100 Great Research Paper Topics

Updated on February 6, 2018
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VirginiaLynne has been a University English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.

Research Paper Writing Help

The best way to choose a good topic for your Research Writing is to find a question that interests you. If you know something about it, that can give you a head start. However, before you get started, be sure to Google search some information on the topic to see:

  1. What are the different positions or ideas people have on this topic?
  2. Who is interested in this?
  3. What is the background of this problem?
  4. What is the current situation?

Reading a few minutes on the topic should help you decide whether you really want to read and research more. If this topic looks like a great one for you, see my help in writing your paper:

  1. How to Make Great Topic Sentences
  2. Argument Paper Step by Step
  3. Writing Effective Sentences
  4. MLA Research Paper Help
  5. Research Paper Outline Guide

Essay Questions on:


Women's Issues

Business and Work

Criminal Justice

Sports and Athletes


Is a traditional college better than an online one?
Is a traditional college better than an online one? | Source
  1. Do colleges do enough to train people for their jobs?
  2. Are colleges more geared toward making money and building their own reputations than really educating Undergraduates?
  3. When we equate college degrees with good jobs, do we perpetuate class distinctions between better and low-level jobs?
  4. Are young people hurt by the fact that parents expect or even demand that they go straight from high school to college?
  5. Are older people who might appreciate a college education more denied access?
  6. Should colleges be re-organized to become places where people search for truth rather than a place to prepare people for a career?
  7. Should colleges abolish grades and give students written evaluations of their performance instead?
  8. Does striving to make it into college make students work harder in High School? What is the correlation between student high achievement in high school and how well those same students do in college?
  9. What is the most important factor in students staying past their freshman year at the same college? How can your college improve their retention rate?
  10. What causes students to get into too much college debt? How can students avoid getting in too much debt?
  11. Is going to a private University worth the additional cost compared to a public University or Junior college?
  12. Do graduate students teach as well as tenured faculty?
  13. Does class attendance really matter? Should students in college be graded on whether they attend class?
  14. What are the best strategies for studying to make good grades in college?
  15. Should student athletes or students with learning disabilities get special accommodations at college? Why or why not? What is fair?

Women's Issues

Does working as a maid create a positive or negative situation for women?
Does working as a maid create a positive or negative situation for women? | Source
  1. Has the feminist movement been a help to women or not?
  2. How has feminism changed America? The world?
  3. How common is domestic abuse, or child abuse?
  4. What is female genital mutilation and how is it connected with AIDS in Africa?
  5. How does education of women change a society?
  6. How are cultural expectations of women different in Muslim vs. Western nations?
  7. Why do people marry?
  8. How has marriage changed?
  9. What is the history of marriage?
  10. What are the most important health risks for women to be aware of?
  11. How is heart health different for men and women?
  12. How do the female hormones protect women from heart disease?
  13. Is the Pill good or bad for women to use?
  14. Are there health benefits to having children?
  15. Why do so few women put their child up for adoption?
  16. What is the effect of birth control and pregnancy on the psyche of a woman?
  17. Are women with children happier than women who do not give birth to a child?
  18. Should women participate in extreme sports?
  19. What is a maid? Is there a “good” definition of this job vs. a “bad” definition?
  20. Should a person hire a maid?

Business and Working

  1. Should a person work as a maid? Write a paper which first gives the advantages and disadvantages of working as a maid (citing the sources) and concludes with a suggestion of what sort of employment as a maid, she might want to consider.
  2. Describe the problem of child labor and give detailed examples.
  3. How can child labor be stopped internationally? What are the problems that result from children working from a very young age in difficult and dangerous jobs?
  4. How important are ethics in business? Give examples of problems that unethical behavior has caused in business. What can companies do to help create a corporate culture which supports ethical behavior?
  5. What is identity theft? How important is it to worry about? How can people protect their identity from being stolen?
  6. E-business is using information and technology to support businesses. What is the future of E-business?
  7. How important is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for a business's website? How can a business be sure they achieve the best web presentation for customers?
  8. How is outsourcing affecting businesses in your country? Should governments take steps to prevent outsourcing? Should businesses seek to invest in their own countries?
  9. How effective are social conscious businesses at solving problems? For example, does Tom’s Shoes really effectively help the poor? Should you buy Newman’s dressings?
  10. What is the best way to grow jobs and get people back to work?
  11. Are there some people who are “unemployable?” What are the characteristics of a person who has chronic unemployment?
  12. What are the top 5 businesses in the next 10 years?
  13. How important is branding for a business? How does branding affect a product in a positive or negative way? How can companies change their branding?
  14. How did the NAFTA agreement affect business in the United States?
  15. What is the right balance of government regulation of safety vs. the need of companies to make money and stay in business?
  16. How has terrorism affected businesses?
  17. Should employees be allowed more flexible leave time for caring for children and elderly parents?
  18. What are the benefits for companies that allow employees to job share?
  19. What should be the relationship between Universities and businesses?
  20. Do businesses use college as a recruiting ground for weeding out candidates rather than creating systems of apprenticing people that would better prepare them for the jobs they actually do?
  21. Should businesses promote people based on seniority, college degrees or evaluations of performance?
  22. Should businesses work harder to create loyalty and long term employment which leads to more people working for that business their entire career?
  23. How does birth order affect people in a work environment?
  24. Are mobile payments using cell phones going to replace credit cards? Are they really more secure from credit card hackers?
  25. Do businesses need to regularly blog?

Crime and Criminal Justice

  1. Pick a Greek organization, sports team or another group which has had problems with hazing. Explain their history and rituals of hazing along with any statistics of death or injury. How has the organization worked to prevent hazing? Has this been successful?
  2. Does non-dangerous “hazing” add to the rituals and community of an organization? Argue for or against having new members participate in initiation traditions.
  3. What can be done to prevent online bullying? Who is responsible for stopping it?
  4. What causes acquaintance rape? How can it be prevented?
  5. What should you do if your friend is raped?
  6. What should you do if your friend or relative says they want to commit suicide?
  7. What causes violence on campuses? How can it be stopped?
  8. Should schools allow people with licenses to carry concealed weapons?
  9. Is Mandatory Minimum sentencing a good idea? Does it prevent crime?
  10. What causes someone to become a serial killer?
  11. Are there some crimes which should require a mandatory death sentence?
  12. Should prisons punish, or should they attempt to rehabilitate prisoners?
  13. Do organizations like Prison Fellowship, which attempt to reform prisoners through faith, produce long-term results in changed lives?
  14. What happens to someone when they get out of prison?
  15. How hard is it for ex-prisoners to get a job?
  16. Why is there police brutality? What causes policemen to beat up prisoners?
  17. Has the marijuana legalization in some states made crime go up or down?
  18. Are some people genetically predisposed to crime? Should genetic testing be done on criminals?
  19. How should the background of the criminal (intelligence, psychosis, genetic predispositions and family environment) affect the decision in a criminal case?
  20. Should terrorist suspects be tried in American courts?
  21. Is it a good idea to help rehabilitate prisoners by using Art, Music or Theater therapy?
  22. African-American males are far more likely to spend time in prison in the United States than any other group. What causes this? Is there a way to stop it?
  23. Crime appears in news reports, television shows and reality T.V. Do these shows promote more crime or give people ideas?
  24. Should people convicted of a DUI be able to attend classes to prevent having their driver’s license revoked?
  25. Should DUI laws be the same across all states?
  26. In the fear of making a mistake, many states have not put convicted prisoners to death. Does the possibility of wrongful deaths outweigh the need for justice?
  27. The Innocence Project has released more than 300 convicted criminals based primarily on DNA evidence. Many states give no compensation to those released. Should there be a law to require compensation?

Sports and Athletes

Should college athletes be paid?
Should college athletes be paid? | Source
  1. Pick a sport and tell what needs to be done to keep kids safe, or argue for why the risks are worth it.
  2. Why do so many young people get injured while playing sports? Is it accidental and unavoidable or is there a way to prevent injuries? You can talk about sports in general or focus on one sport you know.
  3. Can anyone compete in a marathon? Should everyone try it at least once? What does it take to do this type of race?
  4. How much does the crowd at an athletic contest influence the game? Does the roar of the fans really cause the team to win or lose?
  5. Should college athletes get paid? If so, how should that be done?
  6. Should all athletes be paid, or only ones who play in sports that bring money to the school?
  7. Should players Unionize?
  8. Pick a sport and argue for the person you think is the best athlete of all time in that sport.
  9. What is it that people learn from playing in competitive sports?
  10. Argue for why all children need to play in competitive sports in school.
  11. Research the history of a sport you like. How has the game changed over the years?
  12. Research the original Olympic Games and compare them to today's games.
  13. Is there a sport which should be added to the Olympic Games?
  14. How successful has Title 9 been in changing access to sports for women?
  15. Has Title 9 hurt men's athletics? Should there be changes?

Questions & Answers


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      • KatWin profile image

        Kathy Burton 2 months ago from Florida

        Good list. I’m not the only one who thought the list might be good for Hubbers. Looking forward to exploring more of your writing.


      • profile image

        Nate Edmonds 20 months ago

        This is very useful and an easy way to come by some topics that are interesting to myself! I'm sure I'll use some of these great topics for writing future papers!

      • lawdoctorlee profile image

        Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 3 years ago from New York, NY

        Great hub, VirginiaLynne! Not only is these great ideas for college papers, they are great ideas for hubs! I'm going to have to bookmark this hub for future reference.

        Voting this one "up" and "useful."

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

        Another great source of information for essay writers. You never know when you need this inspiration as a student.

      • janderson99 profile image

        Dr. John Anderson 3 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

        Fascinating article. I really enjoyed reading it.

      • Torrs13 profile image

        Tori Canonge 3 years ago from North Carolina

        Lots of great research paper ideas here! I really like your topics about released prisoners getting jobs. I have always found that to be a fascinating topic as it seems that our system does not do a good job of preparing prisoners to re-enter the world. Also, your topic prompts about hazing were very unique as well. Great work!

      • thumbi7 profile image

        JR Krishna 3 years ago from India

        Good collection of topics. Post graduate students often struggle to find a feasible topic to be researched on. For them this list will be helpful

      • Sundeep Kataria profile image

        Sundeep Kataria 3 years ago

        What a great research on research topics. I am sure it would be helpful to we hub writers also.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Great resource for college students. Honestly, if I never write another research paper it will be all right by me. :)