional networking (for instance by using tools) can be seen as parts of further professional development by oneself or in interaction with others. In addition, the need for demonstrating employability is mentioned. From all these professional and career development aspects can be derived that problem-solving skills, self-regulation skills, and communication skills are required as well as proactive work behavior and coping and reflection strategies.

Various relevant skills, such as psychomotor skills, analytical skills, management skills, and interpersonal skills are mentioned. In addition, the need for diagnostic and monitoring skills as well as digital skills is emphasized. All these components can be used in relation to two explicitly mentioned needs: ability to learn and computer literacy. The demand for generic and transferable skills is emphasized. As a basis for the skills, knowledge is required, for instance on the technology itself, although not explicitly discussed in the studies. In contrast, several components of attitude are explicitly mentioned and considered to be a requirement for the ability to deal with challenges caused by new technologies at work. Firstly, the more generic willingness to learn, adaptability, and perceived behavioral control. Secondly, attitudes that are directly linked to technology, namely a positive attitude and trust, especially toward technology (e.g., robots), and technological readiness and acceptance.

Next to the opportunity of acquiring the mentioned components of competences at work, CVET can organize training interventions in the form of adequate learning environments to foster these. The ability of employees to carry out, develop and use the mentioned behavioral aspects, skills, knowledge, and attitudes, can be considered as required objectives of CVET and have concrete consequences for the characteristics of the learning environments.

As for the content of the learning environments, derived from the aforementioned requirements, it can be argued that attention should be paid to different categories of learning objectives: acquiring knowledge about and learning how to use technology, how to manage work and oneself, and how to continue one's own professional development. In addition, the relevance of attitude tells us that these components need to be fostered in the training and therefore need to be part of the content of the learning environments as well.

In relation to the methods or the didactics, only one study explicitly mentioned a suggestion, namely experience based learning for fostering adaptability (12). In relation to the guidance of trainers or teachers no suggestions are provided. The same goes for assessment, diagnoses or monitoring, and the coherence of components of the learning environments.

This systematic literature review aimed at identifying effects of new technological developments on work characteristics, identifying associated work demands, and determining their implications for the design of formal CVET learning environments.

Effects of New Technologies on Work Characteristics and Word Demands

Based on a systematic review focusing on empirical evidence, several effects of technology on work characteristics were found, thus answering RQ 1. Evidence suggests that complexity and mental work increases with ongoing automation and robotization of work, for instance due to the automatization of procedures which “hides” certain processes from employees. The automatization of tasks introduces new mental tasks, such as monitoring the machine's activities and solving problems. A decrease in manual work depends on the relation between the job and the technology in use (supporting vs. being supported).

Workload and workflow interruptions increase as a general consequence of the ubiquity of technology, mainly due to a higher level of job speed and the associated time and workload pressure. A higher level of autonomy seems to be associated with a higher workload and more workflow interruptions. This applies in particular to work with ICTs and domain-specific technologies, such as field technology.

Role expectations and opportunities for development depend on the relation between the job and the technology in use (supporting vs. being supported). With regard to role expectations, the need for being available or connected via digital devices and a new division of responsibilities between employees and technology are repeatedly mentioned in the studies. This applies particularly to work with automated systems, robots, and domain-specific technologies such as clinical technology.

With regard to work demands, employees need strategies to deal with higher levels of workload, autonomy, and complexity. Required skill demands contain mental, analytical, cognitive, and self-regulatory demands. In addition, opportunities for role expansion and learning, which do not seem to automatically result from the implementation and use of new technologies, need to be created (pro)actively by the employees. Employees need to take more responsibility with regard to their own development and professional work identity (for instance considering the pressure for constant availability). They need to be able to effectively deal with a high workload and number of interruptions, increasing flexibility, complexity, and autonomy, a demand for constant availability, changes in meaningfulness of tasks, changes in work roles, and the need to create and use learning opportunities. In the light of ongoing changes and challenges, skills to further develop and adapt one's own skills gain in importance. Regarding attitudes, the willingness to learn, adapt and experiment may be a central work demand.

Implications for the Practice of CVET

Various required objectives of CVET can be concluded from the reported results. For instance, developing the ability of employees to carry out the mentioned behaviors, as well as the skills, knowledge and attitudes that are necessary for those behaviors. These objectives have consequences for the content of CVET learning environments. From the empirical studies on the relationships between technology and work, we derived the need for employees to organize their own work, for instance through time management. Furthermore, many issues relating to own professional development and career development are important, to acquire individually and independently as well as by interacting with others. Ultimately, this refers to the skills of self-initiated learning and development. With regard to fostering helpful attitudes, raising awareness of the relevance of trust or training the social skills to promote trust in the workplace can be included in the content of CVET learning environments. In research on creating trust within organizations, regularly giving and receiving relevant information was shown to be important for creating trust toward co-workers, supervisors and top-management, which in turn fostered the perception of organizational openness and employee involvement as a result ( Thomas et al., 2009 ). In the research on creating trust in virtual teams, the importance of frequent interaction was important to develop trust on a cognitive as well as an affective level (e.g., Germain, 2011 ). These research results however need to be adapted to the context of technology at work.

Although there is no information provided on the guidance of employees, informal guidance through leadership ( Bass and Avolio, 1994 ) as well as formal guidance by trainers and teachers during interventions contain possibilities for fostering the required competences. Attention should be paid not only to acquiring relevant knowledge (digital literacy), but also to skills in applying the knowledge and therefore dealing with technology. Even more challenging might be the task of supporting attitude development (e.g., technological acceptance and openness to changes), fostering transfer of skills, and preparation for future development. Especially future professional development, which includes the ability to learn in relation to current and future changes, needs to be focused on. Teachers, trainers and mentors need to be equipped to be able to foster these competences.

In relation to the use of didactical methods, methods that do not merely focus on knowledge acquisition but also provide opportunities for skill acquisition and changes in attitude need to be applied. For example, one study explicitly suggested experience based learning for fostering the adaptability of employees when faced with ongoing technological developments. Other solutions for instruction models as a profound basis for learning environments may be found in more flexible approaches, for instance according to the cognitive flexibility theory ( Spiro et al., 2003 ), where learners are meant to find their own learning paths in ill-structured domains. By applying such models, that are often based on constructivist learning theories, in a coherent way, the development of strategies for self-organizing and self-regulation may be facilitated.

Furthermore, the use of technology within learning environments may have the potential to increase participants interactions, which are focused in for instance collaborative and co-operative learning ( Dillenbourg et al., 2009 ). Next to increasing interactions in learning and being able to co-operate, technology in learning environments can used to foster the other required competences, if adequately designed ( Vosniadou et al., 1996 ; Littlejohn and Margaryan, 2014 ).

When keeping in mind, that the coherence of components is an important requirement for the design of learning environments ( Mulder et al., 2015 ), the component that describes assessment needs further attention. There is evidence supporting the idea, that the type of assessment has an impact on how learning takes place ( Gulikers et al., 2004 ; Dolmans et al., 2005 ). Therefore, it can be used to deliberatively support and direct learning processes.

Only when all these aspects are considered can CVET interventions effectively and sustainably foster the mentioned objectives, such as promoting a willingness to change in relation to technologies, the effective use of technology, and personal development in the context of technological developments.

Limitations and Implications for Future Research

Regarding the search methods, the use of databases is challenging when investigating technologies ( Huang et al., 2015 ). Technological and technical terms are widespread outside the research in which they are regarded as the object of investigation. Therefore, it produces a large amount of studies that concern technology with diverse research objectives that can be difficult to sort. An interesting focus for future research would be the systematic mapping of journals dealing specifically with technology in order to identify research that could complement the results of the present study as well as consider specificities regarding the domains in which the data is collected and disciplines by which the research is conducted. For instance, domain-specific databases from healthcare or manufacturing might provide additional insights into the effects of technology on work. Another limitation is the absence of innovative new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, or the internet of things as object of investigation. Broad technological categories, such as ICTs and social media have received some attention in research, especially in relation to questions beyond the scope of this review. Newer technological developments as discussed by Ghobakhloo (2018) are virtually not present in current research. This gap in empirical research needs to be filled. In addition, future research should ensure that it does not miss opportunities for research where effects of these innovative technologies can be examined in detail, for instance by conducting an accompanying case study of the implementation process. Research investigating changes over time regarding the use of technology and its effects is needed. In doing so, research could capture the actual dynamics of change and development of processes as they happen in order to inform truly effective interventions in practice. Moreover, a classification of technological characteristics according to their effects may be valuable by enabling a more in-depth analysis of new technologies and their effects on specific groups of employees and different types of organizations. These analyses will also allow a breakdown of effects in relation to differences in jobs, hierarchy levels and levels of qualification, which could be very important for organizations and employers in order to adapt the CVET strategy to the specific demands of specific groups of employees. The present review takes a first step in this direction by identifying work characteristics that are affected by different technologies. In addition, future research could also take into account non-English language research, which might increase insight in for instance cultural differences in the use and the effects of technology at work.

Regarding theory, some of the relevant theories considering technology stem from sociology (e.g., Braverman, 1998 ) or economics ( Autor et al., 2003 ). For instance, the task-based approach ( Autor et al., 2003 ) showed some explanatory value by suggesting that complexity may increase as a consequence of technology. Furthermore, it suggested that this effect may depend on job specifics. Those propositions are reflected in the aforementioned empirical evidence. Psychological theories on work characteristics do not conceptualize technology explicitly (e.g., Hackman and Oldham, 1975 ; Karasek, 1979 ). As of the present study, the large variation regarding the concepts and variables derived from theory might limit the comparability of results. To foster systematic research, further theory development needs to more explicitly consider the role of technology at multiple levels (i.e., individual level, team level, organizational level) and with regard to the characteristics and demands of work. In the context of theory, the paradigmatic views also deserve attention (e.g., Liker et al., 1999 ; Orlikowski and Scott, 2008 ). These views could be reflected in the subject of research, as exemplified for instance in the study of field technologies and its effects on privacy from a managerial control and power perspective, potentially reflecting the view of political interest ( Tranvik and Bråten, 2017 ). Most of the studies, however, do not take a clear stand on what exactly they mean when they investigate technology. This complicates interdisciplinary inquiry and integration, as it is not always clear which understanding of technology is prevalent. We therefore encourage future research to explicitly define technology, for instance as in the present paper using the proposed framework of McOmber (1999) . In doing so, characteristics of technology may be defined more clearly and distinctive which in turn would enable the formation of the strongly needed categorization of technologies, as was proposed earlier.

And, although there are theories and models on the use of technology in education (e.g., E-Learning, Technology enhanced learning), they are not focussing on fostering the competences required to deal with new technologies in a sustainable manner. In general, the same gap needs to be filled for instruction models and instructional design models, for instance to promote changes in attitude and professional development. In addition, there is hardly any attention for the consequences of new technologies at work for CVET yet ( Harteis, 2017 ). All this requires more systematic evaluation studies. The research gaps identified need to be filled in order to provide evidence-based support to employees in dealing with new technologies at work in a sustainable manner, taking charge of their own performance and health, as well as seeking and using opportunities for their own professional and career development.

Data Availability Statement

All datasets generated for this study are included in the article/supplementary material.

Author Contributions

PB and RM have jointly developed the article, and to a greater or lesser extent both have participated in all parts of the study (design, development of the theoretical framework, search, analyses, and writing). The authors approved this version and take full responsibility for the originality of the research.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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* Studies included in the systematic review.

** Supplementary studies.

Keywords: technology, work characteristics, continuous vocational education and training, automation, work demands, systematic review

Citation: Beer P and Mulder RH (2020) The Effects of Technological Developments on Work and Their Implications for Continuous Vocational Education and Training: A Systematic Review. Front. Psychol. 11:918. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00918

Received: 14 February 2020; Accepted: 14 April 2020; Published: 08 May 2020.

Reviewed by:

Copyright © 2020 Beer and Mulder. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Patrick Beer,

Disclaimer: All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

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  • How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

Published on October 12, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on November 21, 2023.

Structure of a research proposal

A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will conduct your research.

The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements:


Literature review.

  • Research design

Reference list

While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same. A research proposal serves as a blueprint and guide for your research plan, helping you get organized and feel confident in the path forward you choose to take.

Table of contents

Research proposal purpose, research proposal examples, research design and methods, contribution to knowledge, research schedule, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research proposals.

Academics often have to write research proposals to get funding for their projects. As a student, you might have to write a research proposal as part of a grad school application , or prior to starting your thesis or dissertation .

In addition to helping you figure out what your research can look like, a proposal can also serve to demonstrate why your project is worth pursuing to a funder, educational institution, or supervisor.

Research proposal aims
Show your reader why your project is interesting, original, and important.
Demonstrate your comfort and familiarity with your field.
Show that you understand the current state of research on your topic.
Make a case for your .
Demonstrate that you have carefully thought about the data, tools, and procedures necessary to conduct your research.
Confirm that your project is feasible within the timeline of your program or funding deadline.

Research proposal length

The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.

One trick to get started is to think of your proposal’s structure as a shorter version of your thesis or dissertation , only without the results , conclusion and discussion sections.

Download our research proposal template

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Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We’ve included a few for you below.

  • Example research proposal #1: “A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management”
  • Example research proposal #2: “Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use”

Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes:

  • The proposed title of your project
  • Your supervisor’s name
  • Your institution and department

The first part of your proposal is the initial pitch for your project. Make sure it succinctly explains what you want to do and why.

Your introduction should:

  • Introduce your topic
  • Give necessary background and context
  • Outline your  problem statement  and research questions

To guide your introduction , include information about:

  • Who could have an interest in the topic (e.g., scientists, policymakers)
  • How much is already known about the topic
  • What is missing from this current knowledge
  • What new insights your research will contribute
  • Why you believe this research is worth doing

Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

  • Academic style
  • Vague sentences
  • Style consistency

See an example

sample technology research paper

As you get started, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the most important research on your topic. A strong literature review  shows your reader that your project has a solid foundation in existing knowledge or theory. It also shows that you’re not simply repeating what other people have already done or said, but rather using existing research as a jumping-off point for your own.

In this section, share exactly how your project will contribute to ongoing conversations in the field by:

  • Comparing and contrasting the main theories, methods, and debates
  • Examining the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches
  • Explaining how will you build on, challenge, or synthesize prior scholarship

Following the literature review, restate your main  objectives . This brings the focus back to your own project. Next, your research design or methodology section will describe your overall approach, and the practical steps you will take to answer your research questions.

Building a research proposal methodology
? or  ? , , or research design?
, )? ?
, , , )?

To finish your proposal on a strong note, explore the potential implications of your research for your field. Emphasize again what you aim to contribute and why it matters.

For example, your results might have implications for:

  • Improving best practices
  • Informing policymaking decisions
  • Strengthening a theory or model
  • Challenging popular or scientific beliefs
  • Creating a basis for future research

Last but not least, your research proposal must include correct citations for every source you have used, compiled in a reference list . To create citations quickly and easily, you can use our free APA citation generator .

Some institutions or funders require a detailed timeline of the project, asking you to forecast what you will do at each stage and how long it may take. While not always required, be sure to check the requirements of your project.

Here’s an example schedule to help you get started. You can also download a template at the button below.

Download our research schedule template

Example research schedule
Research phase Objectives Deadline
1. Background research and literature review 20th January
2. Research design planning and data analysis methods 13th February
3. Data collection and preparation with selected participants and code interviews 24th March
4. Data analysis of interview transcripts 22nd April
5. Writing 17th June
6. Revision final work 28th July

If you are applying for research funding, chances are you will have to include a detailed budget. This shows your estimates of how much each part of your project will cost.

Make sure to check what type of costs the funding body will agree to cover. For each item, include:

  • Cost : exactly how much money do you need?
  • Justification : why is this cost necessary to complete the research?
  • Source : how did you calculate the amount?

To determine your budget, think about:

  • Travel costs : do you need to go somewhere to collect your data? How will you get there, and how much time will you need? What will you do there (e.g., interviews, archival research)?
  • Materials : do you need access to any tools or technologies?
  • Help : do you need to hire any research assistants for the project? What will they do, and how much will you pay them?

If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.


  • Sampling methods
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Likert scales
  • Reproducibility


  • Null hypothesis
  • Statistical power
  • Probability distribution
  • Effect size
  • Poisson distribution

Research bias

  • Optimism bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Implicit bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Anchoring bias
  • Explicit bias

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.

A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.

All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.

Critical thinking refers to the ability to evaluate information and to be aware of biases or assumptions, including your own.

Like information literacy , it involves evaluating arguments, identifying and solving problems in an objective and systematic way, and clearly communicating your ideas.

The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a dissertation committee) that your research topic is relevant and worthy of being conducted.

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The state of AI in early 2024: Gen AI adoption spikes and starts to generate value

If 2023 was the year the world discovered generative AI (gen AI) , 2024 is the year organizations truly began using—and deriving business value from—this new technology. In the latest McKinsey Global Survey  on AI, 65 percent of respondents report that their organizations are regularly using gen AI, nearly double the percentage from our previous survey just ten months ago. Respondents’ expectations for gen AI’s impact remain as high as they were last year , with three-quarters predicting that gen AI will lead to significant or disruptive change in their industries in the years ahead.

About the authors

This article is a collaborative effort by Alex Singla , Alexander Sukharevsky , Lareina Yee , and Michael Chui , with Bryce Hall , representing views from QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey, and McKinsey Digital.

Organizations are already seeing material benefits from gen AI use, reporting both cost decreases and revenue jumps in the business units deploying the technology. The survey also provides insights into the kinds of risks presented by gen AI—most notably, inaccuracy—as well as the emerging practices of top performers to mitigate those challenges and capture value.

AI adoption surges

Interest in generative AI has also brightened the spotlight on a broader set of AI capabilities. For the past six years, AI adoption by respondents’ organizations has hovered at about 50 percent. This year, the survey finds that adoption has jumped to 72 percent (Exhibit 1). And the interest is truly global in scope. Our 2023 survey found that AI adoption did not reach 66 percent in any region; however, this year more than two-thirds of respondents in nearly every region say their organizations are using AI. 1 Organizations based in Central and South America are the exception, with 58 percent of respondents working for organizations based in Central and South America reporting AI adoption. Looking by industry, the biggest increase in adoption can be found in professional services. 2 Includes respondents working for organizations focused on human resources, legal services, management consulting, market research, R&D, tax preparation, and training.

Also, responses suggest that companies are now using AI in more parts of the business. Half of respondents say their organizations have adopted AI in two or more business functions, up from less than a third of respondents in 2023 (Exhibit 2).

Gen AI adoption is most common in the functions where it can create the most value

Most respondents now report that their organizations—and they as individuals—are using gen AI. Sixty-five percent of respondents say their organizations are regularly using gen AI in at least one business function, up from one-third last year. The average organization using gen AI is doing so in two functions, most often in marketing and sales and in product and service development—two functions in which previous research  determined that gen AI adoption could generate the most value 3 “ The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier ,” McKinsey, June 14, 2023. —as well as in IT (Exhibit 3). The biggest increase from 2023 is found in marketing and sales, where reported adoption has more than doubled. Yet across functions, only two use cases, both within marketing and sales, are reported by 15 percent or more of respondents.

Gen AI also is weaving its way into respondents’ personal lives. Compared with 2023, respondents are much more likely to be using gen AI at work and even more likely to be using gen AI both at work and in their personal lives (Exhibit 4). The survey finds upticks in gen AI use across all regions, with the largest increases in Asia–Pacific and Greater China. Respondents at the highest seniority levels, meanwhile, show larger jumps in the use of gen Al tools for work and outside of work compared with their midlevel-management peers. Looking at specific industries, respondents working in energy and materials and in professional services report the largest increase in gen AI use.

Investments in gen AI and analytical AI are beginning to create value

The latest survey also shows how different industries are budgeting for gen AI. Responses suggest that, in many industries, organizations are about equally as likely to be investing more than 5 percent of their digital budgets in gen AI as they are in nongenerative, analytical-AI solutions (Exhibit 5). Yet in most industries, larger shares of respondents report that their organizations spend more than 20 percent on analytical AI than on gen AI. Looking ahead, most respondents—67 percent—expect their organizations to invest more in AI over the next three years.

Where are those investments paying off? For the first time, our latest survey explored the value created by gen AI use by business function. The function in which the largest share of respondents report seeing cost decreases is human resources. Respondents most commonly report meaningful revenue increases (of more than 5 percent) in supply chain and inventory management (Exhibit 6). For analytical AI, respondents most often report seeing cost benefits in service operations—in line with what we found last year —as well as meaningful revenue increases from AI use in marketing and sales.

Inaccuracy: The most recognized and experienced risk of gen AI use

As businesses begin to see the benefits of gen AI, they’re also recognizing the diverse risks associated with the technology. These can range from data management risks such as data privacy, bias, or intellectual property (IP) infringement to model management risks, which tend to focus on inaccurate output or lack of explainability. A third big risk category is security and incorrect use.

Respondents to the latest survey are more likely than they were last year to say their organizations consider inaccuracy and IP infringement to be relevant to their use of gen AI, and about half continue to view cybersecurity as a risk (Exhibit 7).

Conversely, respondents are less likely than they were last year to say their organizations consider workforce and labor displacement to be relevant risks and are not increasing efforts to mitigate them.

In fact, inaccuracy— which can affect use cases across the gen AI value chain , ranging from customer journeys and summarization to coding and creative content—is the only risk that respondents are significantly more likely than last year to say their organizations are actively working to mitigate.

Some organizations have already experienced negative consequences from the use of gen AI, with 44 percent of respondents saying their organizations have experienced at least one consequence (Exhibit 8). Respondents most often report inaccuracy as a risk that has affected their organizations, followed by cybersecurity and explainability.

Our previous research has found that there are several elements of governance that can help in scaling gen AI use responsibly, yet few respondents report having these risk-related practices in place. 4 “ Implementing generative AI with speed and safety ,” McKinsey Quarterly , March 13, 2024. For example, just 18 percent say their organizations have an enterprise-wide council or board with the authority to make decisions involving responsible AI governance, and only one-third say gen AI risk awareness and risk mitigation controls are required skill sets for technical talent.

Bringing gen AI capabilities to bear

The latest survey also sought to understand how, and how quickly, organizations are deploying these new gen AI tools. We have found three archetypes for implementing gen AI solutions : takers use off-the-shelf, publicly available solutions; shapers customize those tools with proprietary data and systems; and makers develop their own foundation models from scratch. 5 “ Technology’s generational moment with generative AI: A CIO and CTO guide ,” McKinsey, July 11, 2023. Across most industries, the survey results suggest that organizations are finding off-the-shelf offerings applicable to their business needs—though many are pursuing opportunities to customize models or even develop their own (Exhibit 9). About half of reported gen AI uses within respondents’ business functions are utilizing off-the-shelf, publicly available models or tools, with little or no customization. Respondents in energy and materials, technology, and media and telecommunications are more likely to report significant customization or tuning of publicly available models or developing their own proprietary models to address specific business needs.

Respondents most often report that their organizations required one to four months from the start of a project to put gen AI into production, though the time it takes varies by business function (Exhibit 10). It also depends upon the approach for acquiring those capabilities. Not surprisingly, reported uses of highly customized or proprietary models are 1.5 times more likely than off-the-shelf, publicly available models to take five months or more to implement.

Gen AI high performers are excelling despite facing challenges

Gen AI is a new technology, and organizations are still early in the journey of pursuing its opportunities and scaling it across functions. So it’s little surprise that only a small subset of respondents (46 out of 876) report that a meaningful share of their organizations’ EBIT can be attributed to their deployment of gen AI. Still, these gen AI leaders are worth examining closely. These, after all, are the early movers, who already attribute more than 10 percent of their organizations’ EBIT to their use of gen AI. Forty-two percent of these high performers say more than 20 percent of their EBIT is attributable to their use of nongenerative, analytical AI, and they span industries and regions—though most are at organizations with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. The AI-related practices at these organizations can offer guidance to those looking to create value from gen AI adoption at their own organizations.

To start, gen AI high performers are using gen AI in more business functions—an average of three functions, while others average two. They, like other organizations, are most likely to use gen AI in marketing and sales and product or service development, but they’re much more likely than others to use gen AI solutions in risk, legal, and compliance; in strategy and corporate finance; and in supply chain and inventory management. They’re more than three times as likely as others to be using gen AI in activities ranging from processing of accounting documents and risk assessment to R&D testing and pricing and promotions. While, overall, about half of reported gen AI applications within business functions are utilizing publicly available models or tools, gen AI high performers are less likely to use those off-the-shelf options than to either implement significantly customized versions of those tools or to develop their own proprietary foundation models.

What else are these high performers doing differently? For one thing, they are paying more attention to gen-AI-related risks. Perhaps because they are further along on their journeys, they are more likely than others to say their organizations have experienced every negative consequence from gen AI we asked about, from cybersecurity and personal privacy to explainability and IP infringement. Given that, they are more likely than others to report that their organizations consider those risks, as well as regulatory compliance, environmental impacts, and political stability, to be relevant to their gen AI use, and they say they take steps to mitigate more risks than others do.

Gen AI high performers are also much more likely to say their organizations follow a set of risk-related best practices (Exhibit 11). For example, they are nearly twice as likely as others to involve the legal function and embed risk reviews early on in the development of gen AI solutions—that is, to “ shift left .” They’re also much more likely than others to employ a wide range of other best practices, from strategy-related practices to those related to scaling.

In addition to experiencing the risks of gen AI adoption, high performers have encountered other challenges that can serve as warnings to others (Exhibit 12). Seventy percent say they have experienced difficulties with data, including defining processes for data governance, developing the ability to quickly integrate data into AI models, and an insufficient amount of training data, highlighting the essential role that data play in capturing value. High performers are also more likely than others to report experiencing challenges with their operating models, such as implementing agile ways of working and effective sprint performance management.

About the research

The online survey was in the field from February 22 to March 5, 2024, and garnered responses from 1,363 participants representing the full range of regions, industries, company sizes, functional specialties, and tenures. Of those respondents, 981 said their organizations had adopted AI in at least one business function, and 878 said their organizations were regularly using gen AI in at least one function. To adjust for differences in response rates, the data are weighted by the contribution of each respondent’s nation to global GDP.

Alex Singla and Alexander Sukharevsky  are global coleaders of QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey, and senior partners in McKinsey’s Chicago and London offices, respectively; Lareina Yee  is a senior partner in the Bay Area office, where Michael Chui , a McKinsey Global Institute partner, is a partner; and Bryce Hall  is an associate partner in the Washington, DC, office.

They wish to thank Kaitlin Noe, Larry Kanter, Mallika Jhamb, and Shinjini Srivastava for their contributions to this work.

This article was edited by Heather Hanselman, a senior editor in McKinsey’s Atlanta office.

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OpenAI Offers a Peek Inside the Guts of ChatGPT

Person using ChatGPT on a computer

ChatGPT developer OpenAI’s approach to building artificial intelligence came under fire this week from former employees who accuse the company of taking unnecessary risks with technology that could become harmful.

Today, OpenAI released a new research paper apparently aimed at showing it is serious about tackling AI risk by making its models more explainable. In the paper , researchers from the company lay out a way to peer inside the AI model that powers ChatGPT. They devise a method of identifying how the model stores certain concepts—including those that might cause an AI system to misbehave.

Although the research makes OpenAI’s work on keeping AI in check more visible, it also highlights recent turmoil at the company. The new research was performed by the recently disbanded “superalignment” team at OpenAI that was dedicated to studying the technology’s long-term risks.

The former group’s coleads, Ilya Sutskever and Jan Leike—both of whom have left OpenAI —are named as coauthors. Sutskever, a cofounder of OpenAI and formerly chief scientist, was among the board members who voted to fire CEO Sam Altman last November, triggering a chaotic few days that culminated in Altman’s return as leader.

ChatGPT is powered by a family of so-called large language models called GPT, based on an approach to machine learning known as artificial neural networks. These mathematical networks have shown great power to learn useful tasks by analyzing example data, but their workings cannot be easily scrutinized as conventional computer programs can. The complex interplay between the layers of “neurons” within an artificial neural network makes reverse engineering why a system like ChatGPT came up with a particular response hugely challenging.

“Unlike with most human creations, we don’t really understand the inner workings of neural networks,” the researchers behind the work wrote in an accompanying blog post . Some prominent AI researchers believe that the most powerful AI models, including ChatGPT, could perhaps be used to design chemical or biological weapons and coordinate cyberattacks. A longer-term concern is that AI models may choose to hide information or act in harmful ways in order to achieve their goals.

OpenAI’s new paper outlines a technique that lessens the mystery a little, by identifying patterns that represent specific concepts inside a machine learning system with help from an additional machine learning model. The key innovation is in refining the network used to peer inside the system of interest by identifying concepts, to make it more efficient.

OpenAI proved out the approach by identifying patterns that represent concepts inside GPT-4, one of its largest AI models. The company released code related to the interpretability work, as well as a visualization tool that can be used to see how words in different sentences activate concepts, including profanity and erotic content, in GPT-4 and another model. Knowing how a model represents certain concepts could be a step toward being able to dial down those associated with unwanted behavior, to keep an AI system on the rails. It could also make it possible to tune an AI system to favor certain topics or ideas.

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Even though LLMs defy easy interrogation, a growing body of research suggests they can be poked and prodded in ways that reveal useful information. Anthropic, an OpenAI competitor backed by Amazon and Google, published similar work on AI interpretability last month. To demonstrate how the behavior of AI systems might be tuned, the company's researchers created a chatbot obsessed with San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge . And simply asking an LLM to explain its reasoning can sometimes yield insights .

“It’s exciting progress,” says David Bau , a professor at Northeastern University who works on AI explainability, of the new OpenAI research. “As a field, we need to be learning how to understand and scrutinize these large models much better.”

Bau says the OpenAI team’s main innovation is in showing a more efficient way to configure a small neural network that can be used to understand the components of a larger one. But he also notes that the technique needs to be refined to make it more reliable. “There’s still a lot of work ahead in using these methods to create fully understandable explanations,” Bau says.

Bau is part of a US government-funded effort called the National Deep Inference Fabric , which will make cloud computing resources available to academic researchers so that they too can probe especially powerful AI models. “We need to figure out how we can enable scientists to do this work even if they are not working at these large companies,” he says.

OpenAI’s researchers acknowledge in their paper that further work needs to be done to improve their method, but also say they hope it will lead to practical ways to control AI models. “We hope that one day, interpretability can provide us with new ways to reason about model safety and robustness, and significantly increase our trust in powerful AI models by giving strong assurances about their behavior,” they write.

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Study models how ketamine’s molecular action leads to its effects on the brain

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Ketamine, a World Health Organization Essential Medicine, is widely used at varying doses for sedation, pain control, general anesthesia, and as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression. While scientists know its target in brain cells and have observed how it affects brain-wide activity, they haven’t known entirely how the two are connected. A new study by a research team spanning four Boston-area institutions uses computational modeling of previously unappreciated physiological details to fill that gap and offer new insights into how ketamine works.

“This modeling work has helped decipher likely mechanisms through which ketamine produces altered arousal states as well as its therapeutic benefits for treating depression,” says co-senior author Emery N. Brown , the Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Medical Engineering at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT, as well as an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School.

The researchers from MIT, Boston University (BU), MGH, and Harvard University say the predictions of their model, published May 20 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , could help physicians make better use of the drug.

“When physicians understand what's mechanistically happening when they administer a drug, they can possibly leverage that mechanism and manipulate it,” says study lead author Elie Adam , a research scientist at MIT who will soon join the Harvard Medical School faculty and launch a lab at MGH. “They gain a sense of how to enhance the good effects of the drug and how to mitigate the bad ones.”

Blocking the door

The core advance of the study involved biophysically modeling what happens when ketamine blocks the “NMDA” receptors in the brain’s cortex — the outer layer where key functions such as sensory processing and cognition take place. Blocking the NMDA receptors modulates the release of excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate.

When the neuronal channels (or doorways) regulated by the NMDA receptors open, they typically close slowly (like a doorway with a hydraulic closer that keeps it from slamming), allowing ions to go in and out of neurons, thereby regulating their electrical properties, Adam says. But, the channels of the receptor can be blocked by a molecule. Blocking by magnesium helps to naturally regulate ion flow. Ketamine, however, is an especially effective blocker.

Blocking slows the voltage build-up across the neuron’s membrane that eventually leads a neuron to “spike,” or send an electrochemical message to other neurons. The NMDA doorway becomes unblocked when the voltage gets high. This interdependence between voltage, spiking, and blocking can equip NMDA receptors with faster activity than its slow closing speed might suggest. The team’s model goes further than ones before by representing how ketamine’s blocking and unblocking affect neural activity.

“Physiological details that are usually ignored can sometimes be central to understanding cognitive phenomena,” says co-corresponding author Nancy Kopell , a professor of mathematics at BU. “The dynamics of NMDA receptors have more impact on network dynamics than has previously been appreciated.”

With their model, the scientists simulated how different doses of ketamine affecting NMDA receptors would alter the activity of a model brain network. The simulated network included key neuron types found in the cortex: one excitatory type and two inhibitory types. It distinguishes between “tonic” interneurons that tamp down network activity and “phasic” interneurons that react more to excitatory neurons.

The team’s simulations successfully recapitulated the real brain waves that have been measured via EEG electrodes on the scalp of a human volunteer who received various ketamine doses and the neural spiking that has been measured in similarly treated animals that had implanted electrode arrays. At low doses, ketamine increased brain wave power in the fast gamma frequency range (30-40 Hz). At the higher doses that cause unconsciousness, those gamma waves became periodically interrupted by “down” states where only very slow frequency delta waves occur. This repeated disruption of the higher frequency waves is what can disrupt communication across the cortex enough to disrupt consciousness.

A very horizontal chart plots brain rhythm frequency over time with colors indicating power. Bars along the top indicate the dose of ketamine. After the dose starts more gamma frequency power appears. After the dose gets even higher, the gamma waves periodically stop and then resume.

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But how? Key findings

Importantly, through simulations, they explained several key mechanisms in the network that would produce exactly these dynamics.

The first prediction is that ketamine can disinhibit network activity by shutting down certain inhibitory interneurons. The modeling shows that natural blocking and unblocking kinetics of NMDA-receptors can let in a small current when neurons are not spiking. Many neurons in the network that are at the right level of excitation would rely on this current to spontaneously spike. But when ketamine impairs the kinetics of the NMDA receptors, it quenches that current, leaving these neurons suppressed. In the model, while ketamine equally impairs all neurons, it is the tonic inhibitory neurons that get shut down because they happen to be at that level of excitation. This releases other neurons, excitatory or inhibitory, from their inhibition allowing them to spike vigorously and leading to ketamine’s excited brain state. The network’s increased excitation can then enable quick unblocking (and reblocking) of the neurons’ NMDA receptors, causing bursts of spiking.

Another prediction is that these bursts become synchronized into the gamma frequency waves seen with ketamine. How? The team found that the phasic inhibitory interneurons become stimulated by lots of input of the neurotransmitter glutamate from the excitatory neurons and vigorously spike, or fire. When they do, they send an inhibitory signal of the neurotransmitter GABA to the excitatory neurons that squelches the excitatory firing, almost like a kindergarten teacher calming down a whole classroom of excited children. That stop signal, which reaches all the excitatory neurons simultaneously, only lasts so long, ends up synchronizing their activity, producing a coordinated gamma brain wave.

A network schematic shows the model arrangement of three different types of neurons in a cortical circuit.

“The finding that an individual synaptic receptor (NMDA) can produce gamma oscillations and that these gamma oscillations can influence network-level gamma was unexpected,” says co-corresponding author Michelle McCarthy , a research assistant professor of math at BU. “This was found only by using a detailed physiological model of the NMDA receptor. This level of physiological detail revealed a gamma time scale not usually associated with an NMDA receptor.”

So what about the periodic down states that emerge at higher, unconsciousness-inducing ketamine doses? In the simulation, the gamma-frequency activity of the excitatory neurons can’t be sustained for too long by the impaired NMDA-receptor kinetics. The excitatory neurons essentially become exhausted under GABA inhibition from the phasic interneurons. That produces the down state. But then, after they have stopped sending glutamate to the phasic interneurons, those cells stop producing their inhibitory GABA signals. That enables the excitatory neurons to recover, starting a cycle anew.

Antidepressant connection?

The model makes another prediction that might help explain how ketamine exerts its antidepressant effects. It suggests that the increased gamma activity of ketamine could entrain gamma activity among neurons expressing a peptide called VIP. This peptide has been found to have health-promoting effects, such as reducing inflammation, that last much longer than ketamine’s effects on NMDA receptors. The research team proposes that the entrainment of these neurons under ketamine could increase the release of the beneficial peptide, as observed when these cells are stimulated in experiments. This also hints at therapeutic features of ketamine that may go beyond antidepressant effects. The research team acknowledges, however, that this connection is speculative and awaits specific experimental validation.

“The understanding that the subcellular details of the NMDA receptor can lead to increased gamma oscillations was the basis for a new theory about how ketamine may work for treating depression,” Kopell says.

Additional co-authors of the study are Marek Kowalski, Oluwaseun Akeju, and Earl K. Miller.

The work was supported by the JPB Foundation; The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory; The Simons Center for The Social Brain; the National Institutes of Health; George J. Elbaum ’59, SM ’63, PhD ’67; Mimi Jensen; Diane B. Greene SM ’78; Mendel Rosenblum; Bill Swanson; and annual donors to the Anesthesia Initiative Fund.

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    This study set out to determine whether one to one technology (1:1 will be used hereafter) truly impacts and effects the academic achievement of students. This study's second goal was to determine whether 1:1 Technology also effects student motivation to learn. Data was gathered from students participating in this study through the Pearson ...

  3. PDF The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Innovation

    Michael Kearney provided extraordinary research assistance. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Funding for this paper was provided by the MIT Sloan School of Management, by the HBS Division of Research and by the Questrom School of

  4. (PDF) Impact of modern technology in education

    Importance of technolog y in education. The role of technology in the field of education is four-. fold: it is included as a part of the curriculum, as an. instructional delivery system, as a ...

  5. PDF Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet

    Although technology is a broad term, the paper focuses on the effects of computers, the Internet, and software such as computer assisted instruction, which are currently the most. relevant forms of new technology in education.3 The discussion focuses primarily on the impacts. of computers, the Internet and software on educational outcomes ...

  6. Free Technology Paper Samples

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  7. Digital Transformation: An Overview of the Current State of the Art of

    Approached this way, the systematic literature review displays major research avenues of digital transformation that consider technology as the main driver of these changes. This paper qualitatively classifies the literature on digital business transformation into three different clusters based on technological, business, and societal impacts.


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  9. computer science Latest Research Papers

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  10. Internet of Things (IoT) for Next-Generation Smart Systems: A Review of

    The Internet of Things (IoT)-centric concepts like augmented reality, high-resolution video streaming, self-driven cars, smart environment, e-health care, etc. have a ubiquitous presence now. These applications require higher data-rates, large bandwidth, increased capacity, low latency and high throughput. In light of these emerging concepts, IoT has revolutionized the world by providing ...

  11. 100 Technology Topics for Research Papers

    Relationships and Media. 7. War. 8. Information and Communication Tech. 9. Computer Science and Robotics. Researching technology can involve looking at how it solves problems, creates new problems, and how interaction with technology has changed humankind.

  12. Technology Research Topics

    DNA technology, gene editing, gene therapy, and similar topics are hot topics in technology research papers. 10. Artificial Intelligence in Mental Health Care. Mental health is a widely discussed topic around the world, making it perfect for technology research topics.

  13. How to Create a Structured Research Paper Outline

    A decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline, but with a different numbering system: 1, 1.1, 1.2, etc. Text is written as short notes rather than full sentences. Example: 1 Body paragraph one. 1.1 First point. 1.1.1 Sub-point of first point. 1.1.2 Sub-point of first point.

  14. 450+ Technology Research Topics & Ideas for Your Paper

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  15. Research Paper

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  16. PDF A Sample Research Paper/Thesis/Dissertation on Aspects of Elementary

    Definition. A finite set of linear equations in the variables x1, x2, . . . , xn is called. a system of linear equations. Not all systems of linear equations has solutions. A system of equations that has no solution is said to be inconsistent. If there is at least one solution, it is called consistent.

  17. The Effects of Technological Developments on Work and Their

    Introduction. In the face of technology-driven disruptive changes in societal and organizational practices, continuous vocational education and training (CVET) lacks information on how the impact of technologies on work must be considered from an educational perspective (Cascio and Montealegre, 2016).Research on workplace technologies, i.e., tools or systems that have the potential to replace ...

  18. PDF Technology Integration: a Research-based Professional Development

    Although research would suggest that teachers are increasingly using technology in their daily lives and for other professional endeavors, it also supports the claim that ICT use for instructional purposes is limited (Bebell, et. al., 2004). Recent research identifies that this lack of integration is the result of a failure to

  19. How to Write a Research Proposal

    Research proposal examples. Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We've included a few for you below. Example research proposal #1: "A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management".

  20. Technological Innovation: Articles, Research, & Case Studies on

    New research on technological innovation from Harvard Business School faculty on issues including using data mining to improve productivity, why business IT innovation is so difficult, and the business implications of the technology revolution.

  21. (PDF) Comparative Hypotheses for Technology Analysis

    4 Comparative Hypotheses for Technology Analysis. tire cords, telephone versus telegraph usage, etc. Overall, then, a predator-prey interaction has. an emerging technology in the role of predator ...

  22. APA Sample Paper

    Media Files: APA Sample Student Paper , APA Sample Professional Paper This resource is enhanced by Acrobat PDF files. Download the free Acrobat Reader. Note: The APA Publication Manual, 7 th Edition specifies different formatting conventions for student and professional papers (i.e., papers written for credit in a course and papers intended for scholarly publication).

  23. What Is Data Analysis? (With Examples)

    Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on Apr 19, 2024. Data analysis is the practice of working with data to glean useful information, which can then be used to make informed decisions. "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts," Sherlock ...

  24. Ultrasound offers a new way to perform deep brain stimulation

    MIT graduate student Jason Hou and MIT postdoc Md Osman Goni Nayeem are the lead authors of the paper, along with collaborators from MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Boston University, and Caltech. The study appears today in Nature Communications. Deep in the brain

  25. (PDF) Qualitative Research on Educational Technology: Philosophies

    The paper then identifies three qualitative research methods that are prevalent in the field of educational technology: ethnography, case study and design-based research. The characteristics ...

  26. The state of AI in early 2024: Gen AI adoption spikes and starts to

    If 2023 was the year the world discovered generative AI (gen AI), 2024 is the year organizations truly began using—and deriving business value from—this new technology.In the latest McKinsey Global Survey on AI, 65 percent of respondents report that their organizations are regularly using gen AI, nearly double the percentage from our previous survey just ten months ago.

  27. OpenAI Offers a Peek Inside the Guts of ChatGPT

    Days after former employees said the company was being too reckless with its technology, OpenAI released a research paper on a method for reverse engineering the workings of AI models.

  28. Study models how ketamine's molecular action leads to its effects on

    "The finding that an individual synaptic receptor (NMDA) can produce gamma oscillations and that these gamma oscillations can influence network-level gamma was unexpected," says co-corresponding author Michelle McCarthy, a research assistant professor of math at BU."This was found only by using a detailed physiological model of the NMDA receptor.