Research paper topics- A comprehensive guide

Essay writing is an inevitable task. Even homeschooled students cannot avoid paper writing assignments. However, it is in high school and university that students come across research assignments. Unfortunately, formulating an appropriate research paper topic is never easy, and this is the reason why most student look for research paper help online

Note that the title affects the quality of your research document. A poorly formulated topic will translate into a low-quality paper. Conversely, a good research topic will give you good grades.

Sometimes, tutors will assign the topic while other times you might be required to formulate your title.

Either way, you will have to study extensively. Reading helps you to familiarize yourself with available information about your area of study. As a result, it will be easy to write and refine your draft topic.

However, research writing is not just about digging for information. Other critical concerns are detailed in this write-up, including research topic sources, how to formulate a good research title, and reasons for conducting research.

research paper topics

           Source: Pixabay

Importance of Conducting Research

The Hampshire College website defines research as a process of systematic inquiry that entails collection of data; documentation of critical information; and analysis and interpretation of that data/information, in accordance with suitable methodologies set by specific professional fields and academic disciplines.

Conducting research comes with its challenges. However, research is beneficial to both learners and professional researchers. More also, society benefits from research findings as per the below points.

  1. In the field of medicine, research has resulted in significant breakthroughs. Even some of the once dreaded illnesses are currently manageable - thanks to research findings.

  2. Fashionistas are also covered. Trendy wear is a research product—designers research to find the appropriate dyes, fabric, and general design of garments.

iii. Reading is one way of gaining more knowledge. A quality research project demands reading widely about the research problem.  As you look for relevant information, you will obtain new ideas

  1. Conducting research also aids in knowing the truth. For instance, you can find a specific piece of information appearing in multiple sources. Such details are usually validated and true.

  2. Students will also find research beneficial. The need to read about the topic will enable you to understand the syllabus in detail. It gives you the confidence of having good grades.

  3. Research alos enables business people to remain competitive. Through research, organizations can learn about their competitors' strengths and weaknesses. Next, they formulate strategies to help them stay afloat.

vii. Creating awareness is another important aspect of research. Through publications, society can access critical information such as expected changes in the weather.

vii. Conducting research involves critical analysis of data. The many hours of searching and filtering information is a good exercise for the brain. More also, trying to figure out the content of your research project results in curiosity, which has fantastic benefits.

Types of Research Paper Topics

Interrogative Titles

Interrogative topics are best fit for articles compared to research projects. They are written as questions and have more downloads because they are sensational. They also have minimal citations.

Declarative Titles

A title that states your research findings will fall under declarative topics. Generally, they reduce your reader's curiosity. They can also be biased towards other research projects. It would be best to avoid them.

Neutral Titles

They are also known as descriptive topics. Although they state the research details, they never reveal the findings. A descriptive title will have essential keywords that help readers to locate it on the web. They are the best fit for research papers.

How to Formulate a Winning Research Paper Topic

Getting your research title can be easy. But, having a winning research topic can be challenging. It is for this reason students seek essay help from online sources. Following the below guidelines will help you get a good research problem with minimal struggle.

  1. Brainstorming: Firstly, make a long list of possible choices. It could be something that interests you, a question you are yet to answer, or highlighted events in the news bulletin.

  2. Choose the topic: Next, choose two to three related topics from your long list. At this point, there is no need to narrow down. The remaining steps will help with elimination.

iii. Get Specific: Thirdly, extract related specific elements from your drafts. Settle for the most exciting thought-provoking idea. You can check the University of Southern California website and thesishelpers.com for great tips about narrowing down.

  1. Redefine the title: At this point, you already have your preferred research problem. You need to turn it into a research question. However, be sure to have a focus question to avoid ambiguity.

Preferred title: Benefits of NASA to the world

Redefined title: How has NASA helped the world?

Ambiguity: NASA has many departments? Which project are we researching?

research paper topics

    Source: pressbook.pub

  1. Create an outline: Lastly, research further. Create an overview of what the paper will cover. From the draft, get a relevant research paper topic. Remember to take note of keywords as you read further. Your research content and the title must flow. You can use keyword generators and planners from reliable websites like that of Indiana University. Alternatively, academic journals such as google scholar and academic databases can help you refine your keyword search.

Sources of Research Topics

There are two major categories of sources of research paper topics – primary and secondary.

Secondary sources always rely on primary information. They are an analysis of the primary data. On the other hand, primary sources comprise firsthand accounts from eyewitnesses or original literary work. You can call it raw data.

  1. Research Librarians: Did you know that traditional libraries have staff whose work is to answer students' questions? Yes, those are research librarians. They are research experts and can help you address various research-rated questions, including proposing a good research title. They can also connect you to other experts in your field of study.

  2. Academic Databases: With several clicks, you can get billions of suggestions about research paper topics. Research databases contain crucial scholarly documents that can help you formulate your title and write your project with more ease.

Below is a list of eight great academic database sites you can visit.

If your field of study is engineering or computer science, IEEE Explore is the right place. Here, you will access books, journals, and conference books to help you choose a good research problem.

Your number one choice for education research topics is ERIC (Education Resources Information Center). The site features a search option to help you find relevant information quickly.

Scopus features over 71 million items from different disciplines. However, you can only gain full access through an institutional subscription. Otherwise, you will enjoy limited access to research data.

The Web of Science doesn't feature science-related information only. Also known as Web of Knowledge, it is a multidisciplinary academic database. However, access is only through institutional subscriptions.

Another research intelligence platform is PubMed. Its free access option allows students to get biological science or medicine research resources.

For information about articles published before 1924, JSTOR will help. It is a free access website for all subjects. Interestingly, independent scholars can access scholarships from the site.

There are numerous research titles available on the Science Direct website. From its single-interphase, you will access free information from over 40,000 e-books and 2,500 journals.

Lastly, DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) is another popular academic database. Access to the website is free. The site has over 4.3 million resources for various disciplines.

iii. Tutors/Professors: Learning is about trial and error, making mistakes, and asking questions. When the tutor assigns a research topic, the idea is to help you learn something. Asking for Essay writing help is alright. Tutors are professionals in specific disciplines. They can assist you in formulating an appropriate research topic.

  1. Writing Centers: Very few colleges and universities will lack a writing center. Like the research librarians, writing center staff can help you at any point of your research project. You can have an online or face-to-face discussion with them. They will assist you from the point of inception to the last step of your research project. Interestingly, most tutors give you extra credit if you take advantage of the school's writing center.

v. OWL at Purdue:

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a resourceful website owned by Purdue University. Besides helping you choose a research paper topic, OWL at Purdue will help in research paper writing, citation, and grammar issues. Given that you can search by category, the site is a must-visit for students.

What Makes a Good Research Paper Topic?

A well-formulated research title is always specific. Knowing how to narrow down will help you write a topic that will suit your area of study.

For instance, illegal immigration can be a good topic. However, there are numerous ideas you can talk about under such a broad title. You have challenges faced by illegal immigrants, punishment, ways to make migration more manageable, and other unlawful immigration facets.

Secondly, a well-written title honors the rules of titling. Note that all four capitalization styles (Chicago, APA, MLA, and AP style) are different. Before typing the topic, consider reading the capitalization guidelines first. Do it right from the word go.

Thirdly, a good research title must be clear. A clear title points to a single direction. From a glance, the reader can understand the contents of the research project. No ambiguity.

New ideas and problems are sprouting up by the day. Researchers are faced with the challenge of remaining relevant. Researching outdated issues will not benefit any field of study. As you formulate your title, confirm that it addresses current issues.

The language used for your title must be simple and ethical. Avoid taxonomic words, roman numbers, chemical formulas (Mg, Fe, H2O), numerical components (km/min), and abbreviations apart from the standard allowed ones like RNA. More also, avoid biased words or terms.

Lastly, your research topic should be in harmony with the syllabus. In this case, familiarizing yourself with the syllabus or assignment guide will be critical. Else, you will research outside the syllabus and fail in your paper.

Research Paper Topics

Below is an extensive list of great topics you could research. A few modifications can help make your project unique.

1. History

  • Water Sources Value for Central Anatolia

  • Evolving Role of NATO for the World Community

  • Use of Weapons in Ancient Civilizations

  • Bridal Ceremonies in Ancient Rome

  • How much has the world suffered as a result of terrorism?

  • The Vietnam War: What caused it?

  • Ancient conquests and their influence on the modern world map formation

  • Nuclear weapons and their influence on the world military clashes

  • Mormons and their impact on American society development

  • Black Death (Black Plague)

research paper topics

Source: Pixabay


  • History Before 1877: Cause & Effect

  • Industrialization Effects on American Social Movements

  • Hiroshima & Nagasaki Events

  • French Revolution: Force Distribution

  • Gender bias in England of the 17th century

2. Medicine

  • The ethical aspects of medical research on animals and humans

  • Should prescription drugs be advertised directly to consumers?

  • Cancer treatment and research

  • Pandemics in human history

  • History and impact of the covid-19 virus

  • Effects of obesity

  • Alternative medicine

  • Advantages and disadvantages of vaccines on children

  • The role of paramedics in general health care

  • Methods used to improve staff relations in the health care environment

  • Can doctors turn their patients into drug addicts?

  • Pros and cons of medical marijuana

  • Vegetarian diet: Impacts on children health

  • Possible ways of medicine development in the future

  • Genetic engineering and cloning

3. Psychology

  • What are the effects of solitary confinement?

  • Effects of marital disputes on children

  • Is there a link between bullied teenagers and law problems?

  • How does bullying affect the social interactions of teenagers in high school or college?

  • Can you build confidence by sexting?

  • Is morality influenced by harsh laws?

  • Relationship between mental illness and aging

  • How does peer pressure affect teenagers?

  • How depression affects work performance

  • How do violent video games affect children and their brain development?

  • Racism and its effects

  • The effect of romantic movies on a child

  • Is single parenting suitable for a child's mental development?

  • Factors that can contribute to the delay in the mental development of a child

4. Education

  • How technology affects lesson planning

  • Does offering tenure increase or decrease the quality of teaching?

  • Homeschooling

  • What visual aids can be implemented in classrooms?

  • Do children who attend pre-school do better in school later on?

  • How to encourage students to study what they are passionate about

  • Charter schools vs. public schools: Compare & contrast

  • Do students from wealthier backgrounds score higher on standardized tests?

  • Do students in schools that eliminate grades do better in college and their careers?

  • Education: Should it cost as much as it does now?

  • Using metal detectors at school: Pros and Cons

  • Which education system is the best – France, the US, or Finland?

  • Research on educating deaf students and its practical application

  • How can standardized tests improve education?

5. Business

  • Can a business be started without money?

  • How to build a successful start-up

  • Ethical decision making in an everyday work situation

  • Which are the most effective strategies for promoting a small business?

  • Effectiveness of business communication strategies applied by Apple and Coca-Cola

  • Impact of good communication on business growth

  • Taking responsibility of the corporate ethics of a company

  • How to avoid sexual harassment at the workplace

  • Causes of unethical conducts in workplaces

  • How do dirty business tricks work?

  • How ethical mistakes can lead to business bankruptcy

  • Should businesses be honest with their customers all the time?

  • How to move your business a generation ahead

  • Entrepreneurship and family business

6. Religion

  • The history of Judaism

  • The afterlife: Similarities and difference in different religions

  • What are the characteristics of divine God as per Divinity?

  • Crisis of faith: What is it?

  • Effects of religion on social morality

  • What causes new religions to emerge?

  • Is it possible to discard religion and uphold faith in the Almighty?

  • Interpretation of the Bible as per the latest situation

  • The history of Christianity

  • How does the Bible strengthen religion?

  • Effects of Greek religion and myths on the European culture

  • Children and religions: Are children considered innocent in all religions?

  • Yoga: A health or a religious practice?

7. Politics

  • What is the correlation between morality and power?

  • International political economy

  • Terrorism as a political instrument

  • Who was responsible for the Iran-Contra Affair?

  • Should the death penalty be allowed?

  • Totalitarianism: Pros and cons

  • How can ethnic killings be stopped?

  • What is better for the world, globalization or nationalism?

  • What were the causes and results of the Salem Witch Trials?

  • The connection between politics and religion

  • The causes and consequence of civil wars

  • Is socialism possible?

  • The code of honor and loyalty oath

  • The political decisions that changed history

  • Totalitarian regimes: Similarities and differences

8. Legal Matters

  • How do prostitution laws differ around the world?

  • Are punishments for sex crimes fair?

  • How does a new adoption law in Russia refuse orphans their chance for happiness?

  • Ethiopia's foreign relations policies towards the European Union

  • What are the roles of a legal practitioner in property acquisition

  • How do torrenting sites influence creativity and copyright?

  • Structural natural law in relation to family law

  • Models of foreign policy decision making

  • Marriage and succession rights in Israel

  • What are the binding status of international treaties and conventions on foreign states

  • How did the legalization of same-sex marriage influence the USA?

  • Should there be a law preventing cyber-bullying?

  • Various laws on abortion around the world

  • Should marijuana be legalized at the national level?

  • Where is the line between artistic photos and pornography?

9. Environment

  • Deep-sea mining: Is it safe enough for the oceans?

  • Is nuclear power safe for humans?

  • Effects of corona-virus on animals

  • Is it possible to predict hurricane impacts?

  • Tectonic movements: Can they impact the ecosystem?

  • Should more films about environmental matters be produced?

  • How to reduce wasting papers and save trees

  • Radioactive waste disposal

  • What can be done to save amphibian species from extinction?

  • What are the effects of acid rain?

  • Wildlife conservation

  • How to stop global warming

  • Underground effects of earthquakes

  • How have past oil spills changed regulations and cleanup methods?

  • What are the dangers of GMO food?

10. Technology

  • How can technology help in preventing terrorist attacks?

  • How technology is changing how humans read

  • How did Steve Jobs and Bill Gates change the world?

  • What technological innovations promise to change the third decade of the 21st century?

  • Entertainment Technology: Pros and cons

  • Does using the internet make humans smarter?

  • How do blogs compare to books?

  • What technologies does NASA use to explore Mars?

  • Should college classrooms use technology?

  • How can partners use technology to maintain relationships?

  • Cybersecurity: Can we really be safe?

  • Does the online format make readers skim instead of digesting information?

  • How do regular people influence technological progress?

  • How do humans gauge intelligence?

  • Is teaching students traditional research skills important in today's world?

Learn more about Sociology research topics here


Is a research problem the same as a statement problem?

No, they are different. While a research problem addresses a gap in the available knowledge, a statement of the problem describes the research problem.

Can a research topic be a question?

Yes. The guidelines for formulating a research paper topic include redefining the title as a research question.

Parting Shot

The unexpected happens – you are deep into looking for relevant information, and an exciting idea pops up! Meanwhile, you had already scribbled your draft research paper topic.

Worry not. Making adjustments to your research topic is allowed. Do you see why you need to read extensively before narrowing down?

Alternatively, during the reading phase, you might realize your idea is not manageable. Also, you could find it boring or lacking enough resources to help you complete your research paper. Again, make adjustments to your title.

Last but not least, you might gather too much information. Excess data will generate remotely related ideas, which will mess your research. Similarly, limited information affects the quality of your paper. Either way, you should consider revising your research topic.

However, remember you have to submit your research document in time. Also, the assignment has to have a specific number of pages. Therefore, make adjustments but be cautious, especially with the submission deadline.








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Published on: 27, Nov 2020
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