Choose your Topic Smart
What starts well, ends well, so you need to be really careful with research paper topics. The topic of a research paper defines the whole piece of writing. How often have you chosen the book by its title? First impression is often influential, so make sure your topic will attract the reader instantly. By choosing your topic smart, the half of your job is done. That is why we have singled out several secrets on how to pick the best topic for you.
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What is the Key to a Perfect Topic for a Research Paper?
The key to a perfect topic includes three main secrets: interest, precision, and innovation.
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It is impossible to do something great if you have no interest in what you are doing. For this reason, make sure you choose the topic that drives you. If you are bored by what you investigate, do not expect that your paper will be exciting. Right now, spend some minutes or even hours thinking about what interests you. Jot down all your preferences in life, science, politics, social issues etc. It will help you get the idea what you can write about.
After realizing what drives you, narrow this general idea to a more specific one. A research paper is not about beating around the bush. You will need clear facts and data. You will have to provide evidence to your ideas. You will need to be precise, specific and convincing.
Finally, the idea of any research is that it should be surprising and distinctive. Think what makes your perspective and approach special. What is the novelty of your research?
If you are still stuck, use technology. Today we have an opportunity to make our lives easier with a bit of technology used. You can find paper topic generators online. This software will examine the category you want to investigate and the keywords from your research. Within several seconds, this program generates paper topics, so you can try it yourself. It can help you get started with your assignment.
100% Effective Advice
We will now give you advice that is 100% effective when picking the topic. Firstly, forget about what others may think about your topic. This is your topic and this is your perception of the world. Stay personal and let your personal style get you the top grades. Secondly, never decide on the topic before analyzing the background for your research. By this we mean, investigate the topic before you start the research proper. It happens quite often that students choose the topic and later they realize there is no data or information to use. That is why conduct some research beforehand. Thirdly, read other researchers’ papers on the topic you want to write about. It will help you get the idea of the investigation. Moreover, it will help you understand whether you truly want to write a paper on this topic. Finally, when you have picked the topic, started your research, make sure you dedicate your time and energy. If you want to get high results, you need to study every little details of your research.
Examine Different Ideas
People often come up with genius ideas after analyzing thousands of other people’s ideas. This is how our brain works. That is why you can analyze other people’s ideas for research paper topics and think up your own. If you have never written any paper of that kind, it will help you understand the gist of this assignment, the style and the requirements. By comparing different topics, you can motivate yourself and get inspired with these ideas. Luckily, you have come to the right place. Here is our list of top 100 research paper topics.
Top 10 Argumentative Research Paper Topics:
Argumentative research papers examine some controversial issues. Your task is to provide your point of view, your argument, and support your idea with the evidence. This academic assignment requires appropriate structuring and formatting.
- Does a College Education Pay?
- Dual Career Families and Working Mothers
- Electronic Copyright and Piracy
- Drinking on Campus
- Education for Homeless Children
- Glass ceiling
- Honor System at Colleges
- Sex and Violence on TV
- Word Population and Hunger
- World Trade and Globalization
Top 10 Economics Research Paper Topics:
If you are studying economics, you can find various topics at our site. Check out topics of micro- and macroeconomics. See ideas for urgent economic problems, economic models and strategies. Get inspired and come up with your perfect topic.
- Beyond Make-or-Buy: Advances in Transaction Cost Economics
- Economic Aspects of Cultural Heritage
- Economics of Energy Markets
- Globalization and Inequality
- International Trade and Trade Restrictions
- Aggregate Expenditures Model and Equilibrium Output
- Taxes Versus Standards
- Predatory Pricing and Strategic Entry Barriers
- Marxian and Institutional Industrial Relations in the United States
- Twentieth-Century Economic Methodology
Top 10 Education Research Paper Topics:
Education has so many questions, and yet few answers. The list of education topic is endless. We have chosen the top 10 topics on the urgent issues in education. You can find ideas related to different approaches, methodology, classroom management, etc.
- Teachers Thinking About Their Practice
- Cognitive Approaches to Motivation in Education
- Responsive Classroom Management
- Ten Steps to Complex Learning
- Economics and School-to-Work
- Reading and Literacy in Adolescence
- Diversifying the Teaching Force
- Teacher-Student Relationships
- Preparing for College and Graduate School
- Role of Professional Learning
Top 10 History Research Paper Topics:
Choose your topic regarding cultural, economic, environmental, military, political or social history. See what other researchers investigated, compare their ideas and pick the topic that interests you.
- European Expansion
- Current trends in Historiography
- Green Revolution
- Cold War
- Religion and War
- Women’s Emancipation Movements
- History of Civilization
Top 10 Psychology Research Paper Topics:
The list of psychology categories and topics is enormous. We have singled out the most popular topics on psychology in 2019. It is mostly topics on modern psychology. Choose the topic the appeals to you the most or ask our professionals to help you come up with some original idea.
- Imaging Techniques for the Localization of Brain Function
- Memory and Eyewitness Testimony
- Traditional Neuroscience Research Methods
- Meditation and the Relaxation Response
- Assessment of Mental Health in Older Adults
- Cross-Cultural Psychology and Research
- Industrial and Organizational Psychology
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
- Prejudice and Stereotyping
- Nature Versus Nurture
Top 10 Biology Research Paper Topics:
Here you can find topics related to the science of all forms of life. Examine the topics from different fields in biology and choose the best one for you.
- Biological Warfare
- Clone and Cloning
- Genetic Disorders
- Genetic Engineering
- Kangaroos and Wallabies
- Mendelian Laws of Inheritance
- Molecular Biology
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Top 10 Chemistry Research Paper Topics:
The best way to understand chemistry is to write a paper on chemistry topic. Below you can see the topics from different fields of chemistry: organic, inorganic, physical, analytical and others.
- Acids and Bases
- Alkaline Earth Metals
- Dyes and Pigments
- Chemical Warfare
- Industrial Minerals
- Soaps and Detergents
- Transition Elements
Top 10 Physics Research Paper Topics:
Check out the topics on classical and modern physics. Find ideas for writing about interrelationships of physics to other sciences.
- Atomic Theory
- Celestial Mechanics
- Fluid Dynamics
- Magnetic recording
- Microwave Communication
- Quantum mechanics
- Subatomic particles
Top 10 Sociology Research Paper Topics:
Find ideas related to different sociological theories, research and methodologies.
- Feminist Methodologies and Epistemology
- Quality-of-Life Research
- Sociology of Men and Masculinity
- Sociology of Leisure and Recreation
- Environmental Sociology
- Teaching and Learning in Sociology
- The History of Sociology: The North American Perspective
- The Sociology of Voluntary Associations
- Marriage and Divorce in the United States
- Urban Sociology in the 21st Century
Top 10 Technology Research Paper Topics:
See topics related to the cutting-edge technology or dive into history of electronics, or even early advances in agriculture.
- Food Preservation: Freeze Drying, Irradiation, and Vacuum Packing
- Tissue Culturing
- Digital Telephony
- Computer-Aided Control Technology
- Minerals Prospecting
- Prefabricated Buildings
- Timber Engineering
- Quantum Electronic Devices
- Thermal Water Moderated Nuclear Reactors
- Long Range Radars and Early Warning Systems
What Makes a Good Topic for a Research Paper?
A good research paper topic is the one that is successful and manageable in your particular case. A successful research paper poses an interesting question you can actually answer. Just as important, it poses a question you can answer within the time available. The question should be one that interests you and deserves exploration. It might be an empirical question or a theoretical puzzle. In some fields, it might be a practical problem or policy issue. Whatever the question is, you need to mark off its boundaries clearly and intelligently so you can complete the research paper and not get lost in the woods. That means your topic should be manageable as well as interesting and important.
A topic is manageable if you can:
- Master the relevant literature
- Collect and analyze the necessary data
- Answer the key questions you have posed
- Do it all within the time available, with the skills you have
A topic is important if it:
- Touches directly on major theoretical issues and debates, or
- Addresses substantive topics of great interest in your field
Ideally, your topic can do both, engaging theoretical and substantive issues. In elementary education, for example, parents, teachers, scholars, and public officials all debate the effectiveness of charter schools, the impact of vouchers, and the value of different reading programs. A research paper on any of these would resonate within the university and well beyond it. Still, as you approach such topics, you need to limit the scope of your investigation so you can finish your research and writing on time. After all, to be a good research paper, it first has to be a completed one. A successful research paper poses an interesting question you can actually answer within the time available for the project. Some problems are simply too grand, too sweeping to master within the time limits. Some are too minor to interest you or anybody else.
The solution, however, is not to find a lukewarm bowl of porridge, a bland compromise. Nor is it to abandon your interest in larger, more profound issues such as the relationship between school organization and educational achievement or between immigration and poverty. Rather, the solution is to select a well-defined topic that is closely linked to some larger issue and then explore that link. Your research paper will succeed if you nail a well-defined topic. It will rise to excellence if you probe that topic deeply and show how it illuminates wider issues.The best theses deal with important issues, framed in manageable ways. The goal is to select a well-defined topic that is closely linked to some larger issue and can illuminate it.
You can begin your project with either a large issue or a narrowly defined topic, depending on your interests and the ideas you have generated. Whichever way you start, the goals are the same: to connect the two in meaningful ways and to explore your specific topic in depth.
Of course, the choice of a particular research paper topic depends on the course you’re taking. Our site can offer you the following research paper topics and example research papers:
Moving from a Research Paper Idea to a Research Paper Topic
Let’s begin as most students actually do, by going from a “big issue” to a more manageable research paper topic. Suppose you start with a big question such as, “Why has the United States fought so many wars since 1945?” That’s certainly a big, important question. Unfortunately, it’s too complex and sprawling to cover well in a research paper. Working with your professor or instructor, you could zero in on a related but feasible research topic, such as “Why did the Johnson administration choose to escalate the U.S. war in Vietnam?” By choosing this topic, your research paper can focus on a specific war and, within that, on a few crucial years in the mid-1960s.
You can draw on major works covering all aspects of the Vietnam War and the Johnson administration’s decision making. You have access to policy memos that were once stamped top secret. These primary documents have now been declassified, published by the State Department, and made available to research libraries. Many are readily available on the Web. You can also take advantage of top-quality secondary sources (that is, books and articles based on primary documents, interviews, and other research data).
Drawing on these primary and secondary sources, you can uncover and critique the reasons behind U.S. military escalation. As you answer this well-defined question about Vietnam, you can (and you should) return to the larger themes that interest you, namely, “What does the escalation in Southeast Asia tell us about the global projection of U.S. military power since 1945?” As one of America’s largest military engagements since World War II, the war in Vietnam should tell us a great deal about the more general question.
The goal here is to pick a good case to study, one that is compelling in its own right and speaks to the larger issue. It need not be a typical example, but it does need to illuminate the larger question. Some cases are better than others precisely because they illuminate larger issues. That’s why choosing the best cases makes such a difference in your research paper.
Since you are interested in why the United States has fought so often since 1945, you probably shouldn’t focus on U.S. invasions of Grenada, Haiti, or Panama in the past two decades. Why? Because the United States has launched numerous military actions against small, weak states in the Caribbean for more than a century. That is important in its own right, but it doesn’t say much about what has changed so dramatically since 1945. The real change since 1945 is the projection of U.S. power far beyond the Western Hemisphere, to Europe and Asia. You cannot explain this change—or any change, for that matter—by looking at something that remains constant.
In this case, to analyze the larger pattern of U.S. war fighting and the shift it represents, you need to pick examples of distant conflicts, such as Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Afghanistan, or Iraq. That’s the noteworthy change since 1945: U.S. military intervention outside the Western Hemisphere. The United States has fought frequently in such areas since World War II but rarely before then. Alternatively, you could use statistics covering many cases of U.S. intervention around the world, perhaps supplemented with some telling cases studies.
Students in the humanities want to explore their own big ideas, and they, too, need to focus their research. In English literature, their big issue might be “masculinity” or, to narrow the range a bit, “masculinity in Jewish American literature.” Important as these issues are, they are too vast for anyone to read all the major novels plus all the relevant criticism and then frame a comprehensive research paper.
If you don’t narrow these sprawling topics and focus your work, you can only skim the surface. Skimming the surface is not what you want to do in a research paper. You want to understand your subject in depth and convey that understanding to your readers.
That does not mean you have to abandon your interest in major themes. It means you have to restrict their scope in sensible ways. To do that, you need to think about which aspects of masculinity really interest you and then find works that deal with them.
You may realize your central concern is how masculinity is defined in response to strong women. That focus would still leave you considerable flexibility, depending on your academic background and what you love to read. That might be anything from a reconsideration of Macbeth to an analysis of early twentieth-century American novels, where men must cope with women in assertive new roles. Perhaps you are interested in another aspect of masculinity: the different ways it is defined within the same culture at the same moment. That would lead you to novelists who explore these differences in their characters, perhaps contrasting men who come from different backgrounds, work in different jobs, or simply differ emotionally. Again, you would have considerable flexibility in choosing specific writers.
Connecting a Specific Research Paper Topic to a Bigger Idea
Not all students begin their research paper concerned with big issues such as masculinity or American wars over the past half century. Some start with very specific topics in mind. One example might be the decision to create NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement encompassing Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Perhaps you are interested in NAFTA because you discussed it in a course, heard about it in a political campaign, or saw its effects firsthand on local workers, companies, and consumers. It intrigues you, and you would like to study it in a research paper. The challenge is to go from this clear-cut subject to a larger theme that will frame your paper.
Why do you even need to figure out a larger theme? Because NAFTA bears on several major topics, and you cannot explore all of them. Your challenge—and your opportunity—is to figure out which one captures your imagination.
One way to think about that is to finish this sentence: “For me, NAFTA is a case of ___________.” If you are mainly interested in negotiations between big and small countries, then your answer is, “For me, NAFTA is a case of a large country like the United States bargaining with a smaller neighbor.” Your answer would be different if you are mainly interested in decision making within the United States, Mexico, or Canada. In that case, you might say, “NAFTA seems to be a case where a strong U.S. president pushed a trade policy through Congress.” Perhaps you are more concerned with the role played by business lobbies. “For me, NAFTA is a case of undue corporate influence over foreign economic policy.” Or you could be interested in the role of trade unions, environmental groups, or public opinion.
The NAFTA decision is related to all these big issues and more. You cannot cover them all. There is not enough time, and even if there were, the resulting paper would be too diffuse, too scattershot. To make an impact, throw a rock, not a handful of pebbles.
Choosing one of these large issues will shape your research paper on NAFTA. If you are interested in U.S. decision making, for example, you might study the lobbying process or perhaps the differences between Democrats and Republicans. If you are interested in diplomacy, you would focus on negotiations between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Either would make an interesting research paper, but they are different topics.
Although the subject matter and analysis are decidedly different in the humanities, many of the same considerations still apply to topic selection. In English or comparative literature, for example, you may be attracted to a very specific topic such as several poems by William Wordsworth. You are not trying, as a social scientist would, to test some generalizations that apply across time or space. Rather, you want to analyze these specific poems, uncover their multiple meanings, trace their allusions, and understand their form and beauty.
As part of the research paper, however, you may wish to say something bigger, something that goes beyond these particular poems. That might be about Wordsworth’s larger body of work. Are these poems representative or unusual? Do they break with his previous work or anticipate work yet to come? You may wish to comment on Wordsworth’s close ties to his fellow “Lake Poets,” Coleridge and Southey, underscoring some similarities in their work. Do they use language in shared ways? Do they use similar metaphors or explore similar themes? You may even wish to show how these particular poems are properly understood as part of the wider Romantic movement in literature and the arts. Any of these would connect the specific poems to larger themes.
How to Refine Your Research Paper Topic
One of your professor’s or instructor’s most valuable contributions to the success of your research paper is to help you refine your topic. She can help you select the best cases for detailed study or the best data and statistical techniques. S/he can help you find cases that shed light on larger questions, have good data available, and are discussed in a rich secondary literature. She may know valuable troves of documents to explore. That’s why it is so important to bring these issues up in early meetings. These discussions with your instructor are crucial in moving from a big but ill-defined idea to a smart, feasible topic.Some colleges supplement this advising process by offering special workshops and tutorial support for students. These are great resources, and you should take full advantage of them. They can improve your project in at least two ways.
First, tutors and workshop leaders are usually quite adept at helping you focus and shape your topic. That’s what they do best. Even if they are relatively new teachers, they have been writing research papers themselves for many years. They know how to do it well and how to avoid common mistakes. To craft their own papers, they have learned how to narrow their topics, gather data, interpret sources, and evaluate conjectures. They know how to use appropriate methods and how to mine the academic literature. In all these ways, they can assist you with their own hard-won experience. To avoid any confusion, just make sure your instructor knows what advice you are getting from workshop leaders and tutors. You want everyone to be pulling in the same direction.
Second, you will benefit enormously from batting around your research paper in workshops. The more you speak about your subject, the better you will understand it yourself. The better you understand it, the clearer your research and writing will be. You will learn about your project as you present your ideas; you will learn more as you listen to others discuss your work; and you will learn still more as you respond to their suggestions. Although you should do that in sessions with your instructor, you will also profit from doing it in workshops and tutorial sessions.
Secrets to Keep in Mind when Writing a Research Paper
As a bonus, we have prepared several secrets for you to make your paper perfect. Firstly, always write your paper from scratch. Do not copy the already existing materials, as it can lead to unsatisfactory mark or even expulsion. Secondly, start your research early; do not put off investigating the topic. The earlier you start, the easier it will be to meet the deadline. Thirdly, plan your work and create an outline for your task. A planned work will help you be systematic. Plus, it will help you avoid writer’s block, as you always have an outline to follow. Another secret is following all the requirements. A research paper is an academic assignment, so all these structural and formatting standards are important. Finally, make sure you proofread and edit your task. Check your paper for grammar and spelling mistakes, examine your choice of vocabulary. If it seems too much, you can always ask our professional editors and they will check the paper for you. A mistakes-free paper is essential to get high results.
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