Essay Writing Guide
Best Research Paper Topics

Best Research Paper Topics

Best Research Paper Topics

Table of contents

What makes a good research paper? How can a student choose the best research paper topic for any given class? Are some topics better than others? The truth is the research paper topics trend. World events, scientific breakthroughs, new developments in research, and fluctuating interest in different topics all influence what students choose to write about

While the best research paper topics will change over time, there are some tips and tricks to finding the best ones to explore right now. You can always ask us "write my research paper for me" or keep reading to learn how to do it on your own.

Best research paper topics 2020

High School Research Paper Topics

  • What would be my dream job/my dream career?
  • The influence of social media on today’s teenagers
  • The Harmful Effects of Video Games
  • The Benefits and Drawbacks of Modern Technology
  • Social Hierarchies in High School
  • Self-fulfilling Prophecy in Education
  • Pros and Cons of School Uniforms
  • Should mobile phones be banned in schools?
  • A person who changed my life
  • My vision of the future (Life and Society in 2040)
  • Clothes Make the Man – Yes or No?
  • My biggest failure and the lesson I learned from it
  • How will success in school positively impact your future?


Persuasive Research Paper Topics

  • Children should be free to pick their own hobbies and activities
  • How is celebrity gossip culture negatively impacting today’s teens?
  • The harmful effects of social media’s beauty standards on teenage girls
  • School curriculums are outdated and irrelevant for modern times
  • Free speech should have its limits
  • Aliens exist / Aliens do not exist
  • The legal voting age should be lowered/increased
  • Teachers assign too much homework
  • Today’s students are overworked and stressed due to external pressures
  • Millennials have it easier/harder than their parents
  • The 9-to-5 work schedule is outdated
  • We should de-fund the police
  • Technology can change the world for the better


College Research Paper Topics

  • The gender pay gap in different US states
  • History of Feminism
  • Racism and xenophobia in 20th century American literature
  • Over-prescription mental health drugs and the global depression pandemic
  • Happiness is a state of mind
  • How are modern corporations socially unethical?
  • Green energy practices in Scandinavian countries
  • Is the glass ceiling in corporations real?
  • What we can do to fight climate change?
  • Colleges should do more to open up to lower-income students
  • Practices of preventing sexual violence on campus
  • The historical context of the civil rights movement
  • The harmful consequences of cancel culture


Controversial Research Paper Topics

  • Coronavirus quarantine measures: an overreaction?
  • Campuses and higher education institutions amid the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Is remote learning equally effective as in-person learning?
  • Should abortion be banned?
  • Are vaccines harmful?
  • Is eating meat unethical?
  • The Moon Landing is a Hoax
  • Climate Change is a Hoax
  • Fake news and its effect on modern democracies
  • The role of social media targeting in political elections
  • Is democracy the best political system?
  • Should the death penalty be legal?
  • The right to bear arms: Should guns be legal?


Criminal Justice Research Paper Topics

  • Patient Treatment in Mental Hospitals
  • The Importance of Eyewitness Evidence
  • Instances of police brutality in the United States
  • The history of criminal ethics
  • The most notorious unsolved cases in the US
  • Prevention measures for domestic violence
  • Education on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
  • Criminal justice reforms
  • The efficacy of the legal system in criminal cases
  • Cognitive bias and truth distortion in eyewitnesses
  • Identity theft prevention
  • Human trafficking statistics
  • New legislation on cybersecurity and cyberstalking


Sociological Research Paper Topics

  • An overview of coronavirus reactions in world media
  • The effect of the coronavirus pandemic on different classes and social groups
  • The unemployment rate changes during 2020 in the US
  • The impact of COVID-19 on collective mental health
  • Black lives matter: an overview of the movement
  • Historical examples of civil unrest
  • The ERA and the women’s liberation movement
  • The 2008 financial crisis vs 2020 financial crisis
  • Different education systems around the world
  • The effects of remote work on teams and companies
  • People without children earn more than their peers who are parents
  • The perception of LGBTQ community in the media
  • Republic and Democrat campaigns on social media


Sports Research Paper Topics

  • A short history of sport theory
  • The benefits of practicing a sport in pre-teen age
  • An overview of world records in 100m dashes
  • Physical prerequisites for long-distance runners
  • The lactate threshold – what does it mean for pro athletes?
  • Why are college sports revered in the US, unlike in many other countries?
  • The portrayal of basketball in movies and TV shows
  • A review of Michael Jordan’s documentary The Last Dance
  • The modern fitness craze and its positive impacts on national health
  • The basic principles of yoga
  • The application of sportsmanship in everyday life
  • How has COVID-19 impacted some of the most important sports?
  • The importance of PE in early education


Argumentative research paper topics

  • A film review of The Social Dilemma
  • The underlying algorithms and trends of TikTok and why it’s so popular among teens
  • Peer pressure on social media
  • Should parents control their children’s Internet activities?
  • Should violent video games and cartoons be banned?
  • The laws concerning cyber-crime and cyber-bullying in the US
  • The privacy concerns regarding major social media networks
  • Should we boycott Facebook?
  • Is college still necessary for career success?
  • Should we pursue a career in one company throughout our lives?
  • Is there such a thing as ageism – examples, theory
  • The better alternative to capitalism
  • The negative impacts of consumerism on society and individual well-being
  • Fast fashion and its impact on the environment
  • What is fair trade and how can we endorse it?


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How to Choose Interesting Research Paper Topics

Obviously, the best research paper topics are those that generate the most interest. After all, if you can hook your readers in with subject matter that is relevant to them, and that they are excited to read, you are off to a great start. The challenge is finding the topics that will generate the most interest. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • Prioritize Academics Over Trends

  • Keep in Mind That Interesting to You May Not Mean Interesting to Your Audience

  • Get to Know The Interests of Your Target Audience if Possible

  • Mine Publications And News Stories For Research Topic Ideas

  • Ask Your TA or Instructor For Examples of Research Paper Topics That Have Been Successful

  • Look For Topics That Excite You. Writing About Your Passions Always Leads to Interesting Writing

  • Hold Brainstorming Sessions With Peers For Research Paper Topic Ideas

  • Verify That There Are Adequate Research Sources For Any Topic You Are Considering

The ideal topic is one that is relevant to your class, is personally interesting to you, and contains information that your peers and instructors will find engaging. If you can manage to find subject matter that hits on all of these points, your research paper is sure to be a hit. Even better, you will likely enjoy the time you spend writing it.

If you can hook your readers in with subject matter that is relevant to them, and that they are excited to read, you are off to a great start.

Should You Choose Easy Research Paper Topics?

Many students want to know if it is okay for them to select research paper topics that are easy. That depends. If easy means below your grade level, and not challenging at all, the answer is no. Your instructors will see through that, and will be likely to grade you quite harshly for making that choice.

On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that you must pick an exceptionally hard topic. Now, if by easy you mean a topic that is personally interesting to you, and perhaps one that you have some knowledge about, then the answer is yes! It is okay for you to pick a topic where you have a bit of an advantage. Just be sure that it is at your academic level, and relevant for your class.

Be sure that the topic is at your academic level, and relevant for your class.

Choosing Research Paper Topics by Subject Matter

Now that you have some general information, it’s time to dig in a bit more. Specifically, what are the best methods for picking research paper topics for specific subjects. Keep reading for some detailed hints. Then, check the links for even more examples of research paper topics.

History Research Paper Topics

Here are a few helpful tips for selecting History research paper topics:

  • Remember that history is about people. Consider basing research on famous people of the Era.

  • Go for the lesser known by researching obscure, history topics.

  • Look for parallels between historic events and current happenings.

Health Research Paper Topics

Check out these great tips for finding great, Health research paper topics:

  • Search public health websites for current health news.

  • Avoid topics that are driven by ‘woo’ science.

  • Focus on health research that impacts students.

Psychology Research Paper Topics

Psychology is an interesting subject for research, and you can follow these tips to help you choose ideal psychology research topics.

  • Ask your instructor for examples of some of the best psychology papers they have seen.

  • Read psychology journals for inspiration.

  • Research psychology topics that are relevant to college students.

Other Research Paper Topics

If you haven’t seen your subject mentioned, have no fear. We have great advice on the following subjects. Just click the links below to find great research paper topic suggestions:

If you’re a high schooler, check out some of these topic ideas for your next research paper:

Persuasive papers are a breeze if you pick a topic you are knowledgeable in and passionate about. Here are some ideas:

In college, there are endless topics and fields to choose from. Here are some ideas if you feel like you’re stuck on a blank page: 

In the post-truth era where fake news is a part of our everyday life, coupled with political polarization and COVID-19, it seems like every essay and news report is controversial.

Criminal justice is an exciting field with loads of interesting courses you can take when you’re writing. Check these out:

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, sociological research has become more important than ever. Nowadays, topics for sociology papers usually revolve around society’s adaptation to the new normal. 

The theory and psychology of sport can sometimes be equally interesting or even more interesting than watching a match or a game. 

These days, knowing how to back up your opinions and beliefs is a must-have skill for any conversation. Here are some argumentative research paper topics you can choose.

  • High School Research Paper Topics

    • Pick a topic that you’re personally interested in. It will be much easier to write it when you feel a passion for your writing.

    • Avoid cliché topics and pick a topic you’ve never read about before.

    • Find a golden mean between an overly simple paper and something that’s too challenging for your age.

  • Persuasive Research Paper Topics

    • Try to remember a recent discussion you had with your friends or family about a particular topic. This can be your perfect topic for a persuasive research paper.

    • Make sure you gather enough evidence and examples for your arguments.

    • Use Google Scholar to search for credible sources from scientific journals and papers.

  • College Research Paper Topics

    • Choose a topic that’s closely linked to your field of interest.

    • Use proper citation styles and make sure you stick to the desired form for a college research paper.

    • Introduce interesting, out-of-the-box argumentation methods and complex ideas.

  • Controversial Research Paper Topics

    • Search Twitter, YouTube or Reddit for some of the latest controversial topics.

    • Take an objective attitude towards both of the contrasting opinions, no matter what your personal opinion may be.

    • Focus on controversial subjects that are contemporary and relevant to this day and age.

  • Criminal Justice Research Paper Topics

    • Choose a topic that’s relevant, but personally interesting to you.

    • Consider controversial criminal justice topics that are discussed in today’s media and other platforms.

    • For a more theoretical approach, examine the history of a particular sub-field within criminal justice.

  • Sociological Research Paper Topics

    • Examine how the coronavirus pandemic impacted specific parts of society: for example work, socialization, education, business…

    • Consider discussing racial or minority questions that are relevant to today’s discussions and presenting them as a historical overview.

    • Introduce interesting, lesser-known statistics on everyday issues.

  • Sports Research Paper Topics

    • Research the history of the sport you’re interested in.

    • Take a look at some of the major names in the sport, their contributions and records set throughout history.

    • Examine the impact of a particular sport on today’s society and education. 

  • Argumentative research paper topics


    • Discuss one of the modern technological phenomena (smartphones, social media, the Internet in general) and provide arguments on how its impacting society.

    • Examine legislature in your country regarding issues you care about and provide arguments on how it should be changed.

    • Challenge traditional institutions, thought schools and opinions and provide evidence that proves them wrong in the current context.

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