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100 Great Research Paper Topics

Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.

Easy research paper topics to help you write a great paper for high school or college!

Easy research paper topics to help you write a great paper for high school or college!

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?


  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 parents' expectations or 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 its retention rate?
  10. What causes students to get into too much college debt? How can students avoid getting into 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?
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?

Women's Issues

  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 the education of women change 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 children up for adoption?
  16. What is the effect of birth control and pregnancy on a woman's psyche?
  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 that first gives the advantages and disadvantages of working as a maid (citing the sources) and concludes with a suggestion of what sort of employment she might want to consider as a maid.
  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 identities 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 socially 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 positively or negatively? 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 their jobs?
  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, leading 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?
What causes someone to become a serial killer?

What causes someone to become a serial killer?

Crime and Criminal Justice

  1. Pick a Greek organization, sports team, or another group that has had hazing problems. Explain their history, hazing rituals, and any death or injury statistics. 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 that 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 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, on 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. Many states have not put convicted prisoners to death for fear of making a mistake. 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?
Should college athletes be paid?

Should college athletes be paid?

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Sports and Athletes

  1. Pick a sport and tell what needs to be done to keep kids safe, or argue 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 competitive sports?
  10. Argue for why all children need to play 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 that 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

Question: I want to write a research paper on natural disasters Vs damages and costs. Is this a good topic?

Answer: Here are some topic questions that would work:

1. What type of natural disaster tends to be the most costly in damages and rebuilding?

2. What are the top three natural disasters in damages and costs?

3. Do estimates of damages and costs after a disaster end up being accurate most of the time?

4. How do we best estimate the damages and costs of natural disasters?

Question: I want the research topic on sociology in Organizational behavior, can you help me?

Answer: I have a wide variety of psychology research topics in this article:

and you will see a list of topic that will help you generate your own idea in 100 Academic Persuasive Research Topics

Question: I want to do research on a female prisoner's re-entry into society. Is this a good topic?

Answer: You have an excellent research idea. You probably want a question like:

1. What are the problems female prisoners encounter when returning to society?

2. What non-profit organizations help female prisoners re-enter into society?

3. What can be done to make female prisoners successful when they are released?

4. What can be done to prevent female prisoners from committing another crime after being released?

Question: What do you think of the topic, "how to become a success" for a research paper?

Answer: Your topic would be better if it was a bit more specific. Try:

1. How to become a successful businessman.

2. 5 Steps for becoming a successful mom.

3. Ways to become a successful entrepreneur.

4. 6 Steps to successfully making a perfect pie.

Question: I want to write a research paper on depression or autism. Are these good topics?

Answer: Both of those topics are good general ideas, but you will need to form a research question. Here are some possibilities:

1. What causes depression?

2. Why do so many teenagers have problems with depression?

3. Is there a cure for depression?

4. What causes autism?

5. Can autism be cured by intensive early intervention?

6. What are the different types of autism?

Question: I have a research paper to write and I was thinking that I should base the paper on Immigration. So should the thesis be "Should illegal immigrants be made legal citizens?"

Answer: For a research paper, you want to start with a topic question which could be answered in more than one way (if there is only one answer, you wouldn't need to write a paper about it!). Your question could be a good start. Then you would need to write a thesis answer which would explain whether you answer the question "yes" or "no" and also why. For example:

Illegal immigrants should be made legal citizens because (give three reasons why).

Illegal immigrants should not be made legal citizens because (give three reasons why this is not a good idea).

In both paper answers, you would want to deal with the perspective of the other side of the issue and refute the objections of people who believe differently. For more help in organizing your paper, see: Easy steps in writing a position paper:

Question: I want to write a paper on unemployment and underemployment. Is this a researchable topic?

Answer: Yes, but you will need to look at both economic journal articles and also government databases. In the United States the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great source for employment information. If you are writing about another country, you will need to look for a similar sort of labor bureau. The UN website has worldwide statistics also.

Question: I want to write my research paper on how African-American males are far more likely to spend time in prison in the United States than any other group. Is this good topic?

Answer: Your topic is an excellent one, and you are correct to understand that if you want to talk about solutions, you need to first analyze the causes. For most complicated issues, there are many causes. I'd suggest that you list out the ones you find in your research and spend about one paragraph in your essay talking about all of the causes. Then, the next thing you need to do in trying to solve a problem (stop it) is to figure out which one of those causes is either easiest to solve, or the most important one to solve in order to make a difference in the problem. Additionally, you will want to consider which cause you can solve. For example, racism is obviously part of the problem but that is so wide ranging that it is hard to figure out a solution. However, you could target reducing racisim in a particular group, such as police or judges by some sort of education program. That is just an example and not necesarily what I think would be most effective. Do some research and you will find out the best ideas other people have.

Question: I would like to write about the death penalty, where can I find more research about it?

Answer: The death penalty is sometimes a rather over-used topic by students and some instructors may not like you to focus on it, so I would be sure to ask. If you do, here are some focus questions:

1. When is the death penalty appropriate?

2. Should there be a nation-wide standard about the death penalty?

3. Does the death penalty actually deter criminals?

4. Does the death penalty help the families of victims?

5. What is the best reasons for abolishing the death penalty?

Question: I want to write about whether abortion is really killing a life or not. Is this a good topic?

Answer: Since most people have a strong opinion about abortion and there are many standard arguments for both sides, an essay on this topic is sometimes hard to write well. I suggest to people interested in a hot-button issue like this that they choose a particular audience or a very different approach. Here are some possible ways to do this well:

1. Write a letter to a pregnant friend talking about why you feel she should or should not have an abortion.

2. Are there some aspects that both sides of the abortion debate can agree on? (this could include the fact that most people would like fewer women to have to have an abortion, or that most people think that women who are pregnant should have access to everything they need if they want to keep that child).

Question: We were asked to research "Healthcare Administration." However, I can not come with a specific topic. What do you recommend?

Answer: Here are some good research topics in Healthcare Administration:

1. How are wearable tracking devices like Fitbit going to change healthcare?

2. How can big data analysis help healthcare administration costs?

3. How will artificial intelligence change healthcare administration?

4. How can hospitals better protect the security of patient data?

5. What are the most important concerns about population health management?

6. How can hospitals improve patient satisfaction?

Question: I just want to pass my class and I have to choose a topic but I am bad at writing. Can you help me?

Answer: Many students just want to pass the class and I can certainly understand that feeling. However, remember that learning to write better, faster and easier will help you a lot in getting a job and keeping it. My articles are designed to teach people how to write more easily but you will have to put in some effort. You might want to start with an easy topic: Next, look at my step by step instructions for getting started and turning your topic question into a thesis and topic sentences:

Question: I want to write a research paper on graffiti. What could be a good topic?

Answer: Here are some topic questions for a research paper on graffiti:

1. Is graffiti a good method for urban communication?

2. What is the history of graffiti?

3. How does ancient graffiti tell us about the past?

4. Should there be laws against graffiti?

5. Should graffiti be cleaned up?

6. Does graffiti beautify the world or is it pollution?

7. What is the role of graffiti in modern societies?

Question: I want to research about poverty and wondered if you could give me some questions?

Answer: 1. What is the cause of poverty in developed nations?

2. What is the effect of poverty in developing nations?

3. What can be done by individuals to help solve poverty?

4. How does living in poverty affect children?

5. What is poverty?

Question: I need a research topic on testing. Would you help me, please?

Answer: 1. What is the most effective way of testing to increase student's knowledge at the end of a course?

2. How accurate are "intelligence" tests?

3. Does requiring students to pass tests before graduating high school increase learning?

4. Do standardized tests like SAT and ACT accurately predict college performance?


Kathy Burton from Florida on February 07, 2018:

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.


Nate Edmonds on August 23, 2016:

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!

Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD from New York, NY on January 29, 2015:

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."

Dianna Mendez on July 02, 2014:

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

Dr. John Anderson from Australia on Planet Water on June 29, 2014:

Fascinating article. I really enjoyed reading it.

Tori Canonge from North Carolina on June 29, 2014:

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!

JR Krishna from India on June 29, 2014:

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 on June 29, 2014:

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

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 29, 2014:

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

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