Formal Research Essay Topics

Business

Cheap labor U.S. companies that move factories to undeveloped nations barely pay employees enough to live on. Is it unethical to pay cheap wages or are companies doing those workers a favor?

Fitness programs Should companies allow employees to exercise on work time?

Mining What safety measures made the recent Canadian mining accident a noncasualty event, while recent U.S. mining accidents have been fatal?

Oil companies Do oil companies make big bucks while the rest of us pay over $3 a gallon?

Wage gap Women still earn only 75 cents for every $1 a man earns. Explain why.

Wages There’s a minimum wage, but should there also be a maximum wage/salary a person can earn?

Workaholics Do Americans work too hard? Does working more actually reduce productivity? Is a 40-hour workweek too much? Should there be a mandatory cap on the number of hours a person can work? Should there be changes in employment laws to give Americans more relaxation time?

Education

Athletes in high schools Should shoe companies be able to give away free shoes and equipment to high school athletes?

Censorship Should parents censor textbooks and other literature for children in schools?

College athletics Should college athletes be paid?

Electronic information preservation Does the Information Age mean we are losing important historical information?

Exams Exams often do little more than measure a person’s ability to take exams. Should exams be outlawed in favor of another form of assessment?

Flag Should children be required to say the Pledge of Allegiance in schools?

Gap year Should teens in the U.S. adopt the British custom of taking a “gap year” between high school and college?

Grades In some European schools, fewer than 10% of students get A’s. Is there grade inflation in the U.S.? Why so many A’s for Americans?

No Child Left Behind Act Is it working?

School lunches Should government impose restrictions on what kinds of foods can be served in school cafeterias?

School uniforms Pros and cons of school uniforms.

Single-sex schools Do children learn better in boys-only and girls-only schools?

Environment

Climate change Is global warming a hoax? Is it being exaggerated?

Coal Should the use of coal be subjected to stricter environmental regulations than other fuels?

DDT Should DDT be reapproved for use in the wake of recent bedbug outbreaks across the country?

Wind energy Is wind energy really that cheap? Is it effective? Is it practical?

Government Policy

Airport security Should the government use invasive pat-downs and body scans to ensure passenger safety or are there better methods?

al-Qaida Has U.S. policy actually spread terrorism rather than contain it? Will it get better or worse? Why and how?

Arming pilots Good idea?

Bridges, roads, waterways Why the government gets a bad report card on America’s infrastructure.

Health care crisis Most developed nations have universal health coverage. Why doesn’t the U.S., the wealthiest nation, have it?

Homeland Security Are we safer since the creation of this department?

Immigration Should illegal immigrants be made legal citizens?

Internet regulation Should the federal government be allowed to regulate information on the Internet?

Iraq War Is America winning or losing the war? What is the measurement of success? Have the benefits outweighed the costs?

Iraq War vets Are they being cheated on medical benefits?

Lead poisoning Should the U.S. stop importing Chinese-manufactured toys?

Marijuana legalization Should the federal government legalize the use of marijuana?

Military Should the U.S. have mandatory military conscription? For whom?

Moms Should stay-at-home moms get a salary from the government?

Obesity and weight loss Should thin people have to pay Medicare and other health costs for the health problems of obese people? Should obese people have higher premiums?

Prescription medicines Should there be a national database to track controlled substances (i.e., oxycodone) or should it be a state issue?

Privacy Should the government be allowed to wiretap without permission?

School lunches Should government impose restrictions on what kinds of foods can be served in school cafeterias?

Sex offenders Once they leave prison, are laws about where they may live and be employed unfair?

Smoking bans Should the federal government pass a nationwide indoor smoking ban?

Health

Fast food Are we taking it too far by blaming fast-food restaurants for obesity? When is it individual responsibility and when is it appropriate to place blame?

Fitness programs Should companies allow employees to exercise on work time?

Food Steroids. Antibiotics. Sprays. Are food manufacturers killing us?

Health care crisis Most developed nations have universal health coverage. Why doesn’t the U.S., the wealthiest nation, have it?

Lead poisoning Should the U.S. stop importing Chinese-manufactured toys?

Malpractice How can we balance the need to lower the cost of malpractice insurance with the fact that physician malpractice is one of the leading causes of death?

Models Should there be a minimum weight limit?

Noise pollution How much is too much noise? What, if anything, should we do to curb it?

Obesity and weight loss Should thin people have to pay Medicare and other health costs for the health problems of obese people? Should obese people have higher premiums?

Prescription medicines Should there be a national database to track controlled substances (i.e., oxycodone) or should it be a state issue?

School lunches Should government impose restrictions on what kinds of foods can be served in school cafeterias?

Smoking bans Should the federal government pass a nationwide indoor smoking ban?

Social media Can excessive use of social media contribute to addictive behaviors (drugs, tobacco, alcohol) or mental health issues?

Steroids Should they be legalized?

Vaccines Should parents avoid vaccinating their children?

Human Behavior

Nonverbal communication How do men and women communicate differently using body language, and why does it matter (in dating, the workplace, social circles)?

Road rage Why do normally patient people become impatient behind the wheel?

Social anxiety How is it different from shyness? And, are we a society of anxiety?

Suicide bombers What kind of person becomes a suicide bomber?

Terrorism Can terrorism ever be justified?

Legal Issues

Airplane accidents Who is responsible? Should families of victims be entitled to compensation?

Bullying laws Should the state or federal government put laws into place to prevent bullying?

Civil disobedience Is breaking the law for a cause justifiable?

Civil unions If civil couples have the same rights/privileges as married people, why get married?

Holocaust Should denial of the Holocaust be illegal?

Infidelity In some states, it is illegal to cheat on a spouse. Should we prosecute cheaters? Is a law that’s not enforced really a law?

Juvenile offenders Should juvenile offenders be tried and punished as adults?

Organ sale Should we legalize the sale of human organs?

Parents Should parents be held responsible when their children break laws?

Sex offenders Once they leave prison, are laws about where they may live and be employed unfair?

Statutory rape Recently, a 17-year-old boy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. Are statutory rape laws patronizing to girls and discriminatory to boys?

Media and Freedom of Speech

Advertising Should certain kinds of ads be banned in the interest of health/morality/annoyance – alcohol, cigarettes, prescription meds, etc.?

Art A few years ago, an artist was criticized for depicting the Virgin Mary with elephant dung. When is art not really art?

Censorship Should parents censor textbooks and other literature for children in schools?

Church arson Hate crime?

Flag Should children be required to say the Pledge of Allegiance in schools?

Journalism Should newspaper reporters be required to reveal their sources?

Media Does the media, both print and broadcast, report fairly? Does it ever cross the line between reporting the news and creating the news?

Paparazzi What, if any, limitations should be applied to the paparazzi?

Pornography Parental filters on the Internet. Does censorship actually increase curiosity and use of pornography?

Public figures Does the public have a right to know about a public figure’s private life?

Racial bias in media Does news coverage favor whites?

Religion

Church arson Hate crime?

Religion Is there one true religion?

Women in the clergy Should women be priests, pastors, ministers and rabbis?

Social Issues

Abstinence programs Do they work?

Alcohol Should the U.S. lower the drinking age to 18?

Animal rights Should it be illegal to use animals for sports and entertainment?

Beauty contests Do they serve any purpose in society?

Campus sexual assault Are sexual assault incidences on college campuses on the rise or has awareness just increased?

Child soldiers Why and how children are used for war

Civil unions If civil couples have the same rights/privileges as married people, why get married?

Cyber crime What are the latest ways to steal identity and money?

Divorce Should we reform laws to make it harder to get a divorce?

Felons and voting Should convicted felons have the right to vote?

Feminism Is feminism still relevant? How do young women view feminism?

Gay marriage Should there be a constitutional amendment that allows gays and lesbians to legally marry?

Generations How four different generations in the workplace can work together.

Infidelity In some states, it is illegal to cheat on a spouse. Should we prosecute cheaters? Is a law that’s not enforced really a law?

Internet and children Are children smarter (or more socialized) because of the Internet?

Intersexuals What, if anything, should be done medically and socially?

Literacy Are Americans “literate”?

Models Should there be a minimum weight limit?

Muslim Americans What is life for them like in the U.S. after September 11, 2001?

Organ sale Should we legalize the sale of human organs?

Privacy What medical information should be confidential? Who, if anybody, should have access to medical records?

Sex offenders Once they leave prison, are laws about where they may live and be employed unfair?

Spanking Should it be outlawed?

Sports parents What are the effects on children whose parents push them in sports?

Statutory rape Recently, a 17-year-old boy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. Are statutory rape laws patronizing to girls and discriminatory to boys?

Title IX Has it helped women’s sports? Has it harmed men’s sports?

Tough love Does parental “tough love” really work?

Toys Do certain children’s toys create social or emotional problems?

Wages There’s a minimum wage, but should there also be a maximum wage/salary a person can earn?

Wage gap Women still earn only 75 cents for every $1 a man earns. Explain why.

Workaholics Do Americans work too hard? Does working more actually reduce productivity? Is a 40-hour work week too much? Should there be a mandatory cap on the number of hours a person can work? Should there be changes in employment laws to give Americans more relaxation time?

Working mothers What differences, if any, are there in children who are raised by stay-at-home moms and working moms? Does society today still discriminate against working mothers who wish to have flexible work schedules?

World

Middle East Why so many conflicts? Are there solutions?

Overpopulation What would happen globally if the demand for natural resources becomes greater than the supply?

 

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 about 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 one. 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.

Make Sure You Have Enough Resources For Your Topic

Do a quick computer 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 From 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. Need more support? Get professional research paper writing help on DoMyResearchPaper.com.

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:

Crime and Law Research Paper Topics:

Drugs and Drug Abuse Research Paper Topics:

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Doping in sports
  • Drug testing
  • Drunk driving
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Nicotine

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
  • Hazing
  • Home schooling
  • Intelligence tests
  • Learning disabilities
  • Literacy in America
  • No Child Left Behind
  • Plagiarism
  • Prayer in schools
  • Sex education
  • School vouchers
  • Standardized tests

Environmental Research Paper Topics:

  • Acid rain
  • Alternative fuel/hybrid vehicles
  • Conservation
  • Deforestation
  • Endangered species
  • Energy
  • Global warming
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Landfills
  • Marine pollution
  • Nuclear energy
  • Oil spills
  • Pesticides
  • Pollution
  • Population control
  • Radioactive waste disposal
  • Recycling
  • Smog
  • Soil pollution
  • Wildlife conservation

Family issues Research Paper Topics:

  • Battered woman syndrome
  • Child abuse
  • Divorce rates
  • Domestic abuse
  • Family relationships
  • Family values

Health Research Paper Topics:

  • AbortionAbortion
  • AIDS
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Alternative medicine
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Artificial insemination
  • Autism
  • Birth control
  • Bulimia
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Dietary supplements
  • Drug abuse
  • Dyslexia
  • Exercise and fitness
  • Fad diets
  • Fast food
  • Heart disease
  • HIV infection
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Medicaid, Medicare reform
  • Obesity
  • Organic foods
  • Prescription drugs
  • Plastic surgery
  • Sleep
  • Smoking
  • Stem cell research
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Vegetarianism
  • Weight loss surgery

Media and Communications Research Paper Topics:

  • Body image
  • Censorship
  • Children’s programming and advertising
  • Copyright Law
  • Freedom of speech
  • Materialism
  • Media bias
  • Media conglomerates, ownership
  • Minorities in mass media
  • Political correctness
  • Portrayal of women
  • Reality television
  • Stereotypes
  • Talk radio
  • Television violence

Political Issues Research Paper Topics:

  • Affirmative Action
  • Budget deficit
  • Electoral College
  • Election reform
  • Emigration
  • Genocide
  • Illegal aliensIllegal aliens
  • Immigration
  • Impeachment
  • International relations
  • Medicaid, Medicare reform
  • Operation Enduring Iraqi Freedom
  • Partisan politics
  • Prescription drugs
  • Social Security Reform
  • Third parties
  • Taxes

Psychology Research Paper Topics:

  • Child abuse
  • Criminal psychology
  • Depression
  • Dreams
  • Intelligence tests
  • Learning disabilities
  • Memory
  • Physical attraction
  • Schizophrenia

Religion Research Paper Topics:

Social Issues Research Paper Topics:

  • Abortion
  • Adoption
  • Airline safety, security
  • Affirmative Action programs
  • AIDS
  • Apartheid
  • Birth control
  • Child abuse
  • 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
  • Poverty
  • Race relations
  • Reverse discrimination
  • Suffrage
  • Suicide
  • Test biases
  • Textbook biases
  • Welfare

Terrorism Research Paper Topics:

Women and Gender Research Paper Topics:

  • Abortion
  • Birth control and Pregnancy
  • Body image
  • Cultural expectations and practices
  • Discrimination
  • Eating disorders
  • Education
  • Feminism
  • Gay pride
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Health
  • Marriage and Divorce
  • Media portrayals
  • Menstruation and Menopause
  • Parenting
  • Prostitution
  • LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender)
  • Sex and Sexuality
  • Sports
  • Stereotypes
  • Substance abuse
  • Violence and Rape
  • Work

Source: University of Illinois Online Library

by Megan Collins

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