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One of the hardest parts of writing a research paper can be just finding a good topic to write about. Fortunately we've done the hard work for you and have compiled a list of 113 interesting research paper topics. They've been organized into ten categories and cover a wide range of subjects so you can easily find the best topic for you.

In addition to the list of good research topics, we've included advice on what makes a good research paper topic and how you can use your topic to start writing a great paper.

What Makes a Good Research Paper Topic?

Not all research paper topics are created equal, and you want to make sure you choose a great topic before you start writing. Below are the three most important factors to consider to make sure you choose the best research paper topics.

#1: It's Something You're Interested In

A paper is always easier to write if you're interested in the topic, and you'll be more motivated to do in-depth research and write a paper that really covers the entire subject. Even if a certain research paper topic is getting a lot of buzz right now or other people seem interested in writing about it, don't feel tempted to make it your topic unless you genuinely have some sort of interest in it as well.

#2: There's Enough Information to Write a Paper

Even if you come up with the absolute best research paper topic and you're so excited to write about it, you won't be able to produce a good paper if there isn't enough research about the topic. This can happen for very specific or specialized topics, as well as topics that are too new to have enough research done on them at the moment. Easy research paper topics will always be topics with enough information to write a full-length paper.

Trying to write a research paper on a topic that doesn't have much research on it is incredibly hard, so before you decide on a topic, do a bit of preliminary searching and make sure you'll have all the information you need to write your paper.

#3: It Fits Your Teacher's Guidelines

Don't get so carried away looking at lists of research paper topics that you forget any requirements or restrictions your teacher may have put on research topic ideas. If you're writing a research paper on a health-related topic, deciding to write about the impact of rap on the music scene probably won't be allowed, but there may be some sort of leeway. For example, if you're really interested in current events but your teacher wants you to write a research paper on a history topic, you may be able to choose a topic that fits both categories, like exploring the relationship between the US and North Korea. No matter what, always get your research paper topic approved by your teacher first before you begin writing.

113 Good Research Paper Topics

Below are 113 good research topics to help you get you started on your paper. We've organized them into ten categories to make it easier to find the type of research paper topics you're looking for.

Arts/Culture

  • Discuss the main differences in art from the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance .
  • Analyze the impact a famous artist had on the world.
  • How is sexism portrayed in different types of media (music, film, video games, etc.)? Has the amount/type of sexism changed over the years?
  • How has the music of slaves brought over from Africa shaped modern American music?
  • How has rap music evolved in the past decade?
  • How has the portrayal of minorities in the media changed?

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Current Events

  • What have been the impacts of China's one child policy?
  • How have the goals of feminists changed over the decades?
  • How has the Trump presidency changed international relations?
  • Analyze the history of the relationship between the United States and North Korea.
  • What factors contributed to the current decline in the rate of unemployment?
  • What have been the impacts of states which have increased their minimum wage?
  • How do US immigration laws compare to immigration laws of other countries?
  • How have the US's immigration laws changed in the past few years/decades?
  • How has the Black Lives Matter movement affected discussions and view about racism in the US?
  • What impact has the Affordable Care Act had on healthcare in the US?
  • What factors contributed to the UK deciding to leave the EU (Brexit)?
  • What factors contributed to China becoming an economic power?
  • Discuss the history of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies  (some of which tokenize the S&P 500 Index on the blockchain) .
  • Do students in schools that eliminate grades do better in college and their careers?
  • Do students from wealthier backgrounds score higher on standardized tests?
  • Do students who receive free meals at school get higher grades compared to when they weren't receiving a free meal?
  • Do students who attend charter schools score higher on standardized tests than students in public schools?
  • Do students learn better in same-sex classrooms?
  • How does giving each student access to an iPad or laptop affect their studies?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Montessori Method ?
  • Do children who attend preschool do better in school later on?
  • What was the impact of the No Child Left Behind act?
  • How does the US education system compare to education systems in other countries?
  • What impact does mandatory physical education classes have on students' health?
  • Which methods are most effective at reducing bullying in schools?
  • Do homeschoolers who attend college do as well as students who attended traditional schools?
  • Does offering tenure increase or decrease quality of teaching?
  • How does college debt affect future life choices of students?
  • Should graduate students be able to form unions?

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  • What are different ways to lower gun-related deaths in the US?
  • How and why have divorce rates changed over time?
  • Is affirmative action still necessary in education and/or the workplace?
  • Should physician-assisted suicide be legal?
  • How has stem cell research impacted the medical field?
  • How can human trafficking be reduced in the United States/world?
  • Should people be able to donate organs in exchange for money?
  • Which types of juvenile punishment have proven most effective at preventing future crimes?
  • Has the increase in US airport security made passengers safer?
  • Analyze the immigration policies of certain countries and how they are similar and different from one another.
  • Several states have legalized recreational marijuana. What positive and negative impacts have they experienced as a result?
  • Do tariffs increase the number of domestic jobs?
  • Which prison reforms have proven most effective?
  • Should governments be able to censor certain information on the internet?
  • Which methods/programs have been most effective at reducing teen pregnancy?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Keto diet?
  • How effective are different exercise regimes for losing weight and maintaining weight loss?
  • How do the healthcare plans of various countries differ from each other?
  • What are the most effective ways to treat depression ?
  • What are the pros and cons of genetically modified foods?
  • Which methods are most effective for improving memory?
  • What can be done to lower healthcare costs in the US?
  • What factors contributed to the current opioid crisis?
  • Analyze the history and impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic .
  • Are low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
  • How much exercise should the average adult be getting each week?
  • Which methods are most effective to get parents to vaccinate their children?
  • What are the pros and cons of clean needle programs?
  • How does stress affect the body?
  • Discuss the history of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
  • What were the causes and effects of the Salem Witch Trials?
  • Who was responsible for the Iran-Contra situation?
  • How has New Orleans and the government's response to natural disasters changed since Hurricane Katrina?
  • What events led to the fall of the Roman Empire?
  • What were the impacts of British rule in India ?
  • Was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary?
  • What were the successes and failures of the women's suffrage movement in the United States?
  • What were the causes of the Civil War?
  • How did Abraham Lincoln's assassination impact the country and reconstruction after the Civil War?
  • Which factors contributed to the colonies winning the American Revolution?
  • What caused Hitler's rise to power?
  • Discuss how a specific invention impacted history.
  • What led to Cleopatra's fall as ruler of Egypt?
  • How has Japan changed and evolved over the centuries?
  • What were the causes of the Rwandan genocide ?

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  • Why did Martin Luther decide to split with the Catholic Church?
  • Analyze the history and impact of a well-known cult (Jonestown, Manson family, etc.)
  • How did the sexual abuse scandal impact how people view the Catholic Church?
  • How has the Catholic church's power changed over the past decades/centuries?
  • What are the causes behind the rise in atheism/ agnosticism in the United States?
  • What were the influences in Siddhartha's life resulted in him becoming the Buddha?
  • How has media portrayal of Islam/Muslims changed since September 11th?

Science/Environment

  • How has the earth's climate changed in the past few decades?
  • How has the use and elimination of DDT affected bird populations in the US?
  • Analyze how the number and severity of natural disasters have increased in the past few decades.
  • Analyze deforestation rates in a certain area or globally over a period of time.
  • How have past oil spills changed regulations and cleanup methods?
  • How has the Flint water crisis changed water regulation safety?
  • What are the pros and cons of fracking?
  • What impact has the Paris Climate Agreement had so far?
  • What have NASA's biggest successes and failures been?
  • How can we improve access to clean water around the world?
  • Does ecotourism actually have a positive impact on the environment?
  • Should the US rely on nuclear energy more?
  • What can be done to save amphibian species currently at risk of extinction?
  • What impact has climate change had on coral reefs?
  • How are black holes created?
  • Are teens who spend more time on social media more likely to suffer anxiety and/or depression?
  • How will the loss of net neutrality affect internet users?
  • Analyze the history and progress of self-driving vehicles.
  • How has the use of drones changed surveillance and warfare methods?
  • Has social media made people more or less connected?
  • What progress has currently been made with artificial intelligence ?
  • Do smartphones increase or decrease workplace productivity?
  • What are the most effective ways to use technology in the classroom?
  • How is Google search affecting our intelligence?
  • When is the best age for a child to begin owning a smartphone?
  • Has frequent texting reduced teen literacy rates?

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How to Write a Great Research Paper

Even great research paper topics won't give you a great research paper if you don't hone your topic before and during the writing process. Follow these three tips to turn good research paper topics into great papers.

#1: Figure Out Your Thesis Early

Before you start writing a single word of your paper, you first need to know what your thesis will be. Your thesis is a statement that explains what you intend to prove/show in your paper. Every sentence in your research paper will relate back to your thesis, so you don't want to start writing without it!

As some examples, if you're writing a research paper on if students learn better in same-sex classrooms, your thesis might be "Research has shown that elementary-age students in same-sex classrooms score higher on standardized tests and report feeling more comfortable in the classroom."

If you're writing a paper on the causes of the Civil War, your thesis might be "While the dispute between the North and South over slavery is the most well-known cause of the Civil War, other key causes include differences in the economies of the North and South, states' rights, and territorial expansion."

#2: Back Every Statement Up With Research

Remember, this is a research paper you're writing, so you'll need to use lots of research to make your points. Every statement you give must be backed up with research, properly cited the way your teacher requested. You're allowed to include opinions of your own, but they must also be supported by the research you give.

#3: Do Your Research Before You Begin Writing

You don't want to start writing your research paper and then learn that there isn't enough research to back up the points you're making, or, even worse, that the research contradicts the points you're trying to make!

Get most of your research on your good research topics done before you begin writing. Then use the research you've collected to create a rough outline of what your paper will cover and the key points you're going to make. This will help keep your paper clear and organized, and it'll ensure you have enough research to produce a strong paper.

What's Next?

Are you also learning about dynamic equilibrium in your science class? We break this sometimes tricky concept down so it's easy to understand in our complete guide to dynamic equilibrium .

Thinking about becoming a nurse practitioner? Nurse practitioners have one of the fastest growing careers in the country, and we have all the information you need to know about what to expect from nurse practitioner school .

Want to know the fastest and easiest ways to convert between Fahrenheit and Celsius? We've got you covered! Check out our guide to the best ways to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit (or vice versa).

These recommendations are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links, PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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301+ Research Topic Examples For Students [Updated 2024]

research topic examples for students

Embarking on a research journey is a crucial aspect of academic growth for students. Selecting the right research topic is like choosing the key that unlocks the door to a world of academic exploration and discovery. In this blog, we will delve into the importance of choosing a relevant research topic for students, explore various considerations for topic selection, and provide research topic examples for students across different academic domains.

General Considerations for Selecting Research Topics

Table of Contents

Personal Interest

Identifying and pursuing personal interests is a fundamental aspect of selecting a research topic. When students choose a subject they are passionate about, the research process becomes an exciting journey rather than a mundane task. This can involve reflecting on hobbies, current events, or personal experiences that spark curiosity.

For example, a student interested in technology might explore the impact of artificial intelligence on society, delving into its implications for employment, ethics, and social dynamics.

Academic Relevance

Aligning the research topic with academic goals is essential for maximizing the learning experience. Students should consider how their chosen topic relates to their coursework and future career aspirations.

For instance, a psychology student might explore the effects of social media on mental health, connecting the research to their academic background and potential career path.

301+ Research Topic Examples for Students

Science and technology.

  • Quantum computing and its potential applications
  • Cybersecurity threats in the age of digital transformation
  • The role of nanotechnology in medicine
  • Impacts of 5G technology on communication networks
  • Sustainable practices in IT: Green computing
  • Robotics in healthcare: Current trends and future prospects
  • Ethical considerations in genetic engineering
  • Augmented reality and its applications in education
  • The future of space exploration: Mars colonization
  • Big data analytics for predicting disease outbreaks

Social Sciences

  • Impact of social media on political activism
  • Cultural appropriation in the fashion industry
  • Influence of family structure on child development
  • The psychology of decision-making in consumer behavior
  • Social implications of virtual reality experiences
  • Intersectionality and its role in social justice
  • Effects of climate change on migration patterns
  • Social perceptions of mental health disorders
  • Online communities and their impact on social isolation
  • Gender roles in contemporary society: Breaking stereotypes

Health and Medicine

  • The microbiome and its role in human health
  • Investigating alternative therapies for chronic pain management
  • Impact of sleep deprivation on cognitive function
  • Precision medicine: Tailoring treatments based on genetics
  • The role of gut health in immune system function
  • Telemedicine: Accessibility and effectiveness
  • Public health interventions for reducing obesity rates
  • Challenges in mental health care for marginalized communities
  • Exploring the link between diet and mental health
  • Vaccine hesitancy and its implications for public health
  • The effectiveness of project-based learning in STEM education
  • Assessing the impact of standardized testing on student stress
  • Inclusive education for children with learning disabilities
  • The role of teacher-student relationships in academic success
  • Gamification in education: Engaging students through games
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of online education platforms
  • School policies and their impact on LGBTQ+ students
  • Benefits and challenges of bilingual education
  • The role of arts education in fostering creativity
  • Technology integration in the classroom: Enhancing learning experiences

Business and Economics

  • The gig economy: Implications for workers and businesses
  • Corporate social responsibility and consumer behavior
  • Impact of e-commerce on traditional retail businesses
  • Cryptocurrency: Risks and opportunities in the financial market
  • Strategies for sustainable business practices
  • Workplace diversity and its impact on organizational performance
  • The role of emotional intelligence in leadership
  • Global economic disparities and their consequences
  • Challenges and opportunities for small businesses in a digital era
  • Consumer trust in online reviews and its influence on purchasing decisions

Environmental Science

  • The role of forests in carbon sequestration
  • Impact of plastic pollution on marine ecosystems
  • Sustainable agriculture practices for food security
  • Biodiversity conservation in urban environments
  • The effects of climate change on migratory patterns of animals
  • Renewable energy policies and their effectiveness
  • Pollution in urban areas: Assessing air and water quality
  • The role of wetlands in flood control and water purification
  • Conservation strategies for endangered species
  • Environmental education and its impact on eco-friendly behaviors

Political Science

  • The role of social media in shaping political opinions
  • Electoral systems and their impact on representation
  • International relations: Diplomacy and conflict resolution
  • Political polarization and its consequences for democracy
  • Human rights violations in conflict zones
  • The influence of lobbying on public policy decisions
  • Immigration policies and their societal implications
  • The role of women in politics: Breaking the glass ceiling
  • Cyber warfare and its impact on national security
  • Political ideologies and their evolution over time
  • The impact of childhood trauma on adult mental health
  • Cross-cultural differences in perception and cognition
  • Exploring the link between personality traits and career choices
  • Cognitive biases and decision-making errors
  • Psychosocial factors influencing addiction recovery
  • The role of positive psychology in promoting well-being
  • Effects of social media on body image and self-esteem
  • Sleep disorders and their impact on mental health
  • Stereotype threat in academic settings
  • The psychology of forgiveness and its therapeutic benefits
  • Social mobility and its relation to economic inequality
  • Social networks and their influence on career opportunities
  • The impact of incarceration on families and communities
  • Youth subcultures and their role in identity formation
  • The digital divide: Access to technology and social inequality
  • Social movements: Causes, dynamics, and outcomes
  • The role of religion in shaping social attitudes
  • Aging populations: Challenges and opportunities
  • Urbanization and its effects on community dynamics
  • Social stratification and its consequences for societal cohesion
  • Reevaluating historical events from multiple perspectives
  • The impact of colonialism on indigenous cultures
  • Women’s suffrage movements around the world
  • Historical analysis of economic recessions and recoveries
  • Revolutionary movements and their effects on society
  • The role of propaganda in shaping historical narratives
  • Cultural exchange and influence in ancient civilizations
  • Historical roots of current geopolitical conflicts
  • Technological advancements and their impact on historical eras
  • The legacy of historical figures in shaping modern ideologies

Literature and Language

  • The portrayal of gender roles in classic literature
  • The influence of folklore on contemporary literature
  • Linguistic diversity in multicultural societies
  • The evolution of language: Impact of technology and globalization
  • Analysis of dystopian literature and its reflection on society
  • Comparative study of literary movements across cultures
  • The role of literature in fostering empathy and understanding
  • The representation of mental health in literature
  • Translation challenges in preserving cultural nuances
  • Language acquisition in multilingual environments

Anthropology

  • Cultural practices surrounding death and mourning rituals
  • Studying indigenous communities and cultural preservation
  • Human adaptation to environmental changes throughout history
  • Impact of globalization on traditional cultural practices
  • Evolutionary perspectives on human behavior
  • Cultural relativism and its role in anthropological research
  • Ethnographic study of modern subcultures
  • Rituals and ceremonies in different world cultures
  • Social organization and kinship systems in tribal societies
  • Ethical considerations in anthropological fieldwork

Art and Design

  • The role of art therapy in mental health treatment
  • Influences of cultural movements on contemporary art
  • Exploring the intersection of technology and visual arts
  • Impact of public art installations on urban environments
  • Analysis of symbolism in Renaissance art
  • The evolution of graphic design in the digital age
  • Environmental art: Conveying messages about sustainability
  • Fashion trends and their cultural implications
  • The psychology of color in design and marketing
  • The relationship between art and political activism
  • Ethical implications of emerging technologies
  • Existentialist perspectives on human freedom and responsibility
  • Metaethics: Exploring the nature of ethical statements
  • Epistemological analysis of artificial intelligence
  • Philosophical perspectives on the concept of time
  • The relationship between mind and body: Dualism vs. monism
  • The philosophy of education: Examining different approaches
  • Environmental ethics and responsibilities
  • Political philosophy: The concept of justice
  • Comparative analysis of Eastern and Western philosophical traditions

Music and Performing Arts

  • Impact of technology on the music industry
  • Cultural influences on musical genres
  • The role of music in film: Emotional impact and storytelling
  • The evolution of dance as a cultural expression
  • Representation of social issues in theater productions
  • Music therapy for mental health and well-being
  • The intersection of music and activism
  • Cultural appropriation in the performing arts
  • Influences of globalization on traditional music styles
  • Experimental approaches in contemporary performing arts

Communications and Media Studies

  • The impact of fake news on public opinion
  • Representation of diversity in the media
  • Social media influencers and their influence on consumer behavior
  • The role of media in shaping political narratives
  • Online privacy concerns in the era of digital communication
  • The evolution of advertising in the age of streaming services
  • Investigating media bias in news reporting
  • Ethical considerations in photojournalism
  • Media literacy education: Promoting critical thinking skills
  • The future of journalism in the digital age

Criminal Justice and Law

  • The effectiveness of restorative justice programs
  • Police-community relations: Building trust and accountability
  • Cybercrime and the challenges of law enforcement
  • Juvenile justice reform: Balancing punishment and rehabilitation
  • Police Brutality and Accountability
  • Cybercrime and Digital Forensics
  • Bail Reform and Pretrial Detention
  • Human rights violations in prisons: Challenges and solutions
  • Legal implications of emerging surveillance technologies
  • The impact of criminalization on marginalized communities

Linguistics

  • The evolution of language: From ancient to modern times
  • Sociolinguistics: Language variation in different social contexts
  • Bilingualism and its cognitive effects on language processing
  • Analyzing language change through historical linguistics
  • Phonetics and phonology: Exploring sound patterns in languages
  • Syntax and sentence structure across diverse languages
  • The role of language in shaping cultural identities
  • Linguistic relativity: The influence of language on thought
  • Computational linguistics: Applications in natural language processing

Geography and Urban Studies

  • Urbanization and its impact on local ecosystems
  • Geopolitical implications of natural resource distribution
  • Sustainable urban planning for future cities
  • Environmental justice in urban areas
  • Exploring the dynamics of rural-urban migration
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications in urban studies
  • Impact of climate change on coastal communities
  • Urban transportation systems: Challenges and innovations
  • Cultural geography: Understanding the relationship between people and place
  • Historical analysis of urban development in different regions
  • The economic impact of global pandemics
  • Income inequality and its effects on economic growth
  • The role of central banks in monetary policy
  • Economic consequences of automation and artificial intelligence
  • Behavioral economics: Understanding decision-making processes
  • The economics of healthcare systems around the world
  • The gig economy and its implications for labor markets
  • Trade policies and their impact on international relations
  • Economic development in emerging markets
  • The role of entrepreneurship in economic growth
  • Impact of social media on political engagement
  • Effects of social isolation on mental health
  • Cultural influences on parenting styles
  • Social consequences of income inequality
  • Social dynamics in online communities
  • Gender roles in contemporary society
  • Impact of technology on interpersonal relationships
  • Immigration and its effects on social integration
  • Social movements: Causes and outcomes
  • The psychology of resilience in the face of adversity
  • Cross-cultural perspectives on emotional intelligence
  • The impact of childhood experiences on adult relationships
  • The impact of social media on political polarization
  • Electoral systems and their influence on representation
  • International relations: Power dynamics and conflict resolution
  • Global governance: Challenges and opportunities
  • The role of diplomacy in international relations
  • The portrayal of gender roles in contemporary literature
  • The influence of folklore on modern storytelling
  • The evolution of language in the digital age
  • Analysis of post-colonial literature and its impact
  • The role of literature in fostering empathy
  • The impact of art therapy on mental health
  • Cultural influences on contemporary art
  • Analysis of symbolism in contemporary art movements
  • Existentialist perspectives on human freedom
  • Metaethics: Examining the nature of ethical statements
  • The philosophy of education: Different approaches

Media Studies

  • Fake News and its Impact on Public Perception
  • The Evolution of Journalism in the Digital Age
  • Media Representation of Minorities: Challenges and Solutions
  • The Role of Satire in Political Commentary
  • Influencer Marketing: Consumer Trust and Ethical Considerations
  • Podcasting as a Medium for Alternative Narratives
  • Media Literacy Education: Navigating Information in the Digital Era
  • Virtual Reality and Immersive Storytelling in Media
  • The Relationship Between Media Consumption and Political Beliefs
  • Media Censorship: Balancing Freedom of Speech and Social Responsibility

Sociology of Religion

  • Interfaith Dialogue and Social Harmony
  • Religion and Environmental Stewardship
  • The Role of Religion in Shaping Gender Norms
  • Religious Pluralism in Diverse Societies
  • Faith-Based Initiatives in Social Welfare
  • Religious Fundamentalism and Its Impact on Society
  • Sacred Spaces: Architecture and Symbolism in Religious Buildings
  • Spirituality and Mental Health: Exploring Connections
  • The Influence of Religion on Political Movements
  • Secularism in Modern Societies: Trends and Debates

Computer Science

  • Explainable Artificial Intelligence: Bridging the Gap between Technology and Understanding
  • Quantum Computing Algorithms: Potential Applications and Limitations
  • Cybersecurity Threats in Internet of Things (IoT) Devices
  • Natural Language Processing for Multilingual Information Retrieval
  • Machine Learning for Predictive Maintenance in Manufacturing
  • Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management
  • Human-Computer Interaction: Enhancing User Experience
  • Edge Computing: Distributing Processing Power for Efficiency
  • Ethical Considerations in Autonomous Systems and Robotics
  • Augmented Reality Applications in Education and Training

Public Policy

  • Immigration Policies and Social Integration
  • Universal Basic Income: Economic and Social Implications
  • Public Health Policies for Disease Prevention
  • Education Policies: Assessing Impact on Student Outcomes
  • Climate Change Policy: International Cooperation and Challenges
  • Criminal Justice Reforms and Recidivism Rates
  • Social Welfare Programs: Effectiveness and Challenges
  • Affordable Housing Policies and Urban Development
  • The Role of Government in Addressing Income Inequality
  • Policy Responses to Global Health Crises

Tips for Narrowing Down Research Topics

  • Define Specific Research Questions

Once a general topic is identified, students should narrow down their focus by defining specific research questions. This helps clarify the scope of the research and ensures a more targeted and manageable investigation.

  • Consider Feasibility and Resources

Practical considerations, such as available resources and feasibility, play a crucial role in topic selection. Students should assess whether they have access to the necessary data, tools, and support to carry out their research effectively.

  • Evaluate Available Literature

Conducting a literature review is an essential step in refining research topics. By reviewing existing literature, students can identify gaps in knowledge, refine their research questions, and build on the work of previous scholars.

  • Seek Guidance from Mentors and Instructors

Engaging with mentors and instructors can provide valuable insights and guidance. They can offer feedback on proposed topics, suggest relevant literature, and provide support throughout the research process.

In conclusion, choosing a research topic (from research topic examples for students) is a pivotal step in a student’s academic journey. By considering personal interests, aligning with academic goals, and exploring examples across different domains, students can unlock the potential for meaningful and impactful research.

The outlined tips for narrowing down research topics serve as practical guidance, ensuring that students embark on a research journey that is both enriching and rewarding.

As students embrace the challenge of research, they contribute not only to their academic growth but also to the broader body of knowledge that shapes our understanding of the world. So, let the exploration begin!

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Ultimate List of 265 Research Topics for College Students

Ultimate List of 265 Research Topics for College Students

How often do you freeze up after receiving an assignment to write a research paper? We know how tough it can be, particularly in a flood of possible research topics for students. Choosing that one idea from plenty of research proposal topics for college students is the foremost step in any academic project.

Lack of inspiration? We made an ultimate list of research topics for college students. You will find art, biology, social science, education, and even more fun research topics for college students. Don’t scour the tons of outdated or dull topics anymore. A much better alternative would be to look at essay examples instead. 

What’s more, we prepared three main steps to start converting the chosen topic into a successful research paper. Besides, we will dispel any uncertainty in research importance. 

Is Research Important?

  • Art Research Topics
  • Biology Research Topics
  • Educational Topics
  • Environmental Topics

Gender Research Topics

  • Law Research Topics

Literature Research Topics

  • Music Research Topics
  • Psychology Topics
  • Religion Research Topics
  • Science Research Topics
  • Social Science Topics

Sports Research Paper Topics

How to start a research paper, top 10 research topics for college students:.

  • Human impact on biodiversity loss
  • Internet’s effect on freedom of speech
  • Is isolation a cause of child abuse?
  • Negative effect of pop culture trends on youth
  • Pros and cons of free education
  • Is AI a threat to humans?
  • The impact of modern technology on ecology
  • Can nuclear power be safe?
  • Economic impact of GMO food
  • Negative effect of climate change on economy

Before getting into the importance of research, let’s understand what kind of work it is.

Research is an analysis aimed at discovering of new facts or revising existing theories. It consists of several steps. The most common are:

  • Research methodology setting
  • Research problem statement
  • Data extraction and gathering
  • Assessment of the gathered data
  • Conclusions summarizing

What Are the Purposes of Research?

The intentions are countless, but here are the general ones:

✨ to accept or reject a hypothesis; ✨ to gather information on a phenomenon or subject; ✨ to initiate further research or to “dig deeper.”

Why Is It important?

Research makes our life easier. The underlying cause of new discoveries is to understand how things work. If we acquire that data, we’ll know how to get practical value out of it.

Think of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. As we meet our deficiency needs, its level grows. At the same time, the demand for new knowledge increases. That is why discovering new is a never-ending process.

That is all clear. But you may ask: why do I need research skills in my day-to-day life?

After graduation, you will most likely still need research skills at work. No matter what the industry is. Either you decided to excel in science or form a hi-tech startup. If you want to achieve success, you should have strong research skills.

All in all, having research skills is one of the core elements of personal and social growth. It helps to generate additional findings or set new questions around existing knowledge.

Now let’s move on to the list of research topics.

Art Research Paper Topics

We’ll start from the study area, which is difficult to measure. We talk about art. For some, it may seem easier to study than exact sciences. But still, the number of questions about various genres, forms, and art styles is beyond imagination.

Why should we not overestimate the importance of studying art ?

Art is not just something for connoisseurs. It has always been and still is vital for the whole of society. What affected humanity’s development? Of course, the way people express their everyday life or feelings through art.

Besides, thanks to art, we can see things from different perspectives. It makes us open-minded and helps to develop critical thinking. And, most apparently, art fills our lives with beauty and elegance.

Art is so diverse that students may struggle to choose from a myriad of research areas. Here are some of the hottest art research paper topics for you:

  • The influence of the internet and social networks on art.
  • Researching of Greek mythological painting.
  • The comparison of modern art in the United States and Europe.
  • The representation of art in Lars von Trier’s films.
  • The influence of African-American cultural heritage on modern American art.
  • What are the features of contemporary art ?
  • Frida Khalo and her sources of inspiration.
  • The role of Kazimir Malevich in abstract art development.
  • Art in the early renaissance and today’s European society .
  • Art therapy techniques: what are they and are they effective?
  • The difference of women’s representation in ancient and modern art .
  • Comparative analysis of modern and classic cubism .
  • The history and main features of abstract expressionism .
  • The relationship between art and globalization .
  • The influence of art on the fashion industry in Japan.

Biology Research Topics for College Students

Let’s move on to biology. This science deals with vital processes of living organisms. We’ve gathered a list of topics from different biology fields. You’ll find essay ideas from the fields of botany and zoology to genetics.

Research in biology has one distinctive feature. It is the use of research lab equipment. If you don’t use it and base your research on other sources — make sure they are credible.

What are the attributes of a research paper in biology?

Molecular biology, cellular, and other categories of biology imply accurate measurements. There is no place for mistakes here. Otherwise, the relevance of research results would be insignificant. A researcher should be scrupulous in calculations and statements.

So, feel free to pick up any topics from the list below. Study them thoroughly!

  • The impact of global warming on marine life.
  • Extensive research of photosynthesis aspects and functions.
  • Thyroid hormones and their impact on the female body.

Thyroid hormones fact.

  • DNA structure, modifications, and genetic disorders .
  • Is it ethical to test cosmetics on animals ?
  • The ability of living organisms to adapt to changing environments.
  • The need for the protection of rare and endangered species .
  • The role of sustainability in biology.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of organic farming .
  • The role of neurobiology in artificial intelligence development.
  • The discovery and impact of Darwin’s theory .
  • The discovery, history, and importance of vaccination .
  • The role of microbes and microbiology in health .
  • Neurobiology and its association with emotional trauma .
  • Biology: mechanical signals regulating development .
  • Cultural variations in environment and biology: AIDS .
  • A review of the ecology and biology of the whale shark.
  • Performance and quality assessment of methods for detection of point mutations.
  • Optical imaging techniques in cell biology .
  • Computational methods in molecular biology .

Educational Research Topics for Students

What can be trickier than studying how to study? Education research papers evolve at a rapid pace as the world changes every day. That is why new techniques and approaches are in demand.

No other discipline will answer the milestone questions as well as education. And the most important is about human nature.

What can make a precious contribution to society? The definite answer is — driving innovations in studying .

Want to remain in history as an author of a revolutionary breakthrough? Explore educational research paper topics for college students:

  • Language distribution issues in bilingual schooling .
  • Critical thinking as the primary goal of the educational process.
  • Role-playing games as a learning tool .
  • Pay-for-performance scheme for teachers .
  • Moving from compliance to performance-based schools .
  • Bilingual learning: advantages and disadvantages.
  • Educational approaches in retrospective.
  • Aspects of multicultural educational practices .
  • The importance of inclusivity in teaching .
  • Popular modern educational techniques: a comparison.
  • Arithmetical problem-solving difficulties .
  • Learning methods for blind children.
  • The role of technology in lesson planning .
  • Role-playing as an educational practice.
  • The need for parents’ involvement in the educational process.
  • Tools to develop the best teaching strategy .
  • The efficiency of gamification .
  • Individual approach to students.
  • Popular educational mobile apps.
  • Peculiarities of teaching disabled children .
  • Same-gender and mixed-gender schools: a comparative analysis.
  • Understanding the causes of school violence and bullying.
  • The importance of sex education at schools.
  • The educational system in America : problems and prospects.
  • Cloud computing in educational institutions: an impact on the educational environment.
  • Ethical behavior in higher educational institutions.
  • Cooperation of educational institutions and businesses: successful cases.
  • Information technology as a means of educational process improvement.
  • Homeschooling and its influence on communication skills.
  • Comparative analysis of distance learning and face-to-face education efficiency.
  • Individualized versus group learning.
  • The necessity of higher education for all students.
  • Best practices of top higher education establishments.
  • Peculiarities of teacher’s education in America.
  • Preschool education versus tertiary education .
  • Teacher as a researcher. Cross-age peer tutoring .
  • Multicultural and monocultural education programs: a comparison.
  • Comparison of advantages and disadvantages of tablets and printed textbooks .
  • Should education be free?
  • Education unification: reasons to apply in high schools.

Environmental Research Topics

Our day-to-day comfort is an inherent cause of environmental problems. We may drive a car and have no idea how we harm nature.

Eco activism is a growing trend. Ecology issues acquired a more frequent and lucid coverage. Regardless, people tend to overlook the environment. They got the idea that we should protect our planet, but not all of them are ready to act.

That is why we need to be aware of more facts and measures. This can’t be obtained without decent environmental science research papers.

Do you want to be a part of it? Use our list of environmental research topics for college students:

  • Risks of climate change and global warming .
  • Aspects and perspectives of Kyoto protocol .
  • Green hydrogen in automotive industry : is it a great alternative?
  • The origin of the carbon tax .
  • Amazonian deforestation , its causes, and trends.
  • The greenhouse effect : process, components, and risks.
  • Types of pollution : air, water, and soil.
  • Alternative energy in Europe.
  • Water scarcity in the Middle East .

Water scarcity in the Middle East fact.

  • Wind energy as an alternative source .
  • Benefits of sustainable technology and living .
  • Vulnerability of hazardville to flooding disasters .
  • Environment protection authority and chemical waste .
  • Population control in China.
  • Geoengineering principles.
  • Acid rains : the cause and current measures.
  • Radioactive waste disposal.
  • The protection of wildlife .
  • E-mobility as an environmental protection measure.
  • Ecological conservation.

Gender roles and aspects are one of the central social questions nowadays. Studies in this field are as relevant and necessary as never before. It pushes our society forward, eliminating gender inequality and discrimination.

Do you want to contribute to gender knowledge but don’t know where to start? Here is the list of most relevant gender studies essay topics:

  • Public policy analysis on gender inequality in education in South Sudan.
  • The history of gender concept.
  • Gender imbalance in the developing countries.
  • Sex reassignment in treating gender dysphoria : a way to psychological well-being.
  • Employee issues: gender discrimination, sexual harassment , discrimination.
  • Gender roles in couples and sex stereotypes in society.
  • The diversity of gender and sexual orientation identities of transgender individuals.
  • MeToo movement as sexual harassment fight measure.
  • Feminism : the contraception movement in Canada.
  • Maternity and paternity leaves .
  • The correlation between gender and cognitive abilities .
  • Transgender people and healthcare barriers .
  • Race and gender in public relations .
  • Gender stereotyping in American media .
  • The health and well-being of LGBTQA+ young people in Australia.
  • Cancel culture in America.
  • Transgender healthcare issues.
  • Transgender person in professional sports.
  • Female genital mutilation.
  • Gender roles in media.

Law Research Paper Topics

We cannot imagine a civilized society without law. Even though the fundamental rights and obligations in different countries are mostly similar, there is still a great scope of differences to research.

We gathered the list of law research paper topics to explore:

  • Human rights violations in CIS countries.
  • A self-enforcing model of corporate law .
  • Corporate strategies and environmental regulations : organizing framework.
  • The benefits of decriminalization .
  • International criminal law and measures .
  • Discrimination in the workplace in legal practice.
  • Welfare legislation for families .
  • Intellectual property law: copyright law, trademark law, patent law.
  • Enforcement of civil rights law in private workplaces.
  • The establishment of foreign and international law in American courts. A procedural overview.
  • Family law : spousal support after a divorce in Canada.
  • Employment law and workplace relations in Saudi Arabia.
  • Applicable real estate laws and policies for sustainable development in South Africa.
  • Retrospective of the immigration crisis in Europe.
  • The need for a domestic violence law in Russian Federation.
  • Religious crimes and religious laws.
  • Terrorism in different countries’ law systems.
  • Grievance procedure in the European court of human rights.
  • Cybercrimes in legal practice.
  • Human trafficking and slavery in the modern world.

When it comes to literature, there is a vast ocean of ideas to research. The topics can be classified into a large number of categories. Those can be literature genres, awards, trends in literature, different social aspects of literature, etc.

To make finding the best fit easier, we conducted a list of the world literature research topics:

  • Golden Age writers and their impact on literature.
  • Feminist literature authors.
  • Y. Zamyatin’s “We” as the origin of dystopian literature.
  • Trends of modern literature .
  • Ancient Greece literature.
  • Is best seller always good literature?
  • Tricksters in literature.
  • Post-modernism in literature .
  • Sexual violence in the “Handmaid’s Tale” by Atwood .
  • Children literature.
  • The works of J. D. Salinger .
  • Social perception of modern literature .
  • Philosophy, literature, and religion in society: a comparative analysis of the impact on human life.
  • The portrayal of racism in the literature of the 21st century.
  • Censorship in literature.
  • Professional literature trends.
  • Central themes in American literature .
  • The impact of digitalization on literature.
  • The role of the main character in literature.
  • Literature: print versus digitalized?

Music Research Paper Topics

Research is something we can do not only in astronomy or molecular biology. We need it in the music too. Music shapes our life in a way we can’t even imagine. It’s a tremendous social and cultural phenomenon to explore.

These are 20 potential topics for your research in the music industry :

  • The effect of music on a human brain .
  • The evolution of rap music .
  • TikTok as the most efficient promotional channel for new music.
  • The origin of music theory.
  • The music industry and information technology .
  • The influence of Kanye West performances on the music industry.
  • Music journalism : the most influential music media.
  • Feminism and sex in hip-hop music .
  • Opera and instrumental music .
  • The origin of music festivals .
  • Reggae music and its aspects .
  • Latin American women and trap music .
  • Streaming services prospects.
  • Music as the way of promoting new trends.
  • Features of punk music.

Psychology Research Paper Topics

Psychology is a multidisciplinary kind of field. That means there’s a wide range of potential research questions.

Do you need to write a psychology paper? Explore the list of possible topics:

  • Cross-cultural psychology : research and application.
  • The psychology of self-esteem .
  • Aspects of industrial and organizational psychology .
  • The psychology of learning and motivation : skill and strategy in memory use.
  • Description of remarkable experiments and their results in psychology.
  • The influence of meditation on people’s health .
  • Analyzing psychological disorders: disorders treatment and research .
  • Personality psychology and zen Buddhism .
  • Perception of psychology in society .
  • Organizational behavior. Emotion and personality .
  • Children’s emotional development .
  • Predictors of postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression statistics.

  • Symptoms, causes, and treatment of schizophrenia .
  • The social, political, and religious reasons of homophobia .
  • Eating disorders in males: current progress and challenges.
  • The side effects of antidepressants .
  • Cognitive psychology : best cognitive scientists’ practices.
  • Social anxiety as a constraint in learning.
  • Alzheimer’s disease : working strategies for disease modification.
  • The relation between the aging process and psychology.

Religion Research Paper Topics

Religious institutions, beliefs, and customs also get explored in papers quite often. That is rather a controversial sphere of education, so we gathered the most relevant religion paper topics below to help you.

  • The religious significance of the Bible .
  • The place of women in Islam .
  • The history of Christianity in Indonesia .
  • Assessing a crisis of faith and making a pastoral crisis intervention.
  • Forced religion: cause and effect on children.
  • The problem of creation mythology in the study of Indian religion.
  • Existence of God : a philosophical introduction.
  • Religion and mythology: concepts, differences.
  • The role of religion in attitudes toward LGBT individuals.
  • Issues and traditions in western religion .
  • Theology in the concepts of nature, time, and the future.
  • Religion and government interaction in the US.
  • The history of the Christian church in East Europe.
  • Religion freedom and its limitation .
  • Hinduism and Buddhism: similarities and differences .
  • Baptism in Christianity .
  • The impact of religion on terrorism .
  • The God of Israel and Christian theology .
  • Culture and religion: how they interact.
  • Religion and social morality.

Science Research Topics for College Students

What is a better way to uncover the mysteries of our universe than through science? As it comprises multiple types and directions, there is a vast number of questions to answer.

We suggest you the following science research paper topics:

  • Paris climate agreement perspectives.
  • Ethical aspects of cloning .
  • Political science in the US: past and present issues.
  • Genetic engineering and cloning controversy .
  • The development of life on Earth .
  • The current state of nuclear energetics in America.
  • Nuclear weapon -free zones: a history and assessment.
  • Solid earth dynamics and the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet.
  • Natural hazards : local, national, global.
  • Geophysical fluid dynamics: atmospheric dynamics, dynamo theory, and climate dynamics.
  • Data science as a key element of data-driven decision-making.
  • Robotics & mobility systems in agriculture: successful cases.
  • Legal models of space resources exploration and utilization.
  • The social context of recycling : factors influencing household recycling behavior.
  • Trends in consumer attitudes about agricultural biotechnology .
  • Theory of turbulence: a mathematical model that illustrates it.
  • Dual-mode infrared and radar hardware-in-the-loop test equipment.
  • Essentials of computational chemistry: theories and models.
  • Genetic algorithms in astronomy and astrophysics.
  • A fundamental relation between supermassive black holes and their host galaxies.

Social Science Research Topics

Sociology is an umbrella term that covers dozens of branches. It studies family, social movements, mass media, class theory, race, ethnicity, levels of income. We could go on and on.

As you can see, the options for research are endless. Don’t waste your time trying to understand the peculiarities of each social or cultural branch. Use our list of social science research paper topics for college students.

  • Social movements of 21 st century.
  • Strauss–howe generational theory in marketing.
  • Social media as a “hotbed” of narcissism .
  • The nutritional status of vegans and vegetarians .
  • Gender identity and community among three transgender groups in the United States: MTFs, FTMs, and genderqueers.
  • Social causes of anorexia in young women.
  • The civil rights in South America.
  • #BlackLivesMatter movement and its influence on society.
  • Gay marriage in America : current debates.
  • Dependency of the children mortality level on the anti-vaccination movement development.
  • Judaism in the first centuries of the Christian era.
  • School choice and segregation by race, class, and achievement.
  • The correlation between race and wealth.
  • Freedom and social status of blacks in America .
  • The problem of abortion .
  • Causes and effects of drug addiction .
  • Horizontal and vertical gender segregation in employment .
  • Effects of domestic violence on children.
  • The poverty level in the US: a retrospective analysis.
  • Women leadership and community development.

We are approaching the end of our ultimate research paper topics list. To wrap it up, let’s take a look at sports research ideas.

It has been present in our lives for a long time and is still developing. That’s why we need to answer new questions and build new knowledge. Explore the list below:

  • How does globalization affect sports?
  • History of doping scandals in the Olympics .
  • Team sports as a socialization tool for children.
  • The origin and history of ice hockey.
  • Organizational aspects of Paralympic games.
  • Aspects of independent Olympians at the Olympic games .
  • The unique history of Pelé.
  • Risk factors for injuries in football.
  • Short interval versus long interval training.
  • Sport as a communication medium .
  • Nutritional support of young athletes .
  • Mental training during competition preparation.
  • Philosophical conflicts between the practices of sport and cybersport.
  • Running as a treatment for heart diseases .
  • Typical traumas of soccer players.

5 steps of Research Process.

After getting familiar with the list of topics, let’s discuss the essential steps before beginning research.

Narrow Your Topic

Let’s say you selected that one topic from the list. What’s next? It’s time to outline the boundaries of the research. It should not be too broad or narrow . Its scope must strictly correspond to the problem’s scope under exploration.

What is the difference between a narrow and a broad topic?

Let’s look at three research topic examples:

  • Eating Disorders. The topic is too general and comprehensive. If your research paper requires to be short, then there is no sense in choosing this topic. You better narrow it down.
  • Eating Disorders in Young Females. In this topic, we try to segment the subjected populations to specify the research question. It is still rather broad but more focused.
  • Anorexia in Young Females and Its Impact on Society. Here, we distinguish a particular type of eating disorder and leave a population segmentation. That is a perfect example of a narrowed topic. Now, it’s easier to ask specific questions, uncover insights and contribute to further research.

Focus on your narrowed topic and form a central research question. After that, research the existing data and find supporting facts. Don’t let your exploration be one-sided: explore different points of view. Compare and analyze counterpoints and draw conclusions.

After a profound studying, create a thesis statement to support your narrowed topic in a specific way.

To make things clear, use this step-by-step guide on finding and narrowing your topic.

Evaluate Sources

It takes a second to get access to billions of search results on any topic in Google. Most of the time, we jump through the first two or three links, and that’s it. If you seek quality, then it’s not the proper approach. You should acquire the skill of processing the sources.

What are the tips for source evaluation?

  • Forget about Wikipedia as a scientific source. Wikipedia is a free platform where any user can make edits. Extracting information from wiki without fact-checking isn’t a good academic practice. Great alternatives to Wikipedia are College e-libraries, scholarly databases, Google Scholar, etc.
  • Explore well-respected professional research journals. They contain up-to-date research data and conclusions which shape the most relevant views and understanding of what is going on in the modern world.
  • Visit libraries. We tend to overlook them in our digital era. But you can find super valuable sources for research there.
  • Avoid personal blogs, opinion articles, and self-published books . There can be heavy use of bias.

3 Main Tips on Writing a Thesis Statement

After you decide on a research topic and sources, it’s time to write a thesis statement.

  • Ask a question. Here are two options. In the first one, your professor can assign you a concrete question. If it’s not your case, then ask what interests you. What would you like to explore?
  • Give an initial answer. Try to answer the question before in-depth topic exploration. Work out some hypotheses.
  • Enrich the initial answer. Prove the initial hypothesis by detailing the research. Use the calculations and quantitative data to make your thesis credible.

To back up these tips, let’s look at a couple of example thesis statements from the StudyCorgi essay database:

You’ve just explored an ultimate list of research paper topic ideas and important steps to turn those topics into excellent research papers.

Did you find our topics compilation helpful? Save it for a future reference or share with friends!

  • What Is Research? — Hampshire College
  • Definition of Research — Western Sydney University
  • The Importance of Research to Students — Cleveland University Kansas City
  • Guidelines for Writing Art History Research Papers — UA Little Rock University
  • Areas of Research in Biology — Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Environmental Science: Current Research — Herald Scholarly Open Access
  • Thesis Statements — University of North Carolina
  • Thesis Statement Tips — Purdue University
  • What Is Education Research — National Center for Education Research
  • Research in the Faculty of Music — University of Cambridge
  • Research: Religion and Society Specialism — University of Birmingham
  • Sociology Research Areas — Cornell University
  • Narrowing a Topic Idea — UCS Libraries
  • Developing a Research Question — The University of Arizona
  • Organizing Academic Research Paper — Sacred Heart University
  • How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper: Indeed
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Get Access To 1000+ Research Topic Ideas

If you’re trying to find a suitable research topic for your dissertation, thesis or research project, this is for you. Simply put, this mega list of research topic ideas will help stimulate your thinking and fast-track the topic ideation process.

The list provides 1000+ topic ideas across 25 research areas, including:

  • Accounting & finance
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
  • Biotech and genetic engineering
  • Blockchain and crypto
  • Business, management and leadership
  • Communication
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data science and analytics
  • Education and training
  • Engineering
  • Environmental science and climate change
  • Law and public policy
  • Materials science
  • Mental health
  • Neuroscience
  • Political science
  • Psychology and sociology
  • Public administration
  • Public health and epidemiology
  • Robotics and automation

Simply put, this is the largest single source of research topic inspiration you’ll find. Plus, you’ll get free access to our popular webinar , Research Topic Ideation 101, as well as our tried and trusted research proposal template . 

PS – You can also download our free dissertation template below 🙂

what are some good research topics for students

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500 Good Research Paper Topics

Bonus Material: Essential essay checklist

Writing a research paper for a class and not sure how to start?

One of the most important steps to creating a great paper is finding a good topic! 

Here’s a hand-drafted list from a Princeton grad who has helped professors at Harvard and Yale edit their papers for publication and taught college writing at the University of Notre Dame and .

What’s more, we give you some foolproof formulas for creating your own paper topic to fit the requirements of your class.

Using these simple formulas, we’ve helped hundreds of students turn a B- paper topic into an A+ paper topic.

Keep reading for our list of 500 vetted research paper topics and our magic formulas for creating your own topic!

Of course, if you want help learning to write research papers tailored to your individual needs, check out our one-on-one writing coaching or academic writing workshop . Set up a free consultation to see how we can help you learn to write A+ papers!

Jump to paper topics in:

European & Mediterranean History

African history, asian history, history of the pre-columbian americas.

  • Latin American History

History of Science

Politics & public policy, education & education policy, political theory, science policy.

  • Health Sciences & Psychology

Download the essential essay checklist

What is a research paper?

In order to write a good research paper, it’s important to know what it is! 

In general, we can divide academic writing into three broad categories:

  • Analytical: analyze the tools an author uses to make their point
  • Research: delve deeply into a research topic and share your findings
  • Persuasive : argue a specific and nuanced position backed by evidence

What’s the difference between an analytical paper and a research paper? For an analytical paper, it’s okay to just use one or two sources (a book, poem, work of art, piece of music, etc.) and examine them in detail. For a research paper, however, the expectation is that you do, well . . . research .

student writing research paper

The depth of research that you’re expected to do will depend on your age and the type of class you’re taking.

In elementary or middle school, a “research paper” might mean finding information from a few general books or encyclopedias in your school library. 

In high school, your teachers might expect you to start using information from academic articles and more specific books. You might use encyclopedias and general works as a starting point, but you’ll be expected to go beyond them and do more work to synthesize information from different perspectives or different types of sources. You may also be expected to do “primary research,” where you study the source material yourself, instead of synthesizing what other people have written about the source material.

In college, you’ll be required to use academic journals and scholarly books, and your professors will now expect that you be more critical of these secondary sources, noticing the methodology and perspectives of whatever articles and books you’re using. 

In more advanced college courses, you’ll be expected to do more exhaustive surveys of the existing literature on a topic. You’ll need to conduct primary research that makes an original contribution to the field—the kind that could be published in a journal article itself.

For a walkthrough of the 12 essential steps to writing a good paper, check out our step-by-step guide .

student writing research paper

Working on a research paper? Grab our free checklist to make sure your essay has everything it needs to earn an A grade.

Get the essential essay checklist

What makes a good research paper topic?

One of the most important features of a research paper topic is that it has a clear, narrow focus. 

For example, your teacher may assign you to write a research paper related to the US Revolutionary War. Does that mean that your topic should be “the US Revolutionary War”? 

Definitely not! There’s no way to craft a good paper with in-depth research with such a broad topic. (Unless you’re in elementary or middle school, in which case it’s okay to have a more general topic for your research paper.)

Instead, you need to find a more specific topic within this broader one. There are endless ways that you can make this narrower! Some ideas generated from this one broader topic might be:

  • Causes of the US Revolutionary War
  • Changes in military strategy during the Revolutionary War
  • The experiences of Loyalists to England who remained in the American colonies during the Revolutionary War
  • How the Revolutionary War was pivotal for the career of Alexander Hamilton
  • The role of alliances with France during the US Revolutionary War
  • The experiences of people of color during the Revolutionary War
  • How George Washington’s previous military career paved the way for his leadership in the Revolutionary War
  • The main types of weaponry during the Revolutionary War
  • Changes in clothing and fashion over the courses of the Revolutionary War
  • How Valley Forge was a key moment in the Revolutionary War
  • How women contributed to the Revolutionary War
  • What happened in Amherst, Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War
  • Field medicine during the Revolutionary War
  • How the Battle of Saratoga was a turning point in the Revolutionary War
  • How different opinions about the Revolutionary War were reflected in poetry written during that time
  • Debates over abolition during the Revolutionary War
  • The importance of supply chains during the Revolutionary War
  • Reactions to the US Revolutionary war in Europe
  • How the US Revolutionary war impacted political theory in England and France
  • Similarities and differences between the US Revolutionary War and the French Revolution
  • Famous paintings inspired by the US Revolutionary War
  • Different ways that the US Revolutionary War has been depicted in modern contemporary culture
  • The appropriation of the “Boston Tea Party” by US politicians in the 2010s

This list could go on forever!

good research paper topics about the US Revolution

In fact, any of these topics could become even more specific. For example, check out the evolution of this topic:

  • Economic causes of the Revolutionary war
  • The way that tax policies helped lead to the Revolutionary War
  • How tax laws enacted 1763–1775 helped lead to the Revolutionary War
  • How the tax-free status of the British East India Company helped lead to the Revolutionary War
  • How the 1773 tax-free status of the British East India Company helped lead to the Revolutionary War, as reflected in letters written 1767–1775
  • How the 1773 tax-free status of the British East India Company helped lead to the Revolutionary War, as reflected in letters written by members of the Sons of Liberty 1767–1775

As you advance in your educational career, you’ll need to make your topic more and more specific. Steps 1–3 of this topic might be okay in high school, but for a college research paper steps 4–7 would be more appropriate!

As you craft your research paper topic, you should also keep in mind the availability of research materials on your subject. There are millions of topics that would make interesting research papers, but for which you yourself might not be able to investigate with the primary and secondary sources to which you have access.

Access to research materials might look like:

  • To the best of our knowledge, the sources exist somewhere
  • The source isn’t behind a paywall (or you or your school can pay for it)
  • Your school or local library has a copy of the source
  • Your school or local library can order a copy of the source for you
  • The source is in a language that you speak
  • The source has been published already (there’s tons of amazing research that hasn’t been published yet, a frustrating problem!)
  • You can access the archive, museum, or database where the primary source is held—this might mean online access or travel! To access a source in an archive or museum you’ll often need permission, which often requires a letter of support from your school.

If you’re not sure about access to source materials, talk to a librarian! They’re professionals for this question.

Finally, pick a research topic that interests you! Given that there are unlimited research topics in the world and many ways to adapt a broad topic, there should absolutely be a way to modify a research topic to fit your interests.

student writing research paper

Want help learning to write an amazing research paper? Work one-on-one with an experienced Ivy-League tutor to improve your writing skills or sign up for our bestselling academic writing workshop .

Insider tips to generate your own research paper topic

Use these formulas to generate your own research paper topics:

  • How did X change over a period of time (year, decade, century)?
  • What is the impact (or consequences) of X?
  • What led to X?
  • What is the role of X in Y?
  • How did X influence Y?
  • How did X become Y?
  • How was X different from Y?
  • How is X an example of Y?
  • How did X affect Y?
  • What were some reactions to X?
  • What are the most effective policies to produce X result?
  • What are some risks of X?
  • How is our current understanding of X incorrect? (advanced)
  • What happens if we look at X through the lens of Y theory or perspective? (advanced)

A good research paper topic often starts with the question words—why, how, what, who, and where. Remember to make it as specific as possible!

student writing research paper

Good research paper topics

These research paper topics have been vetted by a Princeton grad and academic book editor!

  • How did European rivalries (British vs French) impact North American history?
  • What was the role of British and French alliances with indigneous tribes during the Seven Years’ War?
  • Reactions to the 1754 Albany Congress among North American intellectual figures
  • How the Albany Plan served as a model for future attempts at union among the North American colonies
  • How did different religious identities (Calvinist, Catholic, etc.) play a role in the aftermath of the Seven Years’ War?
  • What were the consequences of the 1763 Treaty of Paris?
  • How did the Seven Years’ War impact British debt and colonial economics?
  • What were some causes of the US Revolutionary War?
  • How did military strategy change during the Revolutionary War?
  • What were the experiences of Loyalists to England who remained in the American colonies during the Revolutionary War?
  • How was the Revolutionary War pivotal for the career of Alexander Hamilton?
  • What was the role of alliances with France during the US Revolutionary War?
  • What were the experiences of people of color during the Revolutionary War?
  • How did George Washington’s previous military career pave the way for his leadership in the Revolutionary War?
  • What were the main types of weaponry during the Revolutionary War? How did that affect the options for military strategies?
  • How did clothing and fashion change over the courses of the Revolutionary War?
  • How was Valley Forge a key moment in the Revolutionary War?
  • How did women contribute to the Revolutionary War?
  • What happened in Amherst, Massachusetts (or any other specific location) during the Revolutionary War?
  • What was field medicine like during the Revolutionary War? 
  • How was the Battle of Saratoga a turning point in the Revolutionary War?
  • How were different opinions about the Revolutionary War reflected in poetry written during that time?
  • What were the debates over abolition during the Revolutionary War?
  • What was the role of supply chains during the Revolutionary War?
  • What were reactions to the US Revolutionary war like in Europe? What does that tell us about politics in England, France, the Netherlands, etc?
  • How did the US Revolutionary war impact political theory in England and France?
  • What are similarities and differences between the US Revolutionary War and the French Revolution?
  • What are some famous paintings inspired by the US Revolutionary War? What do differences between these paintings tell us about how the artists who created them saw the war?
  • What are some different ways that the US Revolutionary War has been depicted in modern contemporary culture? What does that tell us?
  • How was the story of the “Boston Tea Party” appropriated by US politicians in the 2010s, and why?
  • What was the difference between the Federalists and the Jeffersonians?
  • How did the 1797 XYZ Affair lead to the Quasi-War with France?
  • How were loans from European countries and companies (France, Spain, Dutch bankers) key to the early US?
  • What were reactions to the Constitutional Convention of 1787?
  • Why did the US remain neutral during the French Revolution?
  • How did the Alien and Sedition acts contribute to the election of Thomas Jefferson as president?
  • What was the US’s reaction to the Haitian revolution? Why did the US not recognize Haitian independence until 1862?
  • What were the reactions to John Jay’s Treaty of 1794?
  • How have the remarks made by George Washington in his Farewell Address inspired isolationist policies?
  • How did interpretations of the Monroe Doctrine change over the decades since its creation? 
  • How did the Roosevelt Corollary and Lodge Corollary change and expand the Monroe Doctrine?
  • How did the presence of US companies like the United Fruit Company affect US military interventions in Latin America? 
  • How was the Monroe Doctrine invoked in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962? 
  • How was US culture shaped by the Cold War?
  • How did ecology play a role in the rise of Ancient Egypt?
  • How did water management technologies impact Ancient Egypt?
  • How did bureaucracies function in Ancient Egypt?
  • How did Egyptian art influence Ancient Greek art?
  • Who could be a citizen in Athens in the 5th century BCE? What does this tell us about classical Athenian society?
  • What was the impact of the Peloponnesian War?
  • What was the impact of Alexander the Great’s attempt to create an empire?
  • How does the way that Alexander the Great is represented in art demonstrate conceptions about the relationship between the human and the divine?
  • Was there a conception of race in the ancient world? How were these ideas different from our own modern conceptions of race?
  • What was the role of debt slavery in the Roman republic? How were these policies ended, and what is the significance of the end of debt slavery? What kinds of slavery remained?
  • To what degree does the movie Gladiator accurately the Roman Empire in 176–192 CE?
  • What was the role of slavery in managing the large latifundia ?
  • How and why did the emperor Constantine I adopt Christianity?
  • How did patterns of urbanism in the latter Roman empire change? What does this tell us about challenges being faced at that time?
  • What do reactions to the Byzantine empress Theodora tell us about ideas of gender in 6th-century Byzantium?
  • How did scientific advancements in Islamic Spain influence the rest of Europe?
  • What was the relationship between Muslim, Christian, and Jewish populations in Islamic Spain? How does this compare to the experience of Muslim and Jewish populations in Christian Spain?
  • How did medieval troubadour poetry represent a new idea of romantic relationships?
  • What are similarities and differences between medieval troubadour poetry and lyric poetry in Ancient Greece? 
  • What do letters between women and popes tell us about gender, power, and religion in medieval Europe?
  • In what ways was Hildegard of Bingen groundbreaking for her time?
  • Who produced beer in medieval England, and what does this tell us about society?
  • How did the adoption of hops affect the production and distribution of beer?
  • How did beer production allow some women a way to be financially independent?
  • How was clothing used to mark religious and cultural identities in 15th- and 16th-century Spain?
  • How did print culture change relationships and courting in Georgian England?
  • How did churches function as social gathering spaces in Georgian England?
  • To what degree is Netflix’s Bridgerton series historically accurate?
  • How did ideas of love change in the 18th century? How did philosophy play a role in this?
  • When were Valentine cards first commercially available? What does that show us about cultural ideas of love and courtship?
  • What were the consequences of the desertification of the Sahara?
  • How did trade links on the Red Sea influence Nubian culture?
  • How did Carthage build power in Northern Africa around 600–500 BCE?
  • What was the impact of the Mercenary War (241–238 BCE) in Carthage?
  • How did the Roman province of Africa play a key role in financing the Roman Empire?
  • What were the consequences of the Donatist division in the 300s in Northern Africa?
  • What was the impact of the large-scale movement of Bedouins from the Arabian peninsula into the Maghreb?
  • How was Mande society organized in the Mali Empire? 
  • What was the role of the book trade in Timbuktu? What does this tell us about culture and learning in the Mali Empire?
  • How did Aksum use trade to build wealth and power? 
  • What do Nok terracotta sculptures tell us about Nok culture?
  • How did the Luba Empire create a centralized political system? How did the idea of spiritual kins ( balopwe ) play a role in this system?
  • How did tax collection work in the Lunda empire?
  • What does it mean to say that the Ajuran Empire was a hydraulic empire? How did control over water resources allow the Ajuran Empire to build and consolidate power?
  • What is the significance of diplomatic ties between the Somai Ajuran Empire and Ming dynasty China? 
  • How did the tribute system in the Kingdom of Kongo help to stimulate interregional trade?
  • What was the impact of the introduction of maize and cassava to the Kingdom of Kongo?
  • How did women wield influence in the Kingdom of Benin?
  • How did the Industrial Revolution in Europe help lead to the Scramble for Africa 1878–1898?
  • What were the consequences of the Second Boer War?
  • What happened in the Year of Africa (1960)?
  • How did the Han dynasty consolidate power in frontier regions? 
  • How and why did the Han dynasty nationalize the private salt and iron industries in 117 BCE?
  • What are the earliest records of papermaking, and what is the significance of this invention?
  • What was the role of Daoist religious societies in rebellions at the end of the Han dynasty (Yellow Turban Rebellion, Five Pecks of Rice Rebellion)?
  • What do tomb paintings tell us about ancient Chinese society?
  • What was the impact of the Sui dynasty’s standardization and re-unification of the coinage?
  • What was the role of standardized testing in Sui dynasty and Tang dynasty China?
  • Why is the Tang dynasty often regarded as a golden age of cosmopolitan culture in Chinese history?
  • What was the role of slavery in imperial China? 
  • How did the rise of jiedushi (regional military governments) undermine the civil-service system? What were the consequences of this?
  • How did Tang dynasty China exert power over Japan and Korea?
  • What was the Three Departments and Six Ministries system in imperial China and how did it work?
  • What does the appearance of Inca, Maya, and Aztec goods in North America (Utah, Canada) and the appearance of goods from the Great Lakes region in Maya and Aztec ruins tell us about trade in the Pre-Columbian Americas?
  • How did celebration of maize play a central role in Mesoamerican cultures?
  • How did the Aztec empire use relationships with client city-states to establish power? How did the Aztec empire use taxation to exert power?
  • How did the luxury good trade impact Aztec political power? 
  • How did the building of roads play a key role in the Aztec empire?
  • How and why has archaeology played a pivotal role in expanding our understanding of the pre-Columbian Americas?
  • What are some common misconceptions about the Americas in the year 1491? Why do these misconceptions exist?

Latin American History (post-1492)

  • How and why did the Spanish appropriate Aztec sites of significance (e.g. Mexico City at the site of Tenochtitlan)?
  • What were reactions among Latin American intellectuals (e.g. Luis María Drago, Alejandro Álvarez and Baltasar Brum) to the Monroe Doctrine?
  • How was the US’s involvement in the Venezuela Crisis of 1902–1903 a pivotal turning point in the relationship between the US and Latin American countries?
  • What were the effects of the US’s involvement in the Cuban War for Independence?
  • How did the Roosevelt Corollary of 1904 benefit the US?
  • How did Simon Bolivar’s time in Europe affect his ideas about Latin American independence?
  • How did 19th century academic societies play a role in the advancement of scientific discoveries? Who was excluded from these societies?
  • How was music connected to the sciences in medieval thinking?
  • When was the concept of zero first used, and how was it instrumental for advancements in math?
  • What role did Islamic Spain play in the spread of scientific advancements in medieval Europe?
  • What role has translation between languages played in the development of sciences?
  • Why were Galileo’s ideas about astronomy controversial at the time?
  • What was the connection between art and advancements in human anatomy?
  • Why were Darwin’s ideas about natural selection controversial at the time?
  • To what degree does the film Master and Commander accurately depict the voyages of Charles Darwin?
  • How did the discovery of quinine and other medical innovations help to facilitate the European colonization of Africa?
  • How and why was the internet invented?
  • Does Virgil’s Aeneid celebrate the new Roman Empire or subvert it?
  • Why was the poet Ovid exiled from Rome?
  • What are the pagan influences in Beowulf ? What are the Christian elements in Beowulf ? What does that tell us about late Anglo-Saxon England?
  • How does Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales reflect gender roles in late medieval England?
  • How does Dante’s Inferno draw on book IV of Virgil’s Aeneid ? 
  • How are gender roles presented and subverted in Shakespeare’s plays?
  • To what degree did Henry David Thoreau live out the ideals he described in Walden in his own life?
  • How did the serialized publication of novels affect the way that they were written?
  • Does Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities accurately portray the French Revolution?
  • How did 18th-century novels propagate the idea of marrying for love?
  • What did contemporary readers think about Jane Austen and her novels?
  • To what degree do Jane Austen’s novels reflect economic realities for women in Regency England? What do they leave out?
  • How did Lord Byron’s personal life affect his poetry?
  • What do we know about the romantic life of Emily Dickinson?
  • What were the religious movements that influenced the writer George Eliot, and how do those influences appear in her novels?
  • In what ways were Walt Whitman’s writings new or different?
  • How did British poets react to the horrors of Word War I?
  • What do Tolkien’s letters reveal about the ways in which the two world wars influenced his writings?
  • How did the friendship between CS Lewis and Tolkien affect their respective writings?
  • What are the arguments for and against Catalonian independence from Spain?
  • What are the arguments for and against Scottish independence from the United Kingdom?
  • What are some risks of contact sports, especially for children?
  • What are the most effective policies for combating childhood obesity?
  • What are the most effective policies for reducing gun violence?
  • Which countries have the longest life expectancy and why?
  • What are some differences between the healthcare system in the US and in European countries? Which country has the most similar system to the US?
  • What policies for parental leave exist in different countries? What are some effects of these policies?
  • Has the drinking age in the US always been 21? What have been some different policies, and what were some consequences of them?
  • What is the debate around museum artifacts like the Elgin Marbles in London or the Benin Bronzes in Berlin?
  • How have politicians attempted to control population growth in different countries, either directly or indirectly? What have been some effects of these policies?
  • Which countries have the most gender parity reflected in national governments? How have they accomplished this?
  • How has public funding of K-12 education changed since the 1930s in the US? 
  • How has public funding of higher education changed in the US?
  • What is early childhood education like in different countries?
  • What are some effects of free or reduced-cost meals in schools?
  • How does access to menstrual products affect education outcomes for girls in different countries?
  • What was the impact of Rousseau’s writings on education?
  • How did Plato’s ideal forms of government reflect contemporary Athenian concerns about the unruly masses ( demos )?
  • How did Aristotle justify slavery?
  • How has wealth inequality increased in recent decades?
  • How is inflation calculated, and what are the implications of this methodology?
  • How have genetically-engineered crops changed the way that the planet feeds itself?
  • How has animal testing changed since 2000?
  • How is animal testing regulated differently in different countries?

Health Sciences and Psychology

  • How do different societies reflect the natural circadian rhythms of the human body?
  • How does secondhand smoke affect the human body?
  • How does lack of sleep affect the body?
  • How does stress affect the body?
  • What are some ways to reduce stress?
  • How have cancer treatments changed in the past 30 years?
  • Why is it hard to find a “cure” for cancer?
  • How has the Human Genome Project changed medical science?
  • How were the Covid vaccines developed so quickly? What is the difference between the various Covid vaccines that have been developed?

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Emily graduated  summa cum laude  from Princeton University and holds an MA from the University of Notre Dame. She was a National Merit Scholar and has won numerous academic prizes and fellowships. A veteran of the publishing industry, she has helped professors at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton revise their books and articles. Over the last decade, Emily has successfully mentored hundreds of students in all aspects of the college admissions process, including the SAT, ACT, and college application essay. 

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100 Interesting Research Paper Topics for High Schoolers

What’s covered:, how to pick the right research topic, elements of a strong research paper.

  • Interesting Research Paper Topics

Composing a research paper can be a daunting task for first-time writers. In addition to making sure you’re using concise language and your thoughts are organized clearly, you need to find a topic that draws the reader in.

CollegeVine is here to help you brainstorm creative topics! Below are 100 interesting research paper topics that will help you engage with your project and keep you motivated until you’ve typed the final period. 

A research paper is similar to an academic essay but more lengthy and requires more research. This added length and depth is bittersweet: although a research paper is more work, you can create a more nuanced argument, and learn more about your topic. Research papers are a demonstration of your research ability and your ability to formulate a convincing argument. How well you’re able to engage with the sources and make original contributions will determine the strength of your paper. 

You can’t have a good research paper without a good research paper topic. “Good” is subjective, and different students will find different topics interesting. What’s important is that you find a topic that makes you want to find out more and make a convincing argument. Maybe you’ll be so interested that you’ll want to take it further and investigate some detail in even greater depth!

For example, last year over 4000 students applied for 500 spots in the Lumiere Research Scholar Program , a rigorous research program founded by Harvard researchers. The program pairs high-school students with Ph.D. mentors to work 1-on-1 on an independent research project . The program actually does not require you to have a research topic in mind when you apply, but pro tip: the more specific you can be the more likely you are to get in!

Introduction

The introduction to a research paper serves two critical functions: it conveys the topic of the paper and illustrates how you will address it. A strong introduction will also pique the interest of the reader and make them excited to read more. Selecting a research paper topic that is meaningful, interesting, and fascinates you is an excellent first step toward creating an engaging paper that people will want to read.

Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is technically part of the introduction—generally the last sentence of it—but is so important that it merits a section of its own. The thesis statement is a declarative sentence that tells the reader what the paper is about. A strong thesis statement serves three purposes: present the topic of the paper, deliver a clear opinion on the topic, and summarize the points the paper will cover.

An example of a good thesis statement of diversity in the workforce is:

Diversity in the workplace is not just a moral imperative but also a strategic advantage for businesses, as it fosters innovation, enhances creativity, improves decision-making, and enables companies to better understand and connect with a diverse customer base.

The body is the largest section of a research paper. It’s here where you support your thesis, present your facts and research, and persuade the reader.

Each paragraph in the body of a research paper should have its own idea. The idea is presented, generally in the first sentence of the paragraph, by a topic sentence. The topic sentence acts similarly to the thesis statement, only on a smaller scale, and every sentence in the paragraph with it supports the idea it conveys.

An example of a topic sentence on how diversity in the workplace fosters innovation is:

Diversity in the workplace fosters innovation by bringing together individuals with different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, which stimulates creativity, encourages new ideas, and leads to the development of innovative solutions to complex problems.

The body of an engaging research paper flows smoothly from one idea to the next. Create an outline before writing and order your ideas so that each idea logically leads to another.

The conclusion of a research paper should summarize your thesis and reinforce your argument. It’s common to restate the thesis in the conclusion of a research paper.

For example, a conclusion for a paper about diversity in the workforce is:

In conclusion, diversity in the workplace is vital to success in the modern business world. By embracing diversity, companies can tap into the full potential of their workforce, promote creativity and innovation, and better connect with a diverse customer base, ultimately leading to greater success and a more prosperous future for all.

Reference Page

The reference page is normally found at the end of a research paper. It provides proof that you did research using credible sources, properly credits the originators of information, and prevents plagiarism.

There are a number of different formats of reference pages, including APA, MLA, and Chicago. Make sure to format your reference page in your teacher’s preferred style.

  • Analyze the benefits of diversity in education.
  • Are charter schools useful for the national education system?
  • How has modern technology changed teaching?
  • Discuss the pros and cons of standardized testing.
  • What are the benefits of a gap year between high school and college?
  • What funding allocations give the most benefit to students?
  • Does homeschooling set students up for success?
  • Should universities/high schools require students to be vaccinated?
  • What effect does rising college tuition have on high schoolers?
  • Do students perform better in same-sex schools?
  • Discuss and analyze the impacts of a famous musician on pop music.
  • How has pop music evolved over the past decade?
  • How has the portrayal of women in music changed in the media over the past decade?
  • How does a synthesizer work?
  • How has music evolved to feature different instruments/voices?
  • How has sound effect technology changed the music industry?
  • Analyze the benefits of music education in high schools.
  • Are rehabilitation centers more effective than prisons?
  • Are congestion taxes useful?
  • Does affirmative action help minorities?
  • Can a capitalist system effectively reduce inequality?
  • Is a three-branch government system effective?
  • What causes polarization in today’s politics?
  • Is the U.S. government racially unbiased?
  • Choose a historical invention and discuss its impact on society today.
  • Choose a famous historical leader who lost power—what led to their eventual downfall?
  • How has your country evolved over the past century?
  • What historical event has had the largest effect on the U.S.?
  • Has the government’s response to national disasters improved or declined throughout history?
  • Discuss the history of the American occupation of Iraq.
  • Explain the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
  • Is literature relevant in modern society?
  • Discuss how fiction can be used for propaganda.
  • How does literature teach and inform about society?
  • Explain the influence of children’s literature on adulthood.
  • How has literature addressed homosexuality?
  • Does the media portray minorities realistically?
  • Does the media reinforce stereotypes?
  • Why have podcasts become so popular?
  • Will streaming end traditional television?
  • What is a patriot?
  • What are the pros and cons of global citizenship?
  • What are the causes and effects of bullying?
  • Why has the divorce rate in the U.S. been declining in recent years?
  • Is it more important to follow social norms or religion?
  • What are the responsible limits on abortion, if any?
  • How does an MRI machine work?
  • Would the U.S. benefit from socialized healthcare?
  • Elderly populations
  • The education system
  • State tax bases
  • How do anti-vaxxers affect the health of the country?
  • Analyze the costs and benefits of diet culture.
  • Should companies allow employees to exercise on company time?
  • What is an adequate amount of exercise for an adult per week/per month/per day?
  • Discuss the effects of the obesity epidemic on American society.
  • Are students smarter since the advent of the internet?
  • What departures has the internet made from its original design?
  • Has digital downloading helped the music industry?
  • Discuss the benefits and costs of stricter internet censorship.
  • Analyze the effects of the internet on the paper news industry.
  • What would happen if the internet went out?
  • How will artificial intelligence (AI) change our lives?
  • What are the pros and cons of cryptocurrency?
  • How has social media affected the way people relate with each other?
  • Should social media have an age restriction?
  • Discuss the importance of source software.
  • What is more relevant in today’s world: mobile apps or websites?
  • How will fully autonomous vehicles change our lives?
  • How is text messaging affecting teen literacy?

Mental Health

  • What are the benefits of daily exercise?
  • How has social media affected people’s mental health?
  • What things contribute to poor mental and physical health?
  • Analyze how mental health is talked about in pop culture.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of more counselors in high schools.
  • How does stress affect the body?
  • How do emotional support animals help people?
  • What are black holes?
  • Discuss the biggest successes and failures of the EPA.
  • How has the Flint water crisis affected life in Michigan?
  • Can science help save endangered species?
  • Is the development of an anti-cancer vaccine possible?

Environment

  • What are the effects of deforestation on climate change?
  • Is climate change reversible?
  • How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect global warming and climate change?
  • Are carbon credits effective for offsetting emissions or just marketing?
  • Is nuclear power a safe alternative to fossil fuels?
  • Are hybrid vehicles helping to control pollution in the atmosphere?
  • How is plastic waste harming the environment?
  • Is entrepreneurism a trait people are born with or something they learn?
  • How much more should CEOs make than their average employee?
  • Can you start a business without money?
  • Should the U.S. raise the minimum wage?
  • Discuss how happy employees benefit businesses.
  • How important is branding for a business?
  • Discuss the ease, or difficulty, of landing a job today.
  • What is the economic impact of sporting events?
  • Are professional athletes overpaid?
  • Should male and female athletes receive equal pay?
  • What is a fair and equitable way for transgender athletes to compete in high school sports?
  • What are the benefits of playing team sports?
  • What is the most corrupt professional sport?

Where to Get More Research Paper Topic Ideas

If you need more help brainstorming topics, especially those that are personalized to your interests, you can use CollegeVine’s free AI tutor, Ivy . Ivy can help you come up with original research topic ideas, and she can also help with the rest of your homework, from math to languages.

Disclaimer: This post includes content sponsored by Lumiere Education.

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Research Beyond the Obvious!

Are you struggling to find a topic that can unearth new findings? Even before starting, many students feel drowning with the mere task of sorting out the best research topics. Don’t sweat it! This blog explores the top 10 research topics for students, with a focus on different subjects, including psychology, social sciences, etc. From exploring the impact of AI to dealing with social issues, let’s discover good ideas for a research paper! 

Why Do You Need to Find a Research Topic?

Before we get down to the top 10 research topics on student learning , let’s understand what they are. Research topics help students to drill down into a subject and break down a wide aspect into smaller things. The topics serve the purpose of bringing fresh perspectives to the table and point out a potential knowledge gap or core problem. 

Research Topic vs. Research Question 

Going by its definition, a research topic focuses on a broad theme that calls for deep investigation. On the other hand, a research question is a particular query that researchers use to find plausible answers and new scopes. While you may be busy finding the top 10 research topics for students in college or senior high school, always remember that the topic reflects an aspect of a subject. 

Factors to Choose Research Project Topics 

The key to finding the top 10 research topics may leave you confused but don’t worry. The table below portrays the characteristics of interesting research paper topics that you must keep in mind: 

What Makes a Good Research Topic

While we will give you some ideas about the top 10 research topics for students, you still need to pick one. However, getting closer to this sole topic may feel soul-crushing! Don’t worry; these tips will help you select the best research topics for students. 

1. Focus on Personal Interests

The research topics for students usually stem from what motivates them. If you are interested in a specific field, you can go forward with the topic as long as it is relevant to your field. However, this does not mean you can overlook potential biases - being too close to the subject might even lead you nowhere. 

2. Check the Guidelines

When looking for the top 10 research topics for students, it’s imperative to adhere to guidelines laid out by your school. Sometimes, they approve good topics for research papers only if they are related to the public interest or environment. Ask your professor/mentor whether you need to follow certain guidelines while finding the best research topics for students. 

3. Availability of Resources  

Your research project might never see the daylight if you do not have enough resources available. Make sure the resources are within your limits! In case your research has funding, always check how you will be able to use it. Finances, access to participants, and timings are key factors in finalising among the top 10 research topics for students. 

what are some good research topics for students

Top 10 Research Topics for Students in College and Senior High School

Here, we will delve into the top 10 research topics for students. Whether you are in a college or senior high school, these topics will show you light at the end of the tunnel. You might find inspiration from these topics and may even come up with original research topics and research questions. So, let’s unveil the best research topic ideas for students! 

1. Psychology Research Paper Topics 

Psychology papers offer an exciting opportunity to explore and understand the human psyche. Emerging technologies and their impact on mental health is one of the best research topics for students, yet there are more you can explore. Below, are some of the best research topics for students: 

1. The impact of social media on mental health among adolescents and young adults.

2. The potential benefits and risks of virtual reality therapy for mental health conditions. 

3. The ethical considerations of using AI in psychological treatment. 

4. The influence of mindfulness practices on cognitive performance and well-being.

5. The link between sleep quality and cognitive decline in ageing populations.

2. Business and Economics Research Topics 

From sustainable business practices to global trade dynamics, the best research topics for students regarding business and economics revolve around many areas. While you may initially find it challenging how to conduct research , you can draw inspiration from these topics for research paper:

1. The impact of AI on various aspects of business, such as marketing and financial analysis.

2. The ethical considerations and challenges associated with the use of big data and analytics in business practices.

3. The potential of blockchain technology to revolutionise supply chain management and improve data privacy.

4. The effectiveness of policy interventions to promote sustainable economic growth & development.

5. Exploring the factors that contribute to the success of startups and new ventures in the digital age.

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3. Social Sciences Research Topics 

Social sciences deal with the study of human behaviour and explore socioeconomic inequalities, political ideologies, urban development, and more. If you are looking for good ideas for a research paper regarding social sciences, here are some: 

1. The effectiveness of different social policy interventions aimed at addressing global issues. 

2. The potential of blockchain technology to improve transparency and accountability in social structures.

3. The social and ethical implications of artificial intelligence (AI) in various aspects of life. 

4. The psychological and social impacts of climate change on individuals and communities. 

5. The increasing focus on interdisciplinary research that combines social science with data science.

4. Language and Linguistics Research Topics 

From computational linguistics to semantics to language preservation, the field of language  leads to some really good topics for research papers. While going through our list of top 10 research topics for students, you can already grasp that there are a few things to keep in mind when writing a college paper ! So, here are the best research topic ideas for students regarding language studies: 

1. The influence of social media and digital communication on language use and evolution.   

2. The impact of language learning apps and online platforms on pedagogy. 

3. The role of language in perpetuating social inequalities.

4. The link between language and mental health in the context of cultural displacement.

5. The potential of multilingualism to enhance cognitive abilities. 

5. Health and Medicine Research Topics

Finding the best research topics for students is daunting when it comes to a dynamic field like health and medicine. After going through this compilation of the top 10 research topics for students, you can understand how to come up with the right one. Here, based on the emerging areas of interest, we share some of the potentially impactful and the best research ideas for students: 

1. The integration of AI in medical diagnosis and treatment. 

2. Investigating the ethical considerations of using AI in the healthcare sector. 

3. The developing field of preventive health measures and promoting healthy lifestyles.

4. The link between social determinants of health and mental well-being. 

5. Improving access to healthcare and promoting health equity in minority communities.

6. Renewable Energy & Clean Technologies Research Topics

Initially, you might find it impossible to understand how to write a research paper for college , but these top 10 research topics for students will have you covered. Especially when your focus is on clean energy sources and the emission of greenhouse gases, there is a lot to cover nowadays. Here are some of the best research topics for students: 

1. The potential of next-generation solar cell technologies. 

2. The social and environmental aspects of renewable energy deployment.

3. Discovering the potential of decentralised energy systems.

4. The potential of hydrogen energy, including production, storage, and utilisation.

5. The impact of climate change on renewable energy resources.

7. Technology and Innovation Research Topics 

The sector for technology is ever-evolving, with innovations taking place every other. With the emergence of IoT, artificial intelligence, and ML, the world of technology is your oyster. Here are the best research topics for students: 

1. The societal implications of AI in healthcare, finance, and autonomous vehicles. 

2. The potential of blockchain technology to revolutionise cybersecurity and voting systems.

3. Innovative solutions to combat climate change, including renewable energy technologies and sustainable infrastructure. 

4. The role of technology in disaster preparedness and risk management. 

5. The use of technology to bridge the digital divide and ensure equitable access to information. 

8. Arts and Design Research Topics 

Whether your niche lies in art therapy, cultural studies in arts, or architecture innovation, there are interesting research paper topics. While exploring the top 10 research topics for students, constructing research may seem difficult – going through the research design - elements and characteristics can solve your problems. So, here are the best research topics for students in college: 

1. The impact of AI on artistic creation. 

2. The use of virtual reality and augmented reality in storytelling. 

3. The role of art in addressing social and environmental challenges. 

4.  The use of art as a tool for social commentary and activism. 

5. The evolving nature of art museums and galleries in the digital age.

9. Argumentative Research Topics 

Building a specific argument and exploring topics can bring you some unique topics for research paper. Through these top 10 research topics for students, you can evaluate human interest on a global scale and beyond. Let’s have a look at these best research topics for students: 

1. Is universal basic income a viable solution to poverty?

2. Is nuclear power a solution to the global energy crisis?

3. Does increased global cooperation offer a solution to climate change?

4. The impact of automation and AI on the future of work and employment.

5. The ethical implications of gene editing and other emerging biotechnologies.

10. Human Rights Research Paper Topics  

Our list of top 10 research topics remains incomplete without human rights. This field is evolving and has become a growing interest for everyone around the world. If you want to probe questions about gender equality or privacy rights, here are a few of the research title examples for students: 

1. The role of human rights defenders and activists in promoting social change. 

2. The human rights of marginalised groups, such as LGBTQ+ individuals and people with disabilities.

3. The impact of AI on human rights, including issues of bias and discrimination.

4. Examining the ethical implications of facial recognition technology. 

5. Exploring the human rights implications of environmental pollution and toxic waste disposal. 

Now that you have an idea about some of the top 10 research topics for students, we hope you come up with an original one. Remember, successful research always starts with the right question. Take time, dig deep into the relevant theories, and find thought-provoking topics for research papers. Meanwhile, don’t overlook the power of how to write a research paper appendix and how to create the right structure for the paper. You can also check out amber+ for essential tools that can help make your thesis writing process smoother! So, happy researching!  Also, dive into our exclusive visual guide to uncover intriguing research topics tailored for students like you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top 10 research topics for students, what are some easy yet good research topic ideas for students, what is a good research topic and what are the rules for choosing one, how to find research topic ideas for students in college, what are some trending research topics for students at the moment.

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150 Research Paper Topics

150 Research Paper Topics

Whether you’re in high school or college, there will come a time when you’ll be required to write a research paper. For many students, writing a research paper can be a challenging task.

Writing the research paper might seem like it’s the hardest part of the entire paper, but for many students, it’s picking out what topic to write about.

If you’re having a difficult time figuring out what topic to write your research paper about, we’ve compiled a list of 150 topics for you to choose from!

How to Choose a Topic for a Research Paper

  • Pick a few areas or topics that you’re interested in and narrow it down to the topic that you like the best. You’ll be able to put together an insightful paper if you’re interested in the topic you chose.
  • Make sure you have enough references for your topic. Doing a quick search will help you see if your topic is discussed enough for you to do research.
  • Make sure your topic fits within your teacher’s guidelines. Your teacher may have set restrictions on certain topics or even requirements that they may want in your paper.

Health Topics

  • How can lifestyle habits influence overall health?
  • How does breastfeeding improve the infant’s health?
  • Reasons why the flu virus is different from year to year.
  • Different types of stem cells and their usage.
  • Sleep disorders’ impact on the overall health condition.
  • The healthiest diet does not exist.
  • Stop smoking to improve mental health.
  • Why are carbs bad for people who are insulin resistant?
  • Why is the skin on a face more sensitive to breakouts and touch than on any other part of the body?
  • Low carbohydrate vs. low-fat diets.

Science Topics

  • How has the earth’s climate changed in the past few decades?
  • What are the pros and cons of fracking?
  • Should the US rely on nuclear energy more?
  • How are black holes created?
  • Why is “dark matter” important?
  • Is global warming a hoax? Is it being exaggerated?
  • What are the main sources of marine pollution?
  • Endangered species – How can we preserve them?
  • What did you do to make the world a better place?
  • What have NASA’s biggest successes and failures been?

Psychology Topics

  • What Are Psychological Effects of Technology Addiction?
  • What Causes Eating Disorders?
  • How Do Certain People Become Leaders?
  • How Important Is Love for the Child’s Development?
  • How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Our Mental Health?
  • Insomnia and its Effects on Human Health.
  • Physical and Mental Violence on Children and Domestic Abuse.
  • How dangerous are eating disorders?
  • Post-traumatic stress syndrome.
  • What causes depression?

Ethics Topics

  • How and why have divorce rates changed over time?
  • Should physician-assisted suicide be legal?
  • How has stem cell research impacted the medical field?
  • How can human trafficking be reduced in the United States/world?
  • Importance of following ethics in psychological research.

Social Media Topics

  • Are social networks making us lonely and unsociable?
  • How to protect children online?
  • Is there such a thing as social media addiction?
  • Who are world-famous influencers on social media?
  • Does social media affect our relationships?
  • Are teens who spend more time on social media more likely to suffer anxiety and/or depression?
  • Has social media made people more or less connected?
  • How does social media influence interpersonal communication?
  • How can one defend privacy issues on Facebook and other social media?
  • Impacts of social media on youth.

Legal Issues Topics

  • Should marijuana be legalized at the national level?
  • Should there be a law preventing cyber-bullying?
  • What can be done to improve family law?
  • What countries have the worst legal systems?
  • What countries have the best legal systems?
  • What are the main flaws of the legal system in the USA?
  • Does police brutality contribute to the onset of hate crimes?
  • Why should the minimum legal drinking age be kept at eighteen years?
  • Does drug legalization contribute to the increased crime rate?
  • How do torrenting sites influence creativity and copyright?

Technology Topics

  • Do smartphones increase or decrease workplace productivity?
  • What are the most effective ways to use technology in the classroom?
  • How is Google search affecting our intelligence?
  • What are some advances in technology related to medicine?
  • Can everything be solar powered?
  • How is text messaging affecting teen literacy?
  • How can technology help in preventing terrorist attacks?

Government Topics

  • Several states have legalized recreational marijuana. What positive and negative impacts have they experienced as a result?
  • Has the increase in US airport security made passengers safer?
  • Should the federal government be allowed to regulate information on the internet?
  • Should the United States of America reform its Immigration policies?
  • Which prison reforms have proven most effective?

Education Topics

  • Do students from wealthier backgrounds score higher on standardized tests?
  • How does giving each student access to an iPad or laptop affect their studies?
  • Do children who attend preschool do better in school later on?
  • What impact does mandatory physical education classes have on students’ health?
  • Which methods are most effective at reducing bullying in schools?
  • How does college debt affect future life choices of students?
  • E-Learning at home VS traditional education.
  • The Effectiveness and Flaws of the No Child Left Behind Act.
  • General tests and their effectiveness in various institutions.
  • How to encourage students to study what they are passionate about?

Business Topics

  • How has business etiquette changed in the past few years?
  • Features that define a true business leader.
  • Things that make young startups fail during the first couple of years.
  • Does franchising make it easier to run a business?
  • Pros & cons of outsourcing services.

Sports Topics

  • Importance of physical exercise in school.
  • Is cheerleading a sport?
  • Do sports influence an individual’s emotional well-being?
  • Safest exercises for students with disabilities.
  • Collaboration on a sports field. What is the most effective communication strategy among sports team members?
  • Differences in the Italian Renaissance and Northern Renaissance.
  • Impacts famous artists had on the world.
  • The art of Ancient Egypt.
  • Censorship in art.
  • Analyze the impact a famous artist had on the world.

Entertainment Topics

  • Are violent video games really to blame for problems in children’s behavior?
  • Are beauty contests making beauty standards even more unachievable?
  • Are modern media gradually replacing newspapers?
  • Reasons why we cannot do without the mass media.
  • Compare and contrast the benefits of mass media to society.
  • How have shows like “Project Runway” influenced fashion? Have they motivated people to become more creative and personal in what they wear?
  • Are newspapers going extinct?
  • Do TV shows impose unreal moral standards?
  • Women competing against men: is it really fair?
  • How fake moral standards are imposed by television

Current Events Topics

  • Analyze the history of the relationship between the United States and North Korea.
  • What factors contributed to the current decline in the rate of unemployment?
  • What have been the impacts of states which have increased their minimum wage?
  • How do US immigration laws compare to immigration laws of other countries?
  • How have the US’s immigration laws changed in the past few years/decades?
  • Is the U.S. economy becoming stronger or weaker?
  • Is there a better way to fight the war against drugs internationally?
  • Can Bitcoin really become the currency of the future in America?
  • Preventing police brutality: history and what citizens can do.
  • History of the electoral college system of voting.

History Topics

  • What events led to the fall of the Roman Empire?
  • Was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary?
  • What were the causes of the Civil War?
  • How did Abraham Lincoln’s assassination impact the country and reconstruction after the Civil War?
  • Which factors contributed to the colonies winning the American Revolution?
  • What caused Hitler’s rise to power?
  • Discuss how a specific invention impacted history.
  • What Factors Caused the Stock Market Crash in 1929?
  • What Were the Social Consequences of the Vietnam War?
  • What Is the Role of Women in the Military?

Physics and Astronomy Topics

  • What Is Pluto if It’s not a Planet?
  • Can We Determine How Old the Universe Is?
  • What Are Dark Holes?
  • Could People Survive on Mars?
  • Is Space Exploration Really Necessary?
  • Can We Prevent a Large Comet from Striking the Earth?
  • What are the physics behind the creation of rainbows?
  • The importance of robots in industries.
  • The evolution of the self-driving car and its impact on the economy.
  • The role of physics in the healthcare industry.

Animals Topics

  • Do animals express love?
  • Is animal testing a kind of animal cruelty?
  • Should environments be protected if endangered species live there?
  • How have humans bred domestic animals to be different from their original wild counterparts?
  • What is the current genetic and fossil evidence that chickens, dogs, and other domestic animals were much different even a few hundred years ago?

Medical Topics

  • The use of medical marijuana: pros and cons
  • Is it safe for children to be vegetarians?
  • How the society views on vaccines change
  • Can pharmaceutical companies advertise prescription drugs directly to buyers?
  • The role of doctors in the growing nation’s drug addiction
  • How many treatments to Autism are there?
  • How is ageism impacting mental health and addictions?
  • What are the pros and cons of antipsychotics?
  • Should alternative medicine be legalized?
  • Is the relationship between the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry a good one?

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58 Good Research Paper Topics for High School Students

June 27, 2023

We’ve all been there: you’re sitting in English or Social Studies, and suddenly your teacher announces those dreaded words: “I’d like you all to pick a topic for your upcoming research paper.” Your stomach lurches as your mind races to think of good research paper topics. Should you write about octopuses or the New York Yankees? Should you write about the history of Barbie and her uber-pink Dreamhouse , or perhaps the evolution of Taylor Swift ’s music career?

We get it: these are hard choices! That’s why we here at College Transitions have compiled the ultimate list to assist you in selecting an excellent research topic.

But First…the All-Important Question: What Makes a Great Topic?

We’re glad you asked! When selecting a topic for your academic research paper, you want to select a compelling topic that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. Just like when choosing a persuasive speech topic or argumentative essay topic , you want to be sure to select a topic that intrigues you personally. This is pivotal for multiple reasons. If you find your topic intriguing, you’ll likely spend more time delving into the subject and gathering information to strengthen your arguments. Additionally, if a topic sparks your curiosity, odds are that your enthusiasm will pique someone else’s interest, too!

The Key to a Good Research Paper: Research

Regardless of the topic you choose, ensure it’s researchable . This means that the subject has sufficient resources for research. Even the most intriguing topic won’t make for a good paper if there’s not much research material out there. Remember: your typical research paper is longer and more in-depth than a regular academic essay. While this means you have more time to explore the topic at hand, it also means that the research paper will rely on more information and analysis of the existing material out there. Before finalizing your topic, make sure to do a preliminary search to guarantee there’s plenty of information out there to help you construct a comprehensive argument, filled with multiple perspectives and facets.

Following Guidelines

Lastly, and most importantly, follow the guidelines your teacher has laid out. If you focus your paper on pop culture, it certainly won’t meet a historical research paper’s requirement! Before embarking on this thrilling intellectual journey, double-check what type of research paper your teacher wants you to write. To prevent future headaches, clarify any rules or conditions upfront.

Now that we’ve covered these key bullet points of what makes a great research paper topic, let’s delve into some examples of topics:

English Literature Research Topics

1) Discuss the profound cultural impact and enduring relevance of Shakespeare’s plays.

2) What roles does feminism play in canonical literary works such as Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre ?

3) Investigate the use of symbolism and its impacts on the narrative and theme in a chosen novel, such as J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye or Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.

4) Analyze the use of dystopian elements and their social commentary embedded in the works of George Orwell.

Good Research Paper Topics (Continued)

5) Analyze the themes , symbolic representations, and societal critiques of the American Dream as depicted in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby .

6) Provide a comprehensive explication of a renowned Shakespearean sonnet or soliloquy, such as this one from Hamlet .

7) Choose a poem such as Robert Frost’s “ The Road Not Taken ” and critically analyze its layered meanings and imagery, as well as their impact on the reader.

Technology Research Topics 

  • For a more comprehensive list of technology-related research topics, we’ve compiled an entire list for you here !

8) Compare and contrast the various techniques of solar geoengineering. How have these practices progressed over time? In what direction might they continue to evolve?

9) Art has become readily producible and consumable in the era of technology and artificial intelligence. How does this surge in accessibility impact the worth of artwork? Additionally, should we value physical artworks more than those made by programs like OpenAI’s DALL-E?

10) Does the advancement of cellular agriculture potentially threaten the ideas of a “ circular bioeconomy ?” Should we strive to pursue a circular bioeconomy?

11) Some people say that video games are detrimental to mental health or encourage violence. Study and present findings on whether specific categories or genres of video games provide more cognitive enhancement than others.

12) Since the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual appointments and doctor’s visits have increased exponentially. Does the surge in screen time that comes with digital therapeutics negatively affect mental health?

13) Consider mob mentality  across social media platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and Instagram. In what instances and in what contexts is such mentality most prevalent?

Environmental Research Topics

  • For a more comprehensive list of environmental-related research topics, we’ve compiled the 50 best ones here !

14) Undertake a comprehensive study of the impacts of climate change on ocean currents and the changes in migration patterns of marine species.

15) Analyze the benefits and drawbacks of urban greenspaces . Discuss potential implementation strategies to ensure equitable access to these spaces, particularly for socio-economically disadvantaged communities.

16) Look at the ethical implications surrounding human intervention in conservation efforts for endangered species.

17) Analyze the environmental impacts of the hospitality and travel industries in terms of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

18) How do agricultural land use practices impact biodiversity and the health of ecosystems? Look at the relationship between farming, habitat degradation, and species survival.

19) Conduct an in-depth analysis of the potential economic repercussions of climate change. Focus on the impacts of climate changes on global agricultural productivity and food security, as well as their associated dynamics in the global economy.

Economic 

20) Conduct an in-depth exploration of the relationship between supply and demand dynamics and their influence on the market.

21) Analyze the impact of globalization on local economies. Examine both the direct and indirect effects of globalization and assess strategies for local economies to adapt and thrive within this system.

22) Write a research paper that investigates the role of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in the global economy. What potential do these currencies have to disrupt traditional financial systems? What are their implications for monetary policy?

23) Undertake a study of the impact of China’s economic ascendance on the global economy.

24) Explore the intricate effects of population growth and/or decline on economic systems, considering factors such as labor market dynamics, allocation of resources, and the potential for sustainable development.

Political Science Research Topics

25) Discuss the role of lobbyists in U.S. politics. Scrutinize their influence on policy-making, and discuss the broader implications for democratic representation.

26) What influence does the media have on political elections? Investigate how media coverage shapes public opinion and voter behavior.

27) Analyze the impact of immigration policy on the economy. Examine such policies’ immediate and long-term implications on the labor market and economy.

28) Discuss the role of the Supreme Court in shaping U.S. laws. Focus on the function the Supreme Court plays in establishing legal precedents.

Philosophy 

29) Write a research paper examining the concept of free will, its origins, evolution, and implications.

30) Consider the implications of determinism. Look at its impact on individual agency and moral responsibility within the broader framework of philosophical tradition.

31) Undertake an in-depth analysis of happiness in philosophy, considering its interpretations and their influence on real-world practices.

32) Investigate how various philosophies have perceived consciousness through time. Trace this depiction of consciousness through various philosophical movements.

33) Discuss Nietzsche’s concept of the Übermensch, examining its underpinnings and implications.

Psychology research Topics

34) What role does social media play in shaping an individual’s self-esteem?

35) Explore childhood trauma’s long-lasting impact on adult interpersonal relationships and attachment styles.

36) Analyze the critical role that distinct parenting styles play in molding a child’s personality.

37) Research and discuss the psychological effects and health implications of prolonged exposure to stress.

Art Research Topics

38) Discuss the role of the Renaissance period on modern art, doing a side-by-side analysis of works from both eras.

39) Conduct a thorough analysis of the impact of street art on urban culture, examining how it reshapes public spaces and societal narratives.

40) Investigate the influence of Pop Art on modern design. You might focus on Pop Art’s particular impact on interior design and digital media.

41) Explore the role feminist art plays in promoting gender equality. How do feminist artworks challenge traditional gender roles and/or contribute to societal discourse?

Computer Science Research Topics

42) Artificial Intelligence is advancing rapidly. Analyze the benefits and drawbacks of this technology.

43) Discuss whether the use of facial recognition technology violates individuals’ privacy, as well as the broader implications such technology has on societal well-being.

44) Analyze the use of surveillance technology by the government. Is it ethical for the government to use such technology to monitor its citizens?

45) Investigate the rapid development and long-term effects of various social media platforms.

Education 

46) Investigate the history of book bans in schools. Discuss the larger cultural and educational impacts such bans have on students and society.

47) Analyze various forms of schooling, from homeschooling to public and private schools. Consider the implications of each on a child’s education and social skills.

48) Write a research paper examining the use of affirmative action or other race-conscious policies on college campuses. Discuss the impact such policies have, as well as potential benefits and drawbacks.

49) Consider the impact of standardized testing on student performance.

Government and Law Research Topics

50) Consider the role that intellectual property and copyright laws play in innovation.

51) Investigate the impact of anti-trust laws on big corporations. What are the economic effects of these laws?

52) Study the role that law enforcement plays in community safety.

53) Consider the legalization of marijuana on crime rates. Discuss the impact this legalization has had on various communities, as well as its benefits and drawbacks.

History Research Topics

54) Analyze the influence of the Civil Rights movement on modern America. How did this movement shape racial, social, and political dynamics in America?

55) Investigate how the French Revolution reshaped political structures and ideologies across Europe.

56) Analyze the significance of the fall of the Berlin Wall and how it marked a shift in the global balance of power.

57) Delve into the effects of the Cold War, as well as its impacts on global politics.

58) Examine the role that women played during World War II and what impact these roles had on challenging gender norms.

I’ve Got My Topic: What Now?

Once you’ve selected your topic, begin brainstorming ways to shape and craft your argument. Here’s one structure your research paper might take:

  • Introduction: The introduction presents your research topic to readers and provides a roadmap for the paper ahead.
  • Thesis Statement: Craft a compelling thesis statement summarizing your paper’s central arguments.
  • Body : The body of the paper is where your carefully conducted research comes into play. Each paragraph should follow the previous one, building a logical progression of thoughts.
  • Conclusion: In your conclusion, you reiterate the points you made in your paper and provide a closing paragraph to neatly tie up any last thoughts.
  • Reference Page: This is where you credit your sources.

Once you’ve followed this structure, you’re on your way to crafting an excellent research paper. Of course, don’t let pesky typos undermine your hours of hard work and writing. Make sure to always proofread your work before turning it in. And if you’re passionate about research and writing, don’t stop there. Check out these summer programs for writing and journalism so that you can continue to fuel your passion.

  • High School Success

Lauren Green

With a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Columbia University and an MFA in Fiction from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, Lauren has been a professional writer for over a decade. She is the author of the chapbook  A Great Dark House  (Poetry Society of America, 2023) and a forthcoming novel (Viking/Penguin).

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50+ Research Topics for Psychology Papers

How to Find Psychology Research Topics for Your Student Paper

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

what are some good research topics for students

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

what are some good research topics for students

  • Specific Branches of Psychology
  • Topics Involving a Disorder or Type of Therapy
  • Human Cognition
  • Human Development
  • Critique of Publications
  • Famous Experiments
  • Historical Figures
  • Specific Careers
  • Case Studies
  • Literature Reviews
  • Your Own Study/Experiment

Are you searching for a great topic for your psychology paper ? Sometimes it seems like coming up with topics of psychology research is more challenging than the actual research and writing. Fortunately, there are plenty of great places to find inspiration and the following list contains just a few ideas to help get you started.

Finding a solid topic is one of the most important steps when writing any type of paper. It can be particularly important when you are writing a psychology research paper or essay. Psychology is such a broad topic, so you want to find a topic that allows you to adequately cover the subject without becoming overwhelmed with information.

I can always tell when a student really cares about the topic they chose; it comes through in the writing. My advice is to choose a topic that genuinely interests you, so you’ll be more motivated to do thorough research.

In some cases, such as in a general psychology class, you might have the option to select any topic from within psychology's broad reach. Other instances, such as in an  abnormal psychology  course, might require you to write your paper on a specific subject such as a psychological disorder.

As you begin your search for a topic for your psychology paper, it is first important to consider the guidelines established by your instructor.

Research Topics Within Specific Branches of Psychology

The key to selecting a good topic for your psychology paper is to select something that is narrow enough to allow you to really focus on the subject, but not so narrow that it is difficult to find sources or information to write about.

One approach is to narrow your focus down to a subject within a specific branch of psychology. For example, you might start by deciding that you want to write a paper on some sort of social psychology topic. Next, you might narrow your focus down to how persuasion can be used to influence behavior .

Other social psychology topics you might consider include:

  • Prejudice and discrimination (i.e., homophobia, sexism, racism)
  • Social cognition
  • Person perception
  • Social control and cults
  • Persuasion, propaganda, and marketing
  • Attraction, romance, and love
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Prosocial behavior

Psychology Research Topics Involving a Disorder or Type of Therapy

Exploring a psychological disorder or a specific treatment modality can also be a good topic for a psychology paper. Some potential abnormal psychology topics include specific psychological disorders or particular treatment modalities, including:

  • Eating disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Profile a  type of therapy  (i.e., cognitive-behavioral therapy, group therapy, psychoanalytic therapy)

Topics of Psychology Research Related to Human Cognition

Some of the possible topics you might explore in this area include thinking, language, intelligence, and decision-making. Other ideas might include:

  • False memories
  • Speech disorders
  • Problem-solving

Topics of Psychology Research Related to Human Development

In this area, you might opt to focus on issues pertinent to  early childhood  such as language development, social learning, or childhood attachment or you might instead opt to concentrate on issues that affect older adults such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Some other topics you might consider include:

  • Language acquisition
  • Media violence and children
  • Learning disabilities
  • Gender roles
  • Child abuse
  • Prenatal development
  • Parenting styles
  • Aspects of the aging process

Do a Critique of Publications Involving Psychology Research Topics

One option is to consider writing a critique paper of a published psychology book or academic journal article. For example, you might write a critical analysis of Sigmund Freud's Interpretation of Dreams or you might evaluate a more recent book such as Philip Zimbardo's  The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil .

Professional and academic journals are also great places to find materials for a critique paper. Browse through the collection at your university library to find titles devoted to the subject that you are most interested in, then look through recent articles until you find one that grabs your attention.

Topics of Psychology Research Related to Famous Experiments

There have been many fascinating and groundbreaking experiments throughout the history of psychology, providing ample material for students looking for an interesting term paper topic. In your paper, you might choose to summarize the experiment, analyze the ethics of the research, or evaluate the implications of the study. Possible experiments that you might consider include:

  • The Milgram Obedience Experiment
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment
  • The Little Albert Experiment
  • Pavlov's Conditioning Experiments
  • The Asch Conformity Experiment
  • Harlow's Rhesus Monkey Experiments

Topics of Psychology Research About Historical Figures

One of the simplest ways to find a great topic is to choose an interesting person in the  history of psychology  and write a paper about them. Your paper might focus on many different elements of the individual's life, such as their biography, professional history, theories, or influence on psychology.

While this type of paper may be historical in nature, there is no need for this assignment to be dry or boring. Psychology is full of fascinating figures rife with intriguing stories and anecdotes. Consider such famous individuals as Sigmund Freud, B.F. Skinner, Harry Harlow, or one of the many other  eminent psychologists .

Psychology Research Topics About a Specific Career

​Another possible topic, depending on the course in which you are enrolled, is to write about specific career paths within the  field of psychology . This type of paper is especially appropriate if you are exploring different subtopics or considering which area interests you the most.

In your paper, you might opt to explore the typical duties of a psychologist, how much people working in these fields typically earn, and the different employment options that are available.

Topics of Psychology Research Involving Case Studies

One potentially interesting idea is to write a  psychology case study  of a particular individual or group of people. In this type of paper, you will provide an in-depth analysis of your subject, including a thorough biography.

Generally, you will also assess the person, often using a major psychological theory such as  Piaget's stages of cognitive development  or  Erikson's eight-stage theory of human development . It is also important to note that your paper doesn't necessarily have to be about someone you know personally.

In fact, many professors encourage students to write case studies on historical figures or fictional characters from books, television programs, or films.

Psychology Research Topics Involving Literature Reviews

Another possibility that would work well for a number of psychology courses is to do a literature review of a specific topic within psychology. A literature review involves finding a variety of sources on a particular subject, then summarizing and reporting on what these sources have to say about the topic.

Literature reviews are generally found in the  introduction  of journal articles and other  psychology papers , but this type of analysis also works well for a full-scale psychology term paper.

Topics of Psychology Research Based on Your Own Study or Experiment

Many psychology courses require students to design an actual psychological study or perform some type of experiment. In some cases, students simply devise the study and then imagine the possible results that might occur. In other situations, you may actually have the opportunity to collect data, analyze your findings, and write up your results.

Finding a topic for your study can be difficult, but there are plenty of great ways to come up with intriguing ideas. Start by considering your own interests as well as subjects you have studied in the past.

Online sources, newspaper articles, books , journal articles, and even your own class textbook are all great places to start searching for topics for your experiments and psychology term papers. Before you begin, learn more about  how to conduct a psychology experiment .

What This Means For You

After looking at this brief list of possible topics for psychology papers, it is easy to see that psychology is a very broad and diverse subject. While this variety makes it possible to find a topic that really catches your interest, it can sometimes make it very difficult for some students to select a good topic.

If you are still stumped by your assignment, ask your instructor for suggestions and consider a few from this list for inspiration.

  • Hockenbury, SE & Nolan, SA. Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers; 2014.
  • Santrock, JW. A Topical Approach to Lifespan Development. New York: McGraw-Hill Education; 2016.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

Start your research

Picking a good topic, step 1: choose a topic.

The first step in doing research is choosing a good topic. A good research topic should be focused and clear and not something that can be answered by a Google search.

For example, instead of asking "Why is social media harmful?" you could ask, "How is interacting with social media, like TikTok and Twitter, impacting the mental health of college students?"

In choosing a research topic, you should pick something that you are interested in and something that fits the assignment you are doing.

Something else here than explains the stuff.

Watch: Choosing a research topic

Choosing a research paper topic tutorial video. 4 minutes.

  • Find ideas and language on a topic using online tools and techniques
  • Use techniques like mind mapping, the 5W’s, and freeform writing to narrow a large topic
  • Tutorial: Choosing a research paper topic
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200 Easy Research Paper Topics for College Students in 2021

200 Easy Research Paper Topics for College Students in 2021

Writing research papers is a must-do step in any educational process at college. In many cases, professors allow students to be creative with choosing a topic to complete this type of academic assignment. This privilege usually sounds great at first glance. However, thousands of learners might feel overwhelmed with a wide choice of interesting research topics they can find online. 

The truth is that you can easily get lost in countless research paper topics available on different websites. Moreover, exploring and narrowing down the solutions for your essay might appear too challenging. The reason is that many research topics for college available online are outdated or contain too broad concepts for the research. To make your investigation process easier, we’ve collected a list of 200 new and innovative topics for composing an impressive research essay, presentation, or report. No worries if you have little writing experience or creativity - this guide will help you choose a fresh solution for your assignments in no time. 

How to Choose Research Study Ideas for College Students

If the professor gives you complete freedom to pick up a topic, we have good news for you. Now, you can select a field or niche according to your individual preferences and background knowledge! There is no need to compose a boring paper that will make you yawn during the entire writing process. However, make sure you follow some basic rules of choosing good research paper topics below.

Stick to Your Favorite Topic 

Are you fond of cars? Feel free to research the benefits and drawbacks of electric automobiles. Can’t imagine your life without sports? Explore the dope issue in professional sports. The key to developing a successful paper is to write about the topic that makes you feel excited. If you write about something you show zero interest in, the process will likely slow down and become more challenging. Therefore, always try to find something inspiring.

Choose Understandable Solutions 

Many students are interested in modern technologies or space exploration. However, writing on these topics requires having advanced knowledge in the corresponding areas. Still, few learners can boast of having a deep understanding of artificial intelligence, computer programming, or space technologies. That is why it is better to look for easier and more comprehensive topics to write about. As a result, you will reduce the amount of time for research and cope with the college task faster. 

Make Sure You Will Find Enough Information 

When choosing ideas for a research paper, you need to make sure there are at least several reliable sources you can use for researching. The fact is that if you pick a truly out-of-the-box solution, you might fail to find enough relevant information about it. The same rule works for outdated topics. In case you select a played-out idea, you will hardly find new and up-to-date sources to support your idea. Here is a little hint for you: if you are looking for the relevant information for a chosen idea but fail to find anything suitable, it is better to change your topic. 

Look for Clear and Understandable Concepts and Issues 

When searching for the best research paper topics, don’t forget to think about your audience. What does it mean? The fact is that it is necessary to pick up a solution that is completely understandable for both you and the readers. In other words, avoid sticking to extremely difficult or complex topics that might make your audience feel confused. In case you use some specific terms in your paper that might be unfamiliar to the common reader, it is better to explain them briefly. 

Try to Be Specific 

Picking up too broad topics for research papers is one of the most common mistakes of hundreds of students. To avoid this issue, it is better to stay away from too general solutions that can be described from dozens of sides. Otherwise, you might go down in tons of diverse data and arguments you can use for your paper. Being precise and choosing only the most powerful facts are among the features of any successful student.

Look For Something Unique 

Picking up topics for a research paper some of your classmates are also writing about is never the best choice. It is better to select an idea you will be able to describe from an unusual perspective. If you prefer to cover simple and comprehensive topics, it will be great to try an innovative approach to describing facts. However, don’t experiment with the paper’s structure and focus on providing exclusive and original arguments only. The best research academic papers are intriguing and inspiring. 

Be In Trend 

There is nothing new that trendy topics attract more attention from the audience. The reason is that they have a huge unexplored potential and amazing research opportunities. If you pick up an emerging topic, you will likely get higher grades for your academic assignment. 

Simple Research Topics: Education 

If you are still wondering which idea is the best one for composing your research paper, it might be good to write about education . The truth is that this topic is one of the easiest to write about. Moreover, you will effortlessly find countless relevant sources to support your ideas related to education. Feel free to grab one of these handy solutions you can put into practice when writing your academic paper.

  • Are Standardized Tests Good to Evaluate the Student’s Knowledge? 
  • How to Make Education More Accessible for Students With Disabilities?
  • Should Tuition Become Free at All Colleges in the United States?
  • How Can Schools and Colleges Support International Students?
  • Becoming a Student and a Successful Businessman: Is It Possible? 
  • The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Education Sector
  • The Benefits of Social Networking at College and University 
  • The Innovations in the Education System of the United States 
  • Is It Possible to Start Building a Career During Studies?
  • How Can Schools Stop Violence Among Students? 
  • Should American Learners Have a “Gap Year”?
  • The Analysis of the Finnish Education System 
  • Homeschooling vs. Learning in the Classroom
  • British vs. American Education Systems
  • The Teaching Technologies of the Future 
  • Should College Students Have a Part-Time Job?
  • Is There Any Discrimination at High Schools?
  • Should Schools Have Sexual Education Lessons?
  • Most Common Issues of Bilingual Education
  • Why Do Students Need to Learn Religion at School? 
  • How to Stop Cheating on Exams
  • Student Loans: Pros and Cons
  • The Pros and Cons of Same-Sex Classrooms
  • The Development of Women’s Right to Education
  • Montessori Method: Advantages and Drawbacks 
  • Effective Ways to Improve the Quality of Teaching
  • How Can the Issue of “Useless Classes” Be Solved?
  • Should Colleges Become Business-Driven?
  • How to Improve Modern Elementary Education?
  • Should School Children Wear Uniforms?
  • How to Stop Hazing at High Schools? 

Unique Research Topics on Health

To put it short, these solutions remain topical among young learners for years. If you would like to select a comprehensive and brilliant solution for your research paper, choosing topics related to health might help you finish your essay fast. What to research? Here is a list of ideas you can start writing about right now. 

  • The Impact of Drugs on the Human Body
  • How to Stop Consuming Too Much Junk Food?
  • How Much Fruit and Vegetables Should a Common Student Consume per Day?
  • The Correlation Between Mood and the Health of the Immune System 
  • Is It Possible to Stop the COVID-19 Spread in All Countries?
  • Why Do Many Girls Suffer From Anorexia During Their Studies?
  • The Mental Issues of the Most Well-Known Criminals 
  • The Impact of Classical Music on Overall Well-Being
  • Main Reasons for Facing Serious Allergies
  • The Importance of Regular Health Screenings 
  • Ways to Prevent Serious Mental Diseases
  • Kids’ Vaccination: Advantages and Risks
  • Birth Control Issues in Developed Countries
  • The Impact of Breastfeeding on the Kids’ Health
  • The Impact of Insomnia on the Quality of Life
  • Most Effective Ways to Control Obesity
  • Top Reasons to Consume More Fats Regularly
  • Artificial Vitamins: Should Everyone Consume Them?
  • The Role of Nutrition for Maintaining Brain Health 
  • How to Decrease Stress Levels of Teenagers
  • The Pros and Cons of Reconstructive Surgery
  • Acupuncture: The Hidden Health Benefits 
  • The Most Important Aspects of Neonatal Nutrition 
  • Impact of Emotional Stability on Human Health 
  • Uncommon Solutions to Improve Short-Term Memory
  • Should Elementary Schools Have Homework?
  • The Psychology of Gifted People
  • Top Issues of Cardiovascular Care
  • How to Keep Your Brain Healthy
  • The Impact of Sports on Human Health 
  • The Future of Natural Medicine 
  • New Strategies for Coma Recovery
  • Basic Rules of Sun Safety 
  • The Dangers of Low-Fat Diets
  • The Future of Antibiotics Therapies
  • Pros and Cons of Dietary Supplements 
  • Non-Medical Cancer Treatments 
  • Most Effective Ways to Make Your Brain Work Harder 
  • Religion and Health
  • Benefits of Swimming
  • Eating Disorders 

Easy Research Paper Topics: Environment 

If you would like to follow the path of Greta Thunberg, it might be good to start your way with composing papers related to environment protection and ecology. Explore the main issues in this field and come up with an impressive research paper in a matter of a couple of hours. 

  • The Main Dangers of Air Pollution
  • Greenhouse Effect: Myths vs. Reality
  • Ways to Stop Marine Pollution
  • Advantages and Drawbacks of Using Pesticides in Agriculture
  • GMO Products vs. Organic Food
  • The Importance of “Green Programs” in Developing Countries
  • The Problem of Radioactive Waste Disposal
  • Should Environmental Regulations Become Stricter?
  • Is the Problem of Global Warming Exaggerated?
  • The Problem of Water Deficit in Developing Countries
  •  Ways to Protect Endangered Wildlife 
  • How Can an Individual Help Save an Environment?
  • Why Should Children Learn About Global Warming?
  • The Advantages of Solar Technologies
  • The Main Dangers of Producing Too Much Plastic
  • How to Start Using Eco-Friendly Products?
  • The Changes in the Climate of Earth in the 21st Century
  • The Analysis of the Deforestation Levels in South America
  • How to Improve Access to Clean Water in All Countries Globally? 
  • Is It Possible to Manage Overpopulation?
  • The Prospects of Nuclear Energy

Interesting Topics to Research: Technology and Media 

Modern technologies are developing at a breakneck speed. The new solutions, apps, and approaches revolutionize different industries and elevate the quality of lives of millions of people. If you choose a nice solution about innovation and computing for your essay, you will definitely have a chance to attract the attention of the audience. Top research papers topics ideas are right here below! 

  • The Possible Ways to Develop Artificial Intelligence Systems
  • How Will Smartphones Change in the Near Future?
  • The Benefits of Cloud Solutions in Storing Data
  • Top Areas to Use Drone Technologies
  • Ecommerce Solutions vs. Local Retailers
  • Online Currencies and Their Impact on the Global Financial System
  • How to Avoid the Dangers of the Dark Web?
  • Will Self-Driving Cars Become Common in the Future?
  • Privacy Issues Online
  • The Future of Blogging
  • Online vs. Offline Communication
  • Will People Colonize Mars?
  • Nanomedicine: Myths and Realities
  • Online Payments and Paper Money 
  • Breaking the Sound Barrier 
  • Is Social Media a New Technology?
  • Technologies That Might Impact Human Behavior
  • Safest Ways to Store Information in the 21st Century 
  • How Do Modern Technologies Allow People to Work From Home?
  • The Impact of Modern Technologies on Globalization
  • The Perspectives of Online Gaming
  • The Impact of Advertisements on Kids and Teens
  • Newest Technologies Used in Surgery
  • Internet Addiction and the Ways to Prevent It 
  • Censorship Control

Top Solutions Related to Business and Economy 

Many students are looking for research papers topics for college-related to the economy, e-commerce, and business. If you are one of them, explore this ultimate list of the newest ideas related to these popular spheres.

  • Most Effective Ways to Improve the Economy of the Developed Countries
  • How to Start Your Business in E-Commerce
  • Modern Ways to Manage Inflation
  • How to Fight Poverty and Hunger 
  • The Role of Taxes in the Modern Economy
  • How Did Industrialization Change the World?
  • International Tourism During the Pandemic Times
  • Industries That Were Impacted by the COVID-19 Crisis
  • The Correlation Between Culture and Economic Growth
  • How Can Immigration Impact the Country’s Economy?
  • The Global Pandemic and Employment Rates
  • Role of a Leader in Modern Business
  • Choosing the Best Work Environment 
  • The Impact of Corporate Culture on the Employment Rate
  • How to Set Up Effective Business Links?
  • The Most Common Issue of Taxation of Small Businesses
  • The Advantages of a Four-Day Workweek
  • How to Stop Discrimination at the Workplace?
  • Drawbacks of Using Unethical Business Practices
  • Social Media Ads to Promote Small Businesses 
  • How to Improve the Effectiveness of a Human Resource Department? 
  • Why Do Companies Attract International Investors?
  • Most Effective Types of Business Models
  • How to Become More Competitive in a Chosen Market?
  • Government Regulations and Business
  • Basic Reasons to Increase the Minimum Wage in the United States
  • Most Promising Business Ideas for the Near Future

Hot Topics for Research Paper: Family and Communication

Family is an essential part of our lives. How to set up healthy family relationships? What is the role of parents in raising children? Feel free to use any of these ideas for your research paper.  By the way, good research topics related to communication are also collected in this paragraph. 

  • Marital Rape and Its Impact on the Personality
  • Impact of Divorce on Kids and Teens
  • How to Stop Abusive Relationships?
  • How to Make Your Children Happier?
  • Effective Ways to Solve Conflicts in Families
  • How to Improve Communication Between Siblings?
  • Role of Grandparents in Raising Children 
  • Lack of Communication Between Family Members
  • Why Do Children Kill Abusive Parents?
  • The Impact of Parents’ Depression on Their Children
  • Happy Childhood and Leadership 
  • Advantages of Having a Big Family
  • Drugs and Alcoholism in Modern Families
  • Impact of Home Life on Child Development 
  • Do All Children Need to Respect Their Parents?
  • The Criticism of Freud’s Theories
  • Important Parental Rights
  • Gender Roles in the Family
  • Basic Family Values
  • Domestic Abuse 

Easy and Interesting Research Paper Topics

Many students face difficulties when choosing an idea for composing an academic paper. If you are not good at writing on education, health, business, or family relationships, it might be great to search for something more exciting. Here is a list of diverse topics you might find good-looking. 

  • The Role of International Health Organizations in Modern Society 
  • Corporate and Business Laws: Most Common Issues
  • Why Do Many People Watch TV Shows and Series?
  • Future of Chinese Economy
  • The Future of Video Streaming Services
  • Women’s Rights in the Modern World
  • How to Support Global Peacekeeping 
  • Gender Stereotypes in Advertising
  • Classical Hollywood Cinema 
  • Landmark Court Decisions
  • Possible Ways to Use 3d Printers
  • Portrayals of Superheroes in Movies
  • Cannabis Legalization: Pros and Cons
  • Should Companies Stop Animal Testing?
  • Criminalizing Protests
  • Socialism vs. Capitalism
  • How Has Feminism Changed Over the Years?
  • Origins of Racial Discrimination 
  • Should Modern People Read More?
  • Top Effective Promotion Solutions for Startups
  • Crowdfunding & Outsourcing
  • Policies That Are Related to Transgenders 
  • Role of Cultural Revolutions
  • How to Decrease Crime Rates in Big Cities?
  • What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Fracking?
  • Freedom of Religion: Basic Issues
  • Body Cameras for Police Officers: Pros and Cons
  • Should Penalties for Drunk Driving Become Stricter?
  • Abstinence Program: Do They Truly Work?
  • The Importance of Writing Research Papers at Colleges
  • Effective Techniques to Erase Bad Memories 
  • Ways to Solve the Immigration Crisis
  • Stereotypes in Modern Culture
  • Gun Safety and Control Policies

Top Tips to Writing a Winning Research Paper 

Picking up an excellent topic is only about 20% of the job you need to do to compose a flawless research paper. What’s next? Are there any prompts that might help you finish your assignment in no time? Sure! Our experts are ready to share some secrets on composing fantastic essays within the shortest terms. 

Double-Check the Professor’s Instructions 

The secret truth is that there are many types of research papers you might face during your studies. Consequently, these papers might have different requirements and writing rules you need to follow. How to find out how to compose your essay? The easiest way to discover all details is to read the instructions shared by the professor. Although it is a must step all students need to do before they start writing, many learners often forget about this easy rule. By the way, what information can you find in the college writing instructions? As a rule, you will find these types of data:

  • deadlines for completing assignments;
  • formatting styles;
  • the tone of voice you need to use;
  • assignment goals;
  • length specifications;
  • list of topics;
  • key features for your writing;
  • submission method;
  • most common mistakes you need to avoid. 

It is recommended to read the instructions at least a couple of times to make sure you understand all the requirements and specifications of your research paper. Avoid starting to write your essay before you’ve learned its basic rules. 

Be Realistic 

Many students are very confident about their research and writing skills. Therefore, thousands of learners still believe they can effortlessly develop a top-notch research paper in just a couple of hours. However, even professional writers can’t compose a superior 3000-word essay in just an hour. 

Therefore, it is vital to be realistic when setting up your individual deadlines and creating writing schedules to cope with your academic assignments. Even if you choose current research topics that are incredibly easy to write about, you will still need to do advanced research, choose trustworthy sources, and pick up the most impressive arguments for your paper. All these tasks might take you plenty of time. 

It is also not recommended to write research papers at the last moment. First, you might fail to meet the deadline. Second, you might easily come up with poor quality writing because of being unattentive. Third, you will hardly have enough time to proofread and edit your essay. Fourth, when in a hurry, you might copy and paste data from different sources into your paper. This will inevitably lead to extremely high plagiarism levels. All these issues might lead to receiving low grades for your academic assignment. 

Follow the Rules 

There are many writing rules you will need to follow. However, the basic one is to choose a traditional structure of an academic paper. In other words, your research paper will need to have an introduction, body paragraphs, and the conclusion. Avoid being creative when choosing the structure of your paper - it is the worst place for showing off your innovation. If you would like to stand out from the crowd of other learners, it is better to select an out-of-the-box topic for your assignment. 

Proofread and Edit Your Paper

 Many students are so tired of doing the research and writing that they often forget to proofread their papers. However, this is an important step in completing any type of academic assignment. If you proofread your essay, you can easily detect dozens of inconsistencies, mistakes, and typos. Moreover, you can also find some repetitive phrases, sentences, or facts in your paper. All these issues can drastically worsen your quality of writing. Even if you are sure your writing is 100% excellent, make sure to proofread it before passing it to the professor. 

Check Originality 

Plagiarism is a true nightmare of any diligent student. How to avoid this serious issue when composing your academic paper? First, make sure to share the results of your analysis uniquely and uncommonly. Second, use citations carefully. Third, check your essay for plagiarism online! You can find dozens of plagiarism detecting tools and utilities designed for students on many websites. Feel free to use a couple of solutions to make sure your essay is fresh and original. If you suddenly find out your paper has a high plagiarism level, make sure to make significant modifications and be more original. After that, double-check your essay once again. 

The Best Way to Get a Perfect Research Paper 

There are plenty of important research topics you can use in your academic writing. But what if you’ve chosen a great idea but fail to compose a unique and flawless paper? Is there any solution if you don’t have enough time to meet the professor's deadline? Sure!

Thousands of students fail to deliver college or university assignments on time. The reasons for this issue might significantly vary. Some learners are not skilled writers, while others might not have a deep understanding of the chosen field. Moreover, many students are trying to build careers or dedicate all their free time to sports. Anyway, failure to meet deadlines might worsen the student’s academic performance and other problems related to studies. The good news is that you can avoid facing all these issues!

Our professional writers are always ready to help you complete any type of research paper within the shortest terms. You don’t need to provide any reasons for asking for writing help - we understand the students’ pain and can provide you with pro assistance anytime. Just place an order on our website, choose the deadline, and forget about all your learning issues. You will get a perfectly written academic paper right when you need it. We have thousands of happy customers and impressive guarantees, so you can always trust our service. We value each customer and always deliver superior papers to each of our clients.

How to Craft Your Ideal Thesis Research Topic

How to Craft Your Ideal Thesis Research Topic

Table of contents

what are some good research topics for students

Catherine Miller

Writing your undergraduate thesis is probably one of the most interesting parts of studying, especially because you get to choose your area of study. But as both a student and a teacher who’s helped countless students develop their research topics, I know this freedom can be just as intimidating as it is liberating.

Fortunately, there’a a step-by-step process you can follow that will help make the whole process a lot easier. In this article, I’ll show you how to choose a unique, specific thesis topic that’s true to your passions and interests, while making a contribution to your field.

what are some good research topics for students

Choose a topic that you’re interested in

First things first: double-check with your teachers or supervisor if there are any constraints on your research topic. Once your parameters are clear, it’s time to identify what lights you up — after all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time thinking about it.

Within your field of study, you probably already have some topics that have grabbed your attention more than others. This can be a great place to start. Additionally, consider using the rest of your academic and extra-curricular interests as a source of ideas. At this stage, you only need a broad topic before you narrow it down to a specific question. 

If you’re feeling stuck, here are some things to try:

  • Look back through old course notes to remind yourself of topics you previously covered. Do any of these inspire you?
  • Talk to potential supervisors about your ideas, as they can point you toward areas you might not have considered.
  • Think about the things you enjoy in everyday life — whether that’s cycling, cinema, cooking, or fashion — then consider if there are any overlaps with your field of study.
  • Imagine you have been asked to give a presentation or record a podcast in the next three days. What topics would you feel confident discussing?
  • Watch a selection of existing lectures or explainer videos, or listen to podcasts by experts in your field. Note which topics you feel curious to explore further.
  • Discuss your field of study with teachers friends and family, some with existing knowledge and some without. Which aspects do you enjoy talking about? 

By doing all this, you might uncover some unusual and exciting avenues for research. For example, when writing my Master’s dissertation, I decided to combine my field of study (English teaching methodology) with one of my passions outside work (creative writing). In my undergraduate course, a friend drew on her lived experience of disability to look into the literary portrayal of disability in the ancient world. 

Do your research

Once you’ve chosen your topic of interest, it’s time to dive into research. This is a really important part of this early process because it allows you to:

  • See what other people have written about the topic — you don’t want to cover the same old ground as everyone else.
  • Gain perspective on the big questions surrounding the topic. 
  • Go deeper into the parts that interest you to help you decide where to focus.
  • Start building your bibliography and a bank of interesting quotations. 

A great way to start is to visit your library for an introductory book. For example, the “A Very Short Introduction” series from the Oxford University Press provides overviews of a range of themes. Similar types of overviews may have the title “ A Companion to [Subject]” or “[Subject] A Student Companion”. Ask your librarian or teacher if you’re not sure where to begin. 

Your introductory volume can spark ideas for further research, and the bibliography can give you some pointers about where to go next. You can also use keywords to research online via academic sites like JStor or Google Scholar. Check which subscriptions are available via your institution.

At this stage, you may not wish to read every single paper you come across in full — this could take a very long time and not everything will be relevant. Summarizing software like Wordtune could be very useful here.

Just upload a PDF or link to an online article using Wordtune, and it will produce a summary of the whole paper with a list of key points. This helps you to quickly sift through papers to grasp their central ideas and identify which ones to read in full. 

Screenshot of Wordtune's summarizing tool

Get Wordtune for free > Get Wordtune for free >

You can also use Wordtune for semantic search. In this case, the tool focuses its summary around your chosen search term, making it even easier to get what you need from the paper.

what are some good research topics for students

As you go, make sure you keep organized notes of what you’ve read, including the author and publication information and the page number of any citations you want to use. 

Some people are happy to do this process with pen and paper, but if you prefer a digital method, there are several software options, including Zotero , EndNote , and Mendeley . Your institution may have an existing subscription so check before you sign up.

Narrowing down your thesis research topic

Now you’ve read around the topic, it’s time to narrow down your ideas so you can craft your final question. For example, when it came to my undergraduate thesis, I knew I wanted to write about Ancient Greek religion and I was interested in the topic of goddesses. So, I:

  • Did some wide reading around the topic of goddesses
  • Learned that the goddess Hera was not as well researched as others and that there were some fascinating aspects I wanted to explore
  • Decided (with my supervisor’s support) to focus on her temples in the Argive region of Greece

what are some good research topics for students

As part of this process, it can be helpful to consider the “5 Ws”: why, what, who, when, and where, as you move from the bigger picture to something more precise. 

Why did you choose this research topic?

Come back to the reasons you originally chose your theme. What grabbed you? Why is this topic important to you — or to the wider world? In my example, I knew I wanted to write about goddesses because, as a woman, I was interested in how a society in which female lives were often highly controlled dealt with having powerful female deities. My research highlighted Hera as one of the most powerful goddesses, tying into my key interest.

What are some of the big questions about your topic?

During your research, you’ll probably run into the same themes time and time again. Some of the questions that arise may not have been answered yet or might benefit from a fresh look. 

Equally, there may be questions that haven’t yet been asked, especially if you are approaching the topic from a modern perspective or combining research that hasn’t been considered before. This might include taking a post-colonial, feminist, or queer approach to older texts or bringing in research using new scientific methods.

In my example, I knew there were still controversies about why so many temples to the goddess Hera were built in a certain region, and was keen to explore these further.

Who is the research topic relevant to?

Considering the “who” might help you open up new avenues. Is there a particular audience you want to reach? What might they be interested in? Is this a new audience for this field? Are there people out there who might be affected by the outcome of this research — for example, people with a particular medical condition — who might be able to use your conclusions?

Which period will you focus on?

Depending on the nature of your field, you might be able to choose a timeframe, which can help narrow the topic down. For example, you might focus on historical events that took place over a handful of years, look at the impact of a work of literature at a certain point after its publication, or review scientific progress over the last five years. 

With my thesis, I decided to focus on the time when the temples were built rather than considering the hundreds of years for which they have existed, which would have taken me far too long.

Where does your topic relate to?

Place can be another means of narrowing down the topic. For example, consider the impact of your topic on a particular neighborhood, city, or country, rather than trying to process a global question. 

In my example, I chose to focus my research on one area of Greece, where there were lots of temples to Hera. This meant skipping other important locations, but including these would have made the thesis too wide-ranging.

Create an outline and get feedback

Once you have an idea of what you are going to write about, create an outline or summary and get feedback from your teacher(s). It’s okay if you don’t know exactly how you’re going to answer your thesis question yet, but based on your research you should have a rough plan of the key points you want to cover. So, for me, the outline was as follows:

  • Context: who was the goddess Hera?
  • Overview of her sanctuaries in the Argive region
  • Their initial development 
  • Political and cultural influences
  • The importance of the mythical past

In the final thesis, I took a strong view on why the goddess was so important in this region, but it took more research, writing, and discussion with my supervisor to pin down my argument.

To choose a thesis research topic, find something you’re passionate about, research widely to get the big picture, and then move to a more focused view. Bringing a fresh perspective to a popular theme, finding an underserved audience who could benefit from your research, or answering a controversial question can make your thesis stand out from the crowd.

For tips on how to start writing your thesis, don’t miss our advice on writing a great research abstract and a stellar literature review . And don’t forget that Wordtune can also support you with proofreading, making it even easier to submit a polished thesis.

How do you come up with a research topic for a thesis?

To help you find a thesis topic, speak to your professor, look through your old course notes, think about what you already enjoy in everyday life, talk about your field of study with friends and family, and research podcasts and videos to find a topic that is interesting for you. It’s a good idea to refine your topic so that it’s not too general or broad.  

Do you choose your own thesis topic?

Yes, you usually choose your own thesis topic. You can get help from your professor(s), friends, and family to figure out which research topic is interesting to you. 

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Research Paper Topics: 50 Ideas to Get Started

Last Updated on May 26, 2023

Happy female college student working on research paper topics.

You’ll most likely be writing a lot of research papers while in college, so it is important to master the skill of finding the right research paper topics. Unfortunately, not all the topics you are interested in may be that easy to write about. It becomes even more difficult if there is not enough research material on the topic you've chosen.

Research Paper Topics: Find a Broad Subject First, Then Narrow It Down

One thing that works when finding the right research paper topics is to think of several subjects that interest you. Try writing down these subjects on a sheet of paper. Choose the one that interests you the most, and then break down the general subject into smaller chunks of topics that are related to it.

Narrow down your topics to the most interesting ones. If it is a controversial topic, choose a particular perspective that you will develop in your research paper. Read different points of view related to your topic, as this expands your knowledge and makes writing your paper easier.

Mind mapping is always a good idea, too. To find out how much you actually know about a topic, make a mind map of it. Put the main concept in the middle of a sheet of paper, then start adding relevant terms around it. When you run out of terms on this topic, you'll see if they're sufficient for a paper. 

Another way to get yourself completely rid of all the trouble is to get a research paper writing service to help you. By delegating your assignment, you will free up some of your time and see how this type of paper is done by a professional. You can stay in touch with your paper writer every step of the way, ask them questions, and request drafts. This will allow you to stay on top of the process and see how a thesis statement becomes a full paper.

A helpful way to find a topic that would make writing a research paper easy is to use one you’ve already written about. Take one of the essays you’ve written for this particular subject and see if you can broaden this topic. How much more detail can you add? Has any new research been made on that topic? In academia, it’s quite normal to broaden and deepen your past research, so you might as well start now.

Make sure you have enough resources for your topic.

Do a quick online search on the topics on your list to see which one is widely researched. This means finding a topic that is discussed not just on websites or blogs, but more so in books, articles, and even encyclopedia references. Find a topic that is both interesting and has plenty of published material. Check magazine articles, because these are usually shorter and more updated than those found in books.

Check references online or at the library.

Once you have chosen your topic, check the internet for references and also try using your school's library database, which may also be available online. Don't hesitate to ask your librarian for assistance with an urgent research paper. Other resources beyond the library include research paper websites that provide professional research paper writing help .

Writing a research paper requires a lot of time, extreme concentration, and diligence. And not everyone can cope with this task. Therefore, some people turn to special services for writing student papers. However, we do not recommend ordering this work. It is better to order editing for the writing assignment. In any case, it is always better to analyze both writing and editing services.

It is difficult to identify scammers, so it is better to trust a professional like William Grabe. On his website, you will find a detailed analysis of the best essay writing services .

Running out of topics to write about? Check the suggestions below that can help you choose the right research paper topics:

Business Research Paper Topics:

  • Cloud computing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Glass ceiling
  • The gender pay gap
  • Geo arbitrage
  • Gig economy
  • Online retail
  • Online whiteboards
  • Outsourcing
  • Machine learning and automation
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Customer Service
  • Operations Management
  • Business ethics and social responsibility
  • Human Resources Management
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Teleconferencing and video meetings
  • Voice over IP (VoIP)
  • White collar crime
  • Work from home

Crime, Law, and Social Justice Research Paper Topics:

  • Acquaintance rape
  • Animal rights
  • Assisted suicide
  • Campus violence
  • Capital punishment
  • Civil rights
  • Climate justice
  • Drinking age, legal
  • Drug legalization
  • Gun control and gun violence
  • Hate crimes
  • Hunger and food insecurity
  • Insanity defense
  • Mandatory minimum sentencing
  • Patriot Act
  • Police brutality
  • Prisons and prisoners
  • Racial equality
  • Refugee crisis
  • Self defense
  • Serial killers
  • Sexual harassment
  • Stand Your Ground Law
  • Three Strikes Law

Drugs and alcohol Research Paper Topics:

  • Addiction recovery
  • CBD (Cannabidiol) benefits
  • Doping in sports
  • Drug testing
  • Drug addition
  • Drunk driving
  • Hemp seed benefits
  • Marijuana and medical marijuana
  • Prescription drug abuse
  • Sober living
  • Substance abuse
  • Twelve Steps

Education Research Paper Topics:

  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Charter schools
  • College admission policies
  • College athletes
  • College tuition planning
  • Distance education
  • Diploma mills
  • Education and funding
  • Grade inflation
  • Greek letter societies
  • Home schooling
  • Intelligence tests
  • Learning disabilities
  • Literacy in America
  • No Child Left Behind
  • Prayer in schools
  • Sex education
  • School vouchers
  • Standardized tests

Environmental Research Paper Topics:

  • Alternative fuel/hybrid vehicles
  • Conservation
  • Climate change
  • Deforestation
  • Endangered species
  • Geoengineering
  • Global warming
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Marine pollution
  • Nuclear energy
  • Population control
  • Radioactive waste disposal
  • Soil pollution
  • Wildlife conservation

Family Issues Research Paper Topics:

  • Battered woman syndrome
  • Child abuse
  • Divorce rates
  • Domestic abuse
  • Family relationships
  • Family values
  • Parental Leave Benefits and Their Impact on the Family
  • Children's Mental Health & Development Impacted by Parental Absence
  • The Cost of Child Care
  • What Future Education Systems Must Include to Support Familial Wellbeing and Successful Learning for All

Health Research Paper Topics:

  • Alternative medicine
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Artificial insemination
  • Birth control
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Dietary supplements
  • Exercise and fitness
  • Heart disease
  • Health Care Reform
  • HIV infection
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Medicaid, Medicare reform
  • Organic foods
  • Prescription drugs
  • Plastic surgery
  • Stem cell research
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Vegetarianism
  • Weight loss surgery

Media and Communications Research Paper Topics:

  • Children's programming and advertising
  • Copyright Law
  • Freedom of speech
  • Materialism
  • Media conglomerates, ownership
  • Globalization of media and communications
  • Minorities in mass media
  • Political correctness
  • Portrayal of women
  • Reality television
  • Stereotypes
  • Television violence

Political Issues Research Paper Topics:

  • Affirmative Action
  • Budget deficit
  • Electoral College
  • Election reform
  • Illegal aliensIllegal aliens
  • Immigration
  • Impeachment
  • International relations
  • Operation Enduring Iraqi Freedom
  • Partisan politics
  • Social Security Reform
  • Third parties

Psychology Research Paper Topics:

  • Criminal psychology
  • Physical attraction
  • Schizophrenia

Religion Research Paper Topics:

  • Christianity
  • Freedom of religion
  • The Religious Beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Religion as a Form of Therapy
  • A Comparison of Wicca and Catholicism in the Media
  • Religious Fundamentalism in the United States
  • Scientology
  • Teaching Islam in Public Schools
  • The Role of Religion on Sexuality

Social Issues Topics:

  • Airline safety, security
  • Affirmative Action programs
  • Child rearing
  • Discrimination in education
  • Employee rights
  • Gambling, online gaming
  • Gang identity
  • Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender
  • Gay parenting
  • Gender discrimination
  • Genetic screening
  • Homelessness
  • Identity theft
  • Interracial marriage
  • Race relations
  • Reverse discrimination
  • Test biases
  • Textbook biases

Technology Topics:

  • Changing Public Opinion & Politics in Social Media Era
  • Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
  • FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange
  • Innovation in AI and Machine Learning
  • Quantum Computing Revolutionizing Information Security
  • Smart Cities and Transportation Systems
  • The Future of Social Media

Terrorism Topics:

  • Bioterrorism
  • Homeland Security
  • September 11 attacks
  • Domestic terrorism
  • International terrorism
  • Religious terrorism
  • Irgun: Zionist terrorism
  • The Munich Olympics

Women and Gender Topics:

  • Birth control and pregnancy
  • Botox injections
  • Cultural expectations and practices
  • Discrimination
  • Eating disorders
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Gender Identity
  • Gender-neutral pronouns
  • Marriage and Divorce
  • Media portrayals
  • Menstruation
  • Modern women
  • Prostitution
  • LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender)
  • LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, and more)
  • Social media influencers
  • Sex and sexuality
  • Female athletes
  • Women stereotypes
  • Women executives
  • Transgender
  • Traditional wife
  • Violence and rape
  • Women's rights

Source: University of Illinois Online Library

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5 thoughts on “Research Paper Topics: 50 Ideas to Get Started”

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Pick a topic that interests you or a topic that you have a lot of experience in. It’s much easier to address specific research issues when you either know the topic or have the interest to spend weekends and nights reading about it.

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That was helpful

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thank you this was very helpful!!

' src=

Thank you! Now i just need to do the difficult part of choosing a topic to write about.

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61 intriguing psychology research topics to explore

Last updated

11 January 2024

Reviewed by

Brittany Ferri, PhD, OTR/L

Psychology is an incredibly diverse, critical, and ever-changing area of study in the medical and health industries. Because of this, it’s a common area of study for students and healthcare professionals.

We’re walking you through picking the perfect topic for your upcoming paper or study. Keep reading for plenty of example topics to pique your interest and curiosity.

  • How to choose a psychology research topic

Exploring a psychology-based topic for your research project? You need to pick a specific area of interest to collect compelling data. 

Use these tips to help you narrow down which psychology topics to research:

Focus on a particular area of psychology

The most effective psychological research focuses on a smaller, niche concept or disorder within the scope of a study. 

Psychology is a broad and fascinating area of science, including everything from diagnosed mental health disorders to sports performance mindset assessments. 

This gives you plenty of different avenues to explore. Having a hard time choosing? Check out our list of 61 ideas further down in this article to get started.

Read the latest clinical studies

Once you’ve picked a more niche topic to explore, you need to do your due diligence and explore other research projects on the same topic. 

This practice will help you learn more about your chosen topic, ask more specific questions, and avoid covering existing projects. 

For the best results, we recommend creating a research folder of associated published papers to reference throughout your project. This makes it much easier to cite direct references and find inspiration down the line.

Find a topic you enjoy and ask questions

Once you’ve spent time researching and collecting references for your study, you finally get to explore. 

Whether this research project is for work, school, or just for fun, having a passion for your research will make the project much more enjoyable. (Trust us, there will be times when that is the only thing that keeps you going.) 

Now you’ve decided on the topic, ask more nuanced questions you might want to explore. 

If you can, pick the direction that interests you the most to make the research process much more enjoyable.

  • 61 psychology topics to research in 2024

Need some extra help starting your psychology research project on the right foot? Explore our list of 61 cutting-edge, in-demand psychology research topics to use as a starting point for your research journey.

  • Psychology research topics for university students

As a university student, it can be hard to pick a research topic that fits the scope of your classes and is still compelling and unique. 

Here are a few exciting topics we recommend exploring for your next assigned research project:

Mental health in post-secondary students

Seeking post-secondary education is a stressful and overwhelming experience for most students, making this topic a great choice to explore for your in-class research paper. 

Examples of post-secondary mental health research topics include:

Student mental health status during exam season

Mental health disorder prevalence based on study major

The impact of chronic school stress on overall quality of life

The impacts of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can occur at all ages, starting as early as elementary school and carrying through into professional workplaces. 

Examples of cyberbullying-based research topics you can study include:

The impact of cyberbullying on self-esteem

Common reasons people engage in cyberbullying 

Cyberbullying themes and commonly used terms

Cyberbullying habits in children vs. adults

The long-term effects of cyberbullying

  • Clinical psychology research topics

If you’re looking to take a more clinical approach to your next project, here are a few topics that involve direct patient assessment for you to consider:

Chronic pain and mental health

Living with chronic pain dramatically impacts every aspect of a person’s life, including their mental and emotional health. 

Here are a few examples of in-demand pain-related psychology research topics:

The connection between diabetic neuropathy and depression

Neurological pain and its connection to mental health disorders

Efficacy of meditation and mindfulness for pain management

The long-term effects of insomnia

Insomnia is where you have difficulty falling or staying asleep. It’s a common health concern that impacts millions of people worldwide. 

This is an excellent topic because insomnia can have a variety of causes, offering many research possibilities. 

Here are a few compelling psychology research topics about insomnia you could investigate:

The prevalence of insomnia based on age, gender, and ethnicity

Insomnia and its impact on workplace productivity

The connection between insomnia and mental health disorders

Efficacy and use of melatonin supplements for insomnia

The risks and benefits of prescription insomnia medications

Lifestyle options for managing insomnia symptoms

The efficacy of mental health treatment options

Management and treatment of mental health conditions is an ever-changing area of study. If you can witness or participate in mental health therapies, this can make a great research project. 

Examples of mental health treatment-related psychology research topics include:

The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for patients with severe anxiety

The benefits and drawbacks of group vs. individual therapy sessions

Music therapy for mental health disorders

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for patients with depression 

  • Controversial psychology research paper topics

If you are looking to explore a more cutting-edge or modern psychology topic, you can delve into a variety of controversial and topical options:

The impact of social media and digital platforms

Ever since access to internet forums and video games became more commonplace, there’s been growing concern about the impact these digital platforms have on mental health. 

Examples of social media and video game-related psychology research topics include:

The effect of edited images on self-confidence

How social media platforms impact social behavior

Video games and their impact on teenage anger and violence

Digital communication and the rapid spread of misinformation

The development of digital friendships

Psychotropic medications for mental health

In recent years, the interest in using psychoactive medications to treat and manage health conditions has increased despite their inherently controversial nature. 

Examples of psychotropic medication-related research topics include:

The risks and benefits of using psilocybin mushrooms for managing anxiety

The impact of marijuana on early-onset psychosis

Childhood marijuana use and related prevalence of mental health conditions

Ketamine and its use for complex PTSD (C-PTSD) symptom management

The effect of long-term psychedelic use and mental health conditions

  • Mental health disorder research topics

As one of the most popular subsections of psychology, studying mental health disorders and how they impact quality of life is an essential and impactful area of research. 

While studies in these areas are common, there’s always room for additional exploration, including the following hot-button topics:

Anxiety and depression disorders

Anxiety and depression are well-known and heavily researched mental health disorders. 

Despite this, we still don’t know many things about these conditions, making them great candidates for psychology research projects:

Social anxiety and its connection to chronic loneliness

C-PTSD symptoms and causes

The development of phobias

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) behaviors and symptoms

Depression triggers and causes

Self-care tools and resources for depression

The prevalence of anxiety and depression in particular age groups or geographic areas

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a complex and multi-faceted area of psychology research. 

Use your research skills to learn more about this condition and its impact by choosing any of the following topics:

Early signs of bipolar disorder

The incidence of bipolar disorder in young adults

The efficacy of existing bipolar treatment options

Bipolar medication side effects

Cognitive behavioral therapy for people with bipolar 

Schizoaffective disorder

Schizoaffective disorder is often stigmatized, and less common mental health disorders are a hotbed for new and exciting research. 

Here are a few examples of interesting research topics related to this mental health disorder:

The prevalence of schizoaffective disorder by certain age groups or geographic locations

Risk factors for developing schizoaffective disorder

The prevalence and content of auditory and visual hallucinations

Alternative therapies for schizoaffective disorder

  • Societal and systematic psychology research topics

Modern society’s impact is deeply enmeshed in our mental and emotional health on a personal and community level. 

Here are a few examples of societal and systemic psychology research topics to explore in more detail:

Access to mental health services

While mental health awareness has risen over the past few decades, access to quality mental health treatment and resources is still not equitable. 

This can significantly impact the severity of a person’s mental health symptoms, which can result in worse health outcomes if left untreated. 

Explore this crucial issue and provide information about the need for improved mental health resource access by studying any of the following topics:

Rural vs. urban access to mental health resources

Access to crisis lines by location

Wait times for emergency mental health services

Inequities in mental health access based on income and location

Insurance coverage for mental health services

Systemic racism and mental health

Societal systems and the prevalence of systemic racism heavily impact every aspect of a person’s overall health.

Researching these topics draws attention to existing problems and contributes valuable insights into ways to improve access to care moving forward.

Examples of systemic racism-related psychology research topics include: 

Access to mental health resources based on race

The prevalence of BIPOC mental health therapists in a chosen area

The impact of systemic racism on mental health and self-worth

Racism training for mental health workers

The prevalence of mental health disorders in discriminated groups

LGBTQIA+ mental health concerns

Research about LGBTQIA+ people and their mental health needs is a unique area of study to explore for your next research project. It’s a commonly overlooked and underserved community.

Examples of LGBTQIA+ psychology research topics to consider include:

Mental health supports for queer teens and children

The impact of queer safe spaces on mental health

The prevalence of mental health disorders in the LGBTQIA+ community

The benefits of queer mentorship and found family

Substance misuse in LQBTQIA+ youth and adults

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Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D.

How to Get Started on Your First Psychology Experiment

Acquiring even a little expertise in advance makes science research easier..

Updated May 16, 2024 | Reviewed by Ray Parker

  • Why Education Is Important
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  • Students often struggle at the beginning of research projects—knowing how to begin.
  • Research projects can sometimes be inspired by everyday life or personal concerns.
  • Becoming something of an "expert" on a topic in advance makes designing a study go more smoothly.

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One of the most rewarding and frustrating parts of my long career as a psychology professor at a small liberal arts college has been guiding students through the senior capstone research experience required near the end of their college years. Each psychology major must conduct an independent experiment in which they collect data to test a hypothesis, analyze the data, write a research paper, and present their results at a college poster session or at a professional conference.

The rewarding part of the process is clear: The students' pride at seeing their poster on display and maybe even getting their name on an article in a professional journal allows us professors to get a glimpse of students being happy and excited—for a change. I also derive great satisfaction from watching a student discover that he or she has an aptitude for research and perhaps start shifting their career plans accordingly.

The frustrating part comes at the beginning of the research process when students are attempting to find a topic to work on. There is a lot of floundering around as students get stuck by doing something that seems to make sense: They begin by trying to “think up a study.”

The problem is that even if the student's research interest is driven by some very personal topic that is deeply relevant to their own life, they simply do not yet know enough to know where to begin. They do not know what has already been done by others, nor do they know how researchers typically attack that topic.

Students also tend to think in terms of mission statements (I want to cure eating disorders) rather than in terms of research questions (Why are people of some ages or genders more susceptible to eating disorders than others?).

Needless to say, attempting to solve a serious, long-standing societal problem in a few weeks while conducting one’s first psychology experiment can be a showstopper.

Even a Little Bit of Expertise Can Go a Long Way

My usual approach to helping students get past this floundering stage is to tell them to try to avoid thinking up a study altogether. Instead, I tell them to conceive of their mission as becoming an “expert” on some topic that they find interesting. They begin by reading journal articles, writing summaries of these articles, and talking to me about them. As the student learns more about the topic, our conversations become more sophisticated and interesting. Researchable questions begin to emerge, and soon, the student is ready to start writing a literature review that will sharpen the focus of their research question.

In short, even a little bit of expertise on a subject makes it infinitely easier to craft an experiment on that topic because the research done by others provides a framework into which the student can fit his or her own work.

This was a lesson I learned early in my career when I was working on my own undergraduate capstone experience. Faced with the necessity of coming up with a research topic and lacking any urgent personal issues that I was trying to resolve, I fell back on what little psychological expertise I had already accumulated.

In a previous psychology course, I had written a literature review on why some information fails to move from short-term memory into long-term memory. The journal articles that I had read for this paper relied primarily on laboratory studies with mice, and the debate that was going on between researchers who had produced different results in their labs revolved around subtle differences in the way that mice were released into the experimental apparatus in the studies.

Because I already had done some homework on this, I had a ready-made research question available: What if the experimental task was set up so that the researcher had no influence on how the mouse entered the apparatus at all? I was able to design a simple animal memory experiment that fit very nicely into the psychological literature that was already out there, and this prevented a lot of angst.

Please note that my undergraduate research project was guided by the “expertise” that I had already acquired rather than by a burning desire to solve some sort of personal or social problem. I guarantee that I had not been walking around as an undergraduate student worrying about why mice forget things, but I was nonetheless able to complete a fun and interesting study.

what are some good research topics for students

My first experiment may not have changed the world, but it successfully launched my research career, and I fondly remember it as I work with my students 50 years later.

Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D.

Frank McAndrew, Ph.D., is the Cornelia H. Dudley Professor of Psychology at Knox College.

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100+ Excellent Topics for A Stellar Persuasive Speech

100+ Excellent Topics for A Stellar Persuasive Speech

What Makes a Truly Remarkable Speech?

The Ingredients of an Effective Topic

Ideas & Inspiration: 100+ Topics

Your Next Steps, Step-by-step

This comprehensive blog post serves as a vital resource for anyone looking to craft an impactful persuasive speech. It provides an extensive list of over 100 compelling topics tailored for a wide range of interests and academic fields. Additionally, it offers advanced guidance on selecting the perfect topic, structuring your arguments effectively, and employing persuasive techniques that captivate and convince your audience. Whether you're an academic achiever or an aspiring public speaker, this guide equips you with the insights to deliver a stellar persuasive speech.

Before You Pick the Perfect Topic...

If you’re struggling to find a strong topic for a persuasive speech , you’ll find 100+ ideas for subjects and topics below. Use one that grabs you, or simply find inspiration to get unstuck and come up with a topic about something you and your audience will find interesting.

To help you think about the big picture — your larger essay — we also review what makes a truly effective persuasive speech, all the ingredients of an effective topic, and how to pick the best topic for your circumstances.

Here's what's most essential as you consider your topic choices:

  • pick a topic that has the right scope, one aligned with your larger assignment
  • be sure the topic is one you're interested in researching, has meaning and relevance for your audience, and has the right level of complexity — both for your audience and for your level of speech writing prowess
  • remember your topic should align with themes and subjects related to your circumstances and the speech requirements

Finally, once you’ve picked your topic, and even if you know all the basics — which I’m guessing you do if you’re following posts from Crimson Education — you might still benefit from other advice in today's post, such as numerous speech writing tips and strategies designed to save you time and stress and improve the odds your final speech will exceed expectations.

Here's what you'll find:

  • What Makes a Truly Remarkable Persuasive Speech
  • The Ingredients of an Effective Topic, and Tips for Picking Your Topic
  • 100+ Topic Suggestions
  • How to Develop a Stellar Persuasive Speech — Step-by-Step!

Still feeling a bit hesitant or stuck?

Don’t worry. Once you've picked a really interesting and effective topic and start your research, you'll quickly become a subject-matter expert, regaining both motivation and confidence for all the remaining steps.

What Makes a Truly Remarkable Persuasive Speech?

A good persuasive speech will grab the audience’s attention, help them connect with the speaker (that’s you), and guide their reasoning process — giving the speech the power to persuade your audience why your point of view is logical and compelling, and also superior to the opposing viewpoints.

The 6 Most Essential Ingredients

  • A strong introduction that gets the audience engaged and provides context about the subject and topic, what’s at stake (why it matters), and what issues or concerns tend to be front and center
  • A clear thesis in the form of a specific point of view, opinion, or argument
  • An orderly progression of ideas and arguments, each argument or subtopic supported by logic and evidence
  • An anticipation of opposing viewpoints and arguments (the counterarguments to your opinion)
  • Your responses or ‘rebuttals’ to the opposing viewpoints , answering the anticipated objections and adding additional support for your point of view or thesis
  • A conclusion that highlights the most powerful persuasive elements in your speech and reminds listeners what's at stake, including, if suitable, a call to action

The Historical Roots of Persuasive Speech

Did you know that persuasive speech assignments may be testing your mastery of concepts that go back as far as ancient Greece?

The emergence of democracy in ancient Greece (the 6th and 5th centuries B.C.) created a space for the rule of law and political governance informed by the will of the people — making persuasive speech an essential element of social life.

From courtroom trials to political campaigns and democratic assemblies, persuasive speech emerged in 5th-century Athens as an essential tool of democracy.  Soon the brightest philosophers of the day became concerned with the principles of "rhetoric" — the study of orderly and effective persuasive speaking.

Now, thousands of years later, little has changed in Western democracies: "constructing and defending compelling arguments remains an essential skill in many settings" (Harvard U, Rhetoric ). In short, the principles of deliberation, free speech, and consensus building we use for governance, in school, extracurricular activities , at work, and sometimes our day-to-day life, still rely on persuasive speech.

In every free society individuals are continuously attempting to change the thoughts and/or actions of others. It is a fundamental concept of a free society.

- persuasive speaking, by r. t. oliver, ph.d..

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How The Rhetorical Triangle Can Turbo-charge Your Speech

The 5th-century B.C. Athenian philosopher Aristotle argued that your ability to persuade is based on how well your speech appeals to the audience in three different areas: logos, ethos, and pathos, sometimes referred to as the three points of the rhetorical triangle .

From observation and reflection Aristotle understood that humans are thinking animals (logos), social and moral animals (ethos), and emotional animals (pathos) — such that appealing to all three of these pillars of human understanding and action were essential parts of an effective persuasive speech .

1. Logos — Using clear, logical, and evidence-based reasoning and argumentation to add persuasive power to your speech.

For obvious reasons, audiences will typically expect strong arguments supported by evidence and clear reasoning and logic, all elements that are often prominent on grading rubrics for persuasive speeches.

Maybe you're thinking of speeches you've heard that utterly lacked logic and evidence? It's a reminder that persuasion as such is ultimately about points of view and not always about facts. Even without logic, a speaker can persuade, through effective uses of ethos and pathos , for example. In other instances social phenomena may underlie a lack of logic and evidence, such as "group think," for example , when people are swayed or swept up by a common point of view about an issue, instead of thinking critically about it.

2. Ethos — The component of persuasive speaking that spotlights the appeal, authority, credentials, and moral standing of the speaker .

Have you ever agreed with a speaker simply because you liked the person speaking, or rejected an argument because you disliked a speaker, responding to who the speaker is more than to their arguments? That may not be very logical, but it is very natural for us humans.

Aristotle understood this, that persuasion relies not solely on logical thinking but on relational factors too, including how much we trust a speaker, how much we believe in the integrity of their motives, and the knowledge and expertise they possess (or are perceived to possess).

Take law courts, for example. One common strategy lawyers use to undermine the force of witness testimony is to “discredit” or “taint” the witness , to undermine jurors' confidence in the veracity and motives of the witness. That's using ethos, rather than logic and facts, to impact an audience (the jury).

Likewise, when an audience has a high regard for the speaker's reputation, authority, and credibility, the more convincing that person's arguments are likely to be.

Suggestions for enhancing appeals to ethos in your speech:

  • Share a transformative journey where you shifted from an opposing perspective to your current stance due to overwhelming evidence. This approach can demonstrate your capacity for logic and open-mindedness, helping your audience see you as very rational and impartial, potentially strengthening your credibility.
  • Incorporate the viewpoints and expertise of respected authorities to bolster your arguments. Referencing reliable sources and experts boosts your credibility by showing you've grounded your arguments in established facts, perspectives, and ideas.
  • Foster a connection with your audience. For example, rather than overwhelming them with complex reasoning to showcase your intelligence, strive to comprehend and reflect their perceptions and potential biases regarding your topic. This should make your audience more receptive to your logic and perspectives as your speech progresses.
  • Employ personal anecdotes or lived experiences that unveil a deeper layer of understanding and wisdom. This personal touch not only humanizes you, the speaker, but makes your arguments more relatable and persuasive.

Depending on circumstances, you may think of additional ways to bolster your credibility and trustworthiness — enhancing your standing in the eyes of the audience in order to elevate the persuasive impact of your speech!

3. Pathos — This means injecting your speech with some powerful appeals to listeners' feelings and emotions , in addition to using logic and reason.

For example, if your speech entails persuading voters to increase foreign aide to combat world hunger, you wouldn’t just want to cite cold statistics. Painting a picture of ways malnutrition is affecting real individuals is likely to have a strong impact on listeners' emotions, appealing to their innate capacity for compassion towards others and helping them more deeply appreciate the urgency of the subject . This approach impacts listeners' emotions and highlights an urgent and universal moral imperative that adds conviction to your point of view.

In most academic settings, you'll be expected to present a speech with a strong line of evidence-based, logical reasoning, often making appeals to logos prominent in persuasive speeches in school settings. That said, by injecting and balancing appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos, based on what's most suitable for your topic, assignment, and approach, you'll add a significant measure of mastery to your persuasive writing method.

A Consistent Style and Tone

What style, voice, and tone best suit your personality, the occasion, the listeners, and your subject?

  • Consider adopting a straightforward, clear, and succinct style , reminiscent of a newspaper editorial or a no-nonsense argument in a voter guide. This approach works well for topics and settings requiring direct communication with clear insights and persuasive arguments free from subjectivity and unnecessary analysis and complexity.
  • For topics, interests, or assignments that naturally entail wading through broader philosophical and ethical debates — like debating justifications for euthanasia or arguments against the death penalty — a more introspective, contemplative voice may be expected . This style allows for a deeper exploration of moral dimensions and the broader implications of the issue at hand or the underlying logical principles involved.
  • If your inclination is towards something more unconventional, employing humor and wit could be a chance to take the road less traveled! Whether through irony or parody, for example, by showcasing a humorous topic from the outset, such as "why dog people outshine cat people," or cleverly presenting weaker arguments to underscore your point, this strategy, while offbeat, can captivate and entertain , making your speech stand out in a large class setting. Just be sure to balance the creativity with a clear demonstration of your persuasive speech skills and consider checking in with your teacher about possibilities and expectations beforehand.

With a broader understanding of what goes into a great persuasive speech, you’re better equipped for the important step of picking the topic that will guide your speech.

Picking Your Topic — Questions to Ask

Does it interest you.

Conveying passion for a topic is infectious, adding power to your speech. The more interested and invested you are in your subject and topic, the more likely you are to make your speech the best it can be.

Will the topic interest your audience?

Understanding your audience's values, interests, and views will help you make immediate connections with their own thought processes and attitudes. Try to pick a topic that will get your listeners to perk up and move to the edge of their seats.

Is the topic or point of view fresh and engaging?

Choosing a topic that's novel, contemporary, or presents a unique angle on a familiar issue should help you captivate your audience's attention. You also want the topic to be something that matters to your audience with a point of view that challenges their thinking, so you're not just "preaching to the choir."

Are there any "triggers" or otherwise "sensitive" or "inappropriate" themes?

You might not think there’s not any problem with a topic such as Should we build a wall to keep immigrants out of the country? Or, Should same sex marriage be legal? That said, topics that delve into identity politics or areas that are so controversial that they elicit anger or hostility rather than dialogue and debate may lead to emotional hurt and harm, even if not intended. If you have any doubts, check in with your teacher or a school counselor before settling on your topic!

Finding Subjects and Topics on Your Own

Before you jump ahead and grab a ready-made topic from the list below, remember that a quick brainstorming or online search could be your preferred method to find the best, most interesting topic for your audience, setting, and individual interests or class requirements. For example, an internet search with keywords such as “biggest problems or biggest issues in the world today” will quickly uncover a host of themes and subjects that are both timely and controversial.

Search Results for Keyword Phrase Contemporary World Problems and Issues

  • Water contamination
  • Human rights violation
  • Global health issues
  • Global poverty
  • Children's poor access to healthcare, education and safety
  • Access to food and hunger
  • Anti-corruption and transparency
  • Arms control and nonproliferation
  • Climate and environment
  • Climate crisis
  • Combating and crime
  • Countering terrorism
  • Cyber issues
  • Economic prosperity and trade policy
  • Technology and privacy

A General List vs. Time & Place Factors

Where you live and what’s timely for you and your audience is going to depend on your circumstances. Finding a “hot topic” in your specific time and place could be an effective way to get listeners' attention and address an issue that feels highly relevant.

  • Is there a big policy decision that’s a hot topic at your school?
  • Is there a ballot initiative your community will vote on soon that your audience has strong opinions about?
  • Is there a current events issue in your local news headlines that offers a compelling persuasive speech topic?
  • What’s before congress these days, or before the Supreme Court, or the United Nations — this week (any great topics there for your speech)?

More Inspiration: 100+ Interesting Persuasive Speech Topics for High School

If you haven’t already navigated your way to an interesting persuasive speech topic, use the list below for even more ideas and inspiration!

You can go from top to bottom, or you can jump the line and look for the themes that most interest you, such as Art and Culture or Recreation and Tourism.

Art and Culture

1. Is digital art really art?

2. Street art: vandalism or cultural expression?

3. Is there a place for censorship in the music industry?

4. Do museums promote culture or appropriate culture?

5. Should other countries have a minister of culture or similar government office, as they do in France?

6. Can schools, or art teachers, define good art vs. bad art? Should they?

7. Censorship in art: when is it justified or necessary?

8. Does creative freedom take precedence over cultural appropriation?

9. The impact of digital platforms on the consumption of art and the value of art.

10. Is there a role for public policy and public funding in arts and culture?

1. The pros and cons of minimum wage laws and policies.

2. Cryptocurrency: the future of finance or a scam?

3. Is student loan debt relief good policy?

4. Gender wage gap: are the concerns justified or unjustified?

5. Sustainable development: Is there a way to sustain economic growth and without an environmental catastrophe?

6. The role of small businesses in the economy, do they promote prosperity or undermine efficiencies?

7. Globalization: economic boon or bane?

8. Is consumerism in the general interest or a threat to the planet?

9. The economic effects of climate change, should they be paid now or later?

10. Universal Basic Income: a solution to poverty or a disincentive to work?

1. The case for and against school uniforms.

2. Should non-citizens be allowed to vote in school board elections?

3. The impact of technology on education.

4. Should college education be free?

5. The importance of teaching financial literacy in schools: promoting independent living or consumerism?

6. Should parents have the right to home school children against their will?

7. Is the grading system improving learning?

8. Is mandatory attendance a good policy for high school?

9. Addressing the mental health crisis in schools: is it an individual problem or a social one?

10. Arts education: valuable or a waste of time?

Environmental Issues

1. The urgency of addressing climate change and what to do about it.

2. Plastic pollution: are more stringent government regulations, policies, and laws the answer?

3. Should the government subsidize clean energy technologies and solutions?

4. The importance of water conservation, but whose responsible?

5. Should there be a global environmental tax? On what?

6. Should environmental costs be factored into everyday economic activity?

7. The impact of fast fashion on the environment.

8. The necessity of protecting endangered species.

9. Deforestation: Who's impacted? Who should have power (or not) to stop it?

10. Are electric cars truly better for the environment?

1. The changing dynamics of the modern family.

2. The role of the state in protecting children from parents and guardians.

3. Should adoption records be open or sealed?

4. How can employers, or employment laws, support healthy families?

5. Is there an age when euthanasia should become universally legal and accessible?

6. How to balance parental rights with child welfare.

7. Is your child's gender something they're born with, or something they should be free to choose?

8. The responsibilities of women vs. men in addressing an unplanned pregnancy.

9. Should parents restrict children's use of technology? What is too lax vs. what is too restrictive?

10. Balancing discipline and love in parenting.

Health, Nutrition, & Fitness

1. Should junk food advertising be regulated?

2. The dangers of fad diets: free market vs. consumer protection.

3. Should junk food be banned in schools?

4. Nutrition: are schools failing to teach it?

5. Should students be graded on their fitness and nutrition levels and habits?

6. Should sports programs be replaced by fitness education?

7. E-cigarettes: should they be regulated or not?

8. The obesity epidemic: a problem of individual responsibility, genetics, or social policy?

9. Are agricultural subsidies good for health and the environment?

10. Should teens have more options for balancing school attendance and individual sleep needs and preferences?

Media, Social Media, and Entertainment

1. The effects of social media on teenagers.

2. Should there be regulations on influencer marketing?

3. The impact of video games on behavior.

4. Fake news: Its impact and how to combat it.

5. The role of media in shaping public opinion.

6. Privacy concerns with social media platforms.

7. The influence of celebrities on youth culture: is there a role for rewards and consequences to impact celebrities public behaviors?

8. Digital detox: pros and cons.

9. Media portrayal of women and its societal impact.

10. Censorship in media: necessary or oppressive?

Politics and Society

1. The importance and limits of voting in a democracy.

2. Gun control laws: balancing safety and liberty.

3. The impact of immigration: universal human rights vs. national sovereignty.

4. The death penalty: justice vs. ethics?

5. The legalization of marijuana: the right policy?

6. The right to protest vs. public order.

7. Affirmative action: whose definition of "fairness" do we use?

8. The future of healthcare in America: market solutions or a public option?

9. Climate change policy: National vs. global approaches.

10. The role of the United Nations in today's world.

Recreation & Tourism

1. The benefits of outdoor recreation.

2. Sustainable tourism: protecting nature while promoting travel.

3. The impact of tourism on local cultures.

4. The future of space tourism.

5. The effects of recreational activities on mental health.

6. The importance of historical preservation in tourism.

7. Adventure tourism: reasonable or unreasonable risks vs. rewards proposition?

8. The effects of over-tourism on popular destinations and local communities.

9. Is eco-tourism the right way to promote environmental sustainability?

10. Does international tourism help or harm indigenous peoples, cultures, and communities?

1. Do the ethical downside of genetic engineering outweigh the potential benefits?

2. The potential and pitfalls of artificial intelligence in society.

3. Climate change denial: is it fully within the bounds of free speech?

4. Competing views of vaccine policies and individual rights in pandemics and other health emergencies.

5. Space exploration: is it worth the investment?

6. The use of affirmative action to diversify STEM education and workforce.

7. The impact of technology on job displacement and future employment: is a universal income the right answer?

8. Do renewable energy technologies offer a feasible substitute for eliminating fossil fuels?

9. Ocean pollution: is more government regulation the answer?

10. Protecting biodiversity vs. the right to economic prosperity.

Sports and School Athletics

1. The emphasis on athletic programs in high schools: is the hype benefiting students?

2. Should college athletes be compensated?

3. Do teamwork and group activities help or hinder academic and athletic development?

4. Should schools should require more physical education or less?

5. Should there be more emphasis on non-competitive formats in high school and college athletics?

6. The influence of professional athletes as role models: good or bad?

7. Doping in sports: are athletic programs teaching the wrong values?

8. The benefits and risks of contact sports in high schools athletics.

9. Should there be absolute gender equality in school athletics?

10. What should the educational goal of school athletics be?

These topics span a broad spectrum of interests and concerns — look for one that matters to you and your audience, is likely to prompt insightful dialogue or debate, and is challenging enough to put your individual persuasive speech skills to the test!

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1. Use Diligent Research to Make a Watertight Argument

To go from just any persuasive speech to a truly riveting one, you’ll want to dig around until you find compelling and authoritative research . Even if you're already knowledgeable about your topic, applying yourself with patience and perseverance at this early stage will usually pay off, allowing you to uncover some real gems when it comes to compelling facts and expert perspectives.

What to look for:

  • Facts, statistics, and surveys
  • An expert analysis of a policy or issue
  • Quotes from compelling experts, from books, editorials, or speeches
  • Anecdotal evidence in the form of isolated events or personal experiences that don’t have much statistical significance but can illustrate or capture something powerful that supports your point of view, or add emotional appeal
  • Graphs, tables, and charts

Riveting research will better position you to hit some home runs when you put together your speech. And remember, research is primarily to build a strong logical argument ( logos ), but citing and spotlighting reputable sources will also lend your speech greater persuasive credibility ( ethos ), just as experiential perspectives can add appeals to emotion ( pathos ).

Define Your Thesis

Clearly articulate your stance on the topic. This thesis statement will guide the structure of your speech and inform your audience of your central argument.

I like to create a "working thesis" as a planning tool, something that encapsulates and maps my point of view and essential supporting arguments, and as a way to uncover gaps in my reasoning or evidence early on. Later, it also gives me a ready guide for writing my outline.

Essential Elements of a ‘working thesis’ for a persuasive speech:

  • The subject (including how you'll frame the context for your topic and speech)
  • Your main point of view
  • List of principal arguments
  • The most important counterarguments
  • Key rebuttals to the counterarguments

As you can see, this kind of "working thesis" gives you a bird's eye view of your thesis along with all the key components of your speech and the reasoning you’ll deploy.

Marshaling Your Evidence

As you delve into researching your chosen topic, such as "Why space exploration is not worth the investment," you'll accumulate evidence, including data, anecdotes, expert opinions, and more. This evidence is vital for adding depth, credibility, and persuasion to your speech. You also need to strategically align the evidence with each of your supporting arguments , ensuring that each claim you make is substantiated.

You can use a simple table format to visually map out how you want to align your subtopics and evidence.

Here's an example using the topic Why space exploration is not worth the investment .

This table is just for illustration, and doesn't use real data and opinions, but you can see how organizing your evidence ahead of time can help you logically present and support your arguments and subtopics . It can also help you spot gaps, in case you need to do additional research, and gives you a head start on the next step: outlining your speech!

Make an Outline

Begin with a structured outline to ensure your speech flows logically from one point to the next. Your outline should include:

  • introduction elements
  • key subtopics and the relevant arguments and evidence, examples, anecdotes, or citations, all in sequential order
  • key wording for any important or challenging transitions from one line of thought to the next, or from one subtopic to the next
  • a section for responding to opposing arguments and viewpoints, with the specific rebuttals, all in sequential order
  • key points for your conclusion

Drafting Body Paragraphs, Your Introduction & Conclusion

Now you're making your first rough attempts of turning the key content of your speech into phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. So, this is a could point to refocus on the tone, style, and voice you want to use, and how to use it consistently.

Pro Tip: Write your introduction and conclusion after drafting all of your body paragraphs, because you these two sections to really capture the essence of the larger speech.

Introduction : Start with a strong hook—this could be a startling statistic, a compelling quote, or a relatable and captivating (or entertaining) anecdote— then briefly preview your main points to set the stage for your argument.

Conclusion : Reinforce your thesis with concise references to the the primary evidence you presented. End with a powerful closing statement that reminds your audience of why this topic is important. As suitable, you can also call your audience to action or leave them with something significant to ponder on their own.

Balancing Pathos, Logos, Ethos

Ensure a harmonious balance among logos (logical appeal), ethos (establishing your credibility and using evidence from credible sources and quotes or perspectives from credible authorities), and pathos (emotional appeal).

Checklist for Balancing Logos, Ethos, and Pathos

Here's a rubric, adapted from a real university writing rubric for persuasive speeches, that can help you elevate appeals to logos , ethos , and pathos in your speech.

  • Is the thesis clear and specific?
  • Is the thesis supported by strong reasons and credible evidence?
  • Is the argument logical and well organized?
  • What are the speaker’s qualifications?
  • How has the speaker connected him/herself to the topic being discussed?
  • Does the speaker demonstrate respect for multiple viewpoints, and respond to them with thoughtful arguments?
  • Are sources credible?
  • Are tone, style, and word choice appropriate for the audience/purpose?
  • Is the speech polished and written with care?
  • Are vivid examples, details and images used to engage the listeners' emotions and imagination?
  • Does the writer appeal to the values and beliefs of the listeners by using examples the audience can relate to or cares about?

Revise & Polish

Review your speech and revise for clarity, flow, sentence structure, and word choice.

Remember to use a voice and style consistent with making a speech, with the topic and subject matter, and the specific circumstances for your speech.

Remove any jargon or unnecessary details that might distract from your message.

Sharpen your arguments, making sure they are clear, concise, and compelling.

Practice the Delivery

Dedicate ample time to practicing what it will be like giving your speech. Focus on mastering the tone, pace, and volume of your delivery. If you have time limits on the speech, be sure to time your delivery as well, and make any needed adjustments. Consider body language, eye contact, and gestures, as these non-verbal cues can significantly impact your speech's effectiveness.

The more comfortable and familiar you are with your speech, the more confidently you'll present it.

Also, being nervous, for lots of people, is normal. Practice will help; with better command of your speech you'll feel more confident. Also, practicing your delivery with a friend who can listen and give you some feedback is good way to catch helpful adjustments.

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Final Thoughts

Finding a topic you like and one that your audience will be interested in is a critical foundation for an effective persuasive speech. It will also help you stay motivated and get more out of the experience!

Just remember that investing in some extra research, some thoughtful organization, anticipating counterarguments, and artfully weaving in ethos and pathos alongside a strong line of evidence-based arguments ( logos ) will help you elevate your speech and your learning experience.

With the insights we've just shared, you're more than ready to turn what is often a rote class exercise into something far more artful. In addition, your effort will help prepare you for college — for debating, editorial writing, legal argumentation, public policy advocacy, public speaking, and even running for ASB President!

If you're interested in taking on the challenge of more advanced research and persuasive writing, or even projects that involve scholarly publication, be sure to reach out to a Crimson Education Advisor for information on ways to get connected to advanced online courses and any number of cool capstone and research projects that will also connect you to networks of motivated young scholars and top-notch research and writing mentors.

About the Author

Keith Nickolaus

Keith Nickolaus

Keith Nickolaus is a former educator with a passion for languages, literature, and lifelong learning. After obtaining a B.A. from UC Santa Cruz and exploring university life in Paris, Keith earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and then worked for 16 years in K12 education before setting up shop as a freelance writer.

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E-Cigarette Use Among Youth

What to know.

E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. youth. No tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, are safe, especially for children, teens, and young adults. Learn more about e-cigarette use among youth.

  • In the United States, youth use e-cigarettes, or vapes, more than any other tobacco product. 1
  • No tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, are safe, especially for children, teens, and young adults. 2
  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. Nicotine can harm the parts of an adolescent's brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. 2
  • E-cigarette marketing, the availability of flavored products, social influences, and the effects of nicotine can influence youth to start or continue vaping. 3 4
  • Most middle and high school students who vape want to quit. 5
  • Many people have an important role in protecting youth from vaping including parents and caregivers, educators and school administrators, health care providers, and community partners.
  • States and local communities can implement evidence-based policies, programs, and services to reduce youth vaping.

E-cigarette use among U.S. youth

In 2023, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among middle and high school students in the United States. In 2023: 6

  • 550,000 (4.6%) middle school students.
  • 1.56 million (10.0%) high school students.
  • Among students who had ever used e-cigarettes, 46.7% reported current e-cigarette use.
  • 1 in 4 (25.2%) used an e-cigarette every day.
  • 1 in 3 (34.7%) used an e-cigarette on at least 20 of the last 30 days.
  • 9 in 10 (89.4%) used flavored e-cigarettes.
  • Most often used disposable e-cigarettes (60.7%) followed by e-cigarettes with prefilled or refillable pods or cartridges (16.1%).
  • Most commonly reported using the following brands: Elf Bar, Esco Bars, Vuse, JUUL, and Mr. Fog.

Most middle and high school students who vape want to quit and have tried to quit. 5 In 2020:

  • 63.9% of students who currently used e-cigarettes reported wanting to quit.
  • 67.4% of students who currently used e-cigarettes reported trying to quit in the last year.

Most tobacco use, including vaping, starts and is established during adolescence. There are many factors associated with youth tobacco product use . These include:

  • Tobacco advertising that targets youth.
  • Product accessibility.
  • Availability of flavored products.
  • Social influences.
  • Adolescent brain sensitivity to nicotine.

Some groups of middle and high school students use e-cigarettes at a higher percentage than others. For example, in 2023: 6

  • More females than males reported current e-cigarette use.
  • Non-Hispanic multiracial students: 20.8%.
  • Non-Hispanic White students: 18.4%.
  • Hispanic or Latino students: 18.2%.
  • Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native students: 15.4%.
  • Non-Hispanic Black or African American students: 12.9%.

Many young people who vape also use other tobacco products, including cigarettes and cigars. 7 This is called dual use. In 2020: 8

  • About one in three high school students (36.8%) who vaped also used other tobacco products.
  • One in two middle school students (49.0%) who vaped also used other tobacco products.

E-cigarettes can also be used to deliver other substances, including cannabis. In 2016, nearly one in three (30.6%) of U.S. middle and high school students who had ever used an e-cigarette reported using marijuana in the device. 9

  • Park-Lee E, Ren C, Cooper M, Cornelius M, Jamal A, Cullen KA. Tobacco product use among middle and high school students—United States, 2022 . MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022;71:1429–1435.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. E-cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General . Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2016. Accessed Feb 14, 2024.
  • Apelberg BJ, Corey CG, Hoffman AC, et al. Symptoms of tobacco dependence among middle and high school tobacco users: results from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey . Am J Prev Med. 2014;47(Suppl 1):S4–14.
  • Gentzke AS, Wang TW, Cornelius M, et al. Tobacco product use and associated factors among middle and high school students—National Youth Tobacco Survey, United States, 2021 . MMWR Surveill Summ. 2022;71(No. SS-5):1–29.
  • Zhang L, Gentzke A, Trivers KF, VanFrank B. Tobacco cessation behaviors among U.S. middle and high school students, 2020 . J Adolesc Health. 2022;70(1):147–154.
  • Birdsey J, Cornelius M, Jamal A, et al. Tobacco product use among U.S. middle and high school students—National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2023 . MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2023;72:1173–1182.
  • Wang TW, Gentzke AS, Creamer MR, et al. Tobacco product use and associated factors among middle and high school students—United States, 2019 . MMWR Surveill Summ. 2019;68(No. SS-12):1–22.
  • Wang TW, Gentzke AS, Neff LJ, et al. Characteristics of e-cigarette use behaviors among US youth, 2020 . JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(6):e2111336.
  • Trivers KF, Phillips E, Gentzke AS, Tynan MA, Neff LJ. Prevalence of cannabis use in electronic cigarettes among U.S. youth . JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(11):1097–1099.

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The University of Chicago The Law School

Judge myrna pérez shares her journey for justice from voting rights to the bench.

A woman and a man sitting next to each other on two separate chairs.

Judge Myrna Pérez of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City began her journey growing up in Texas as the child of Mexican immigrants, with these experiences laying the groundwork for her lifelong commitment to justice.

At the Law School’s Edward Levi Distinguished Visiting Jurist Program on April 29, Pérez shared that from an early age, before she even had the vocabulary to articulate it, she recognized the impact of systemic inequality. She explained that she spent a lot of time as a child frustrated at things that just didn't seem fair, recalling a day when she had to try and get her homework done amidst the noise and bustle at the diner her mom worked at waiting on tables.  

Pérez spent a good part of her formative years noticing inequality, fueling a passion within her for one of democracy’s most fundamental rights—voting. For Pérez, the right to vote transcends socio-economic barriers, embodying the ultimate safeguard against tyranny. “The great equalizing force,” is what she called it.

“When you step into the ballot box, it doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, black or white, educated or not. Your vote counts the same,” she said. 

During her talk, moderated by Lior Strahilevitz, the Sidley Austin Professor of Law, Pérez discussed her journey of questioning inequalities and how that led her to a litigation career dedicated to voting rights and civil justice. It all started when she was an undergraduate at Yale and continued after she graduated from Columbia Law School.

Before her appointment to the bench of the Second Circuit, Pérez led the Voting Rights and Elections Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where she was instrumental in litigating and advocating for fair and accessible voting practices. She discussed her successful suit in the Seventh Circuit against an Indiana law that allowed county elections officials to kick voters off the rolls without their explicit consent or notice, based on information obtained from a third-party database.

Students sitting in a classroom listening intently to a talk.

Pérez expressed the challenges she faced in litigating the case: “We had to demonstrate the relevance and the applicability of a statute that was created before the existence of the technology we are using today, and we had to explain why it still matters.”

The case highlights Pérez’s commitment to making sure legal frameworks adapt to modern challenges—without undermining the protections meant to safeguard democratic engagement.

Pérez also reflected on her time clerking for Judge Anita B. Brody on the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Judge Julio M. Fuentes on the Third Circuit. She described Judge Brody as fearless, authentic, and politically adept, and lauded Judge Fuentes for his profound decency, a quality that she said was reflected in his interaction with every person he encountered, from the cleaning staff to colleagues.

This blend of attributes profoundly influenced Pérez, shaping her approach to her job and the respectful and inclusive environment she strives to foster within her own chambers. She also noted how she seeks to hire clerks with these same values.

When Professor Strahilevitz asked her what other qualities she looks for in a clerk, Pérez remarked that she did not think a clerkship should be thought of as a step on some professional journey. It is a job, where the clerks are lawyers to a constitutional officer who is going to be deciding really important things for people, ranging from whether someone stays in prison, to whether someone gets deported, to which party gets the millions of dollars at issue. A clerk, she explained, needs to have that nagging feeling that maybe something was missed or maybe something was not analyzed the way it should be or maybe there was more reading or research to do. “You have to really care,” about the work of the chambers, and the mission of the judiciary, she said.

Recounting the weight of the responsibility she carries with her on the bench, Pérez mused on how little her life has changed outside of her role as judge. Occupying spaces where people simply know her as “Myrna” has helped keep her grounded. She volunteers monthly at a local soup kitchen, where the simple act of service nurtures her humility. “The people I'm serving sausage to couldn't care less about what I do professionally. They only care about how good I make the grits,” she shared, laughing.

Pérez closed her talk with advice on mentorship, encouraging students to think about what exactly they are seeking when they say they want a mentor. “I think people use the word mentor to mean one of three things: someone who will help you get a job or remove barriers; someone you can turn to as a life coach and bounce ideas off of; and someone like a supervisor, who is training you to learn specific skills. So, it’s important to understand what you need, because it may or may not be a judge who can fill each of those roles.”

She also encouraged the students in the room to chart their own paths and keep growing while keeping their North Star in sight, to recognize the multitude of opportunities their education affords them, and to not confine themselves to narrow definitions of legal careers.

“You are at a phenomenal law school where they are teaching you so much. You have a lot of options,” she said. “There are a lot of ways you can serve your community and serve your families. There are lots of ways you can make yourself feel enriched and happy and like you're adding value, and you matter. Do not limit yourself with an artificial idea of what it means to be a lawyer or to have a law degree. Don’t cheat yourself by selling yourself short.” 

Amber Hunter is a member of the Class of 2025 at the Law School. She grew up in the Bronx, New York and graduated from Syracuse University in the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications in 2019. Before law school, she completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Madrid, Spain and worked for a local NGO in Madrid for three years. At the Law School, Hunter is on the managing board of the Law Review , as an Online Editor, a student in the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Clinic and holds executive positions on the boards of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Law Women’s Caucus and the Public Interest Law Society.

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    Judge Myrna Pérez of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City began her journey growing up in Texas as the child of Mexican immigrants, with these experiences laying the groundwork for her lifelong commitment to justice. At the Law School's Edward Levi Distinguished Visiting Jurist Program on April 29, Pérez shared that from an early age, before she even had the vocabulary to ...