Top 100 Research Paper Topic Ideas

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Jul 9, 2019

Coming up with a research paper topic is the first thing that comes to mind when students are tasked to write a research paper . There are a lot of great research paper topics out there but the problem actually is narrowing it down to what fits your interests (or the teacher’s given range of research paper topics) and its impact on society. Choosing a research paper topic may come across as difficult because of the fast-paced world the modern society thrives in.

As trending issues in the world change almost every day, it is pretty much impossible to come up with a universal list for the best research paper topic ideas for students. Relevant news varies from country to country and from city to city. One is not able to predict what is going to happen next and what will stay relevant as time goes by. Events gather steam and fizzle out in unpredictable fashion. Some events die down in no time while some are centuries-old subjects of debate.

Relevant and interesting research paper topics are hard to come by if one does not stay tuned to current local and world events. The truth remains that people, cultural shifts, and world events are the exclusive determinants of relevant topics that may be used for research. Therefore, it must be noted that the following list of research paper topic ideas has been constructed according to its current relevance and extent of impact to society when the year 2021 entered.

Business: best research paper topics

Business in some countries is not doing so well since the pandemic has started. Economies and stock markets have crashed, many businesses have been forced to close due to bankruptcy while some businesses continue to flourish and thrive during these trying times. Even still, the influx of business students does not seem to falter. As business students are to be the backbone of the economy in the future, here are some business research paper topic ideas that you may explore:

  • Employee fitness . Should companies encourage employees to exercise regularly and provide a space for their employees to exercise or give fitness benefits?
  • Labor . US companies that relocate factories to Third World Nations hardly pay employees enough to subsist on. Is “slave wage” purely unethical or should the otherwise unemployed and destitute workers be thankful for the employment opportunity?
  • Gasoline. Is it practical to pay almost $3 a gallon? Do oil companies need to change this?
  • Mining. What are the differences between Canadian safety measures and US safety measures?
  • Wage. The minimum wage is mandated by law. But what about the maximum wage? Should there be a limit?
  • Wage gap. For every $1 that a man earns, a woman only receives $0.75. Should the wage gap issue be addressed?
  • Workaholic Americans . Americans, apparently, are hardworking. Is it time to reduce the 40-hour week? Should there be a limit to the number of working hours for the sake of work-life balance? Do Americans deserve more time for relaxation?
  • Working from home . There is a significant increase in the number of employees working from home and is liking the setup. Should companies just continue to do this even after the pandemic ends and how does telework affect their companies’ expenses?  

sweatshops of US companies Slave wage is a topic that is often discussed in countries outside the U.S., making it a good research topic because it would have a wide scope for discussion.

Education: best research paper topics

Education is one of the most important things that a person needs to succeed in their respective industries nowadays. However, according to recent data, the number of Bachelor’s degree holders in the world is only 6.7%. This may seem surprising, as education has been placed as one of the top priorities in many countries. Here are a few education-centered research paper topic ideas for students:

  • Censorship . Should parents and educators ban “inappropriate” literature in schools? What about the case of American classics that were once banned (The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men).
  • College sports. Should college athletes be given a salary?
  • Examinations. Should the US adopt Finland’s education system to elevate the performance of its students?
  • Flag. In the face of the rise of nationalism and the alt-right, is the Pledge of Allegiance still necessary in schools?
  • Freedom of expression . Should students be allowed to dye their hair unnatural colors and have visible tattoos and body piercings? How does this affect the students’ performance in regards to their academics?
  • Gap year. Should the United States follow the United Kingdom’s practice of the gap year?
  • Grades . Why do so many American students get As compared to their European counterparts? Yet, the US lags miserably behind in education quality rankings.
  • High school . Should shoe companies provide free athletic equipment to high school athletes and those on athletic scholarships?
  • Information preservation. Caught in the Information Age, is society losing significant historical information?
  • No Child Left Behind. Is it still working?
  • Percentage of those who have a degree. How can the US improve its education system so that the number of degree holders increases by 50%?
  • Remote education . Is it effective and how are students coping with the new education setup?
  • Same-sex schools . Should same-sex schools be abolished?
  • School lunches . Should state education boards control the food served in school cafeterias?
  • School uniforms . Is the myth “school with uniforms perform better” debunked? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of school uniforms. 

Environment: best research paper topics

The status of the environment gets worse and worse as each day passes. The polar caps are melting and sea creatures are dying due to the amount of toxic pollution and garbage in the waters. There are ways to reduce or slow down the damaging effects of pollution and garbage in the environment. Use your research paper to come up with ideas and suggestions on how to help the earth.

  • Climate change. Is there 100% truth to global warming? Or is the scientific community simply exaggerating it?
  • Coal. Should the government implement more rigid environmental regulations on coal than other fuels?
  • DDT. Should DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) be used again in view of the bed bug epidemic across the United States?
  • Plastic-free . Is there any way to completely eradicate the use of plastic by 2030? What alternatives are there that do not cause as much damage to the environment?
  • Sustainability. What ways can humans employ to reduce the amount of plastic being thrown out in the sea?
  • Vehicles. Can lessening the number of vehicles in the world help with climate change?
  • Wind energy. Is complete reliance on wind energy possible in the foreseeable future? 

Government policy: best research paper topics

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed to the world how a country’s leaders and its government are managing the situation. Because of the threat to public health, public officials are put under the spotlight much more than before. Their response to the crisis that shook the world is quite relevant aside from their usual tasks in the office. Here are some relevant research topic ideas regarding government policies.

  • Airport security . Are there other better and less intrusive alternatives to frisking/pat-downs to ensure safety in airports?
  • Al-Qaeda. Is Islamic terrorism already contained? Or has US foreign policy made it worse? How will it end?
  • Arming pilots and flight crew. Is this possible? What are the potential repercussions?
  • Bridges and roads. How is America doing with respect to infrastructure?
  • Homeland security . Are the nation’s streets safer since its inception?
  • Illegal immigration . Should the US relax its policy on naturalization to avoid unregistered immigrants?
  • Internet . Should the federal government push Internet service providers for unconditional net neutrality?
  • Iraq War veterans. Are Iraq War veterans deprived of their rightful benefits?
  • Face masks . Should laws be enforced with regards to the wearing of face masks in public to prevent the spread of the virus or should the leaders let American individualism prevail?
  • Marijuana . Should the federal government legalize the recreational and medical use of marijuana altogether? What are the statistics?
  • Military. Mandatory military conscription, anyone? Who should be exempt?
  • Obesity. Should the healthcare structure of obese people be different from those who are not?
  • Privacy. Should the US government reconsider its stance on wiretapping?
  • Quarantine protocols. Is a two-week quarantine really needed when traveling?
  • School lunches. Should the federal government involve itself in making school cafeteria food healthier?
  • Sex offenders. After prison, are there laws that stipulate where they should reside and work?
  • Smoking. Should the federal government tighten laws against smoking?

fast food and obesity Obesity has been a major health problem in many countries, and it is actually ironic to have the said problem simultaneously with malnutrition. This topic can be discussed from may perspectives making an excellent topic for any kind of paper.


Health: best research paper topics

The health of Americans is a large concern as the percentage of Americans who are obese is up to 42%. There is a need to be healthy, especially now that everybody is avoiding the COVID-19 virus. As the saying goes, “health is wealth.” One should prioritize health and nutrition as much as possible and not let their health deteriorate quickly because of unhealthy habits. Here is a list of research paper topics on health:

  • Abortion . Should abortion be completely legalized to avoid mothers that are forced to undergo unsafe abortion procedures? Should parents or spouses still be involved in deciding whether to have an abortion or not?
  • Employee fitness . Should companies encourage employees to exercise? If yes, should employees be permitted to exercise while working?
  • Fast food . Fast-food chains are obviously unhealthy but some do not have a choice but to eat fast food since it is the most accessible to them. With that, How much fast food can a person eat in a week to avoid getting obese or toxin build-up?
  • Food. What are the hazards present in processed food?
  • Healthcare crisis. The first world nations have much better healthcare coverage than the United States. Why is this?
  • Lead poisoning. Should Chinese-made toys be subject to even more thorough inspections?
  • Mental health services . What could be done to engage more Americans in receiving treatment for their mental illness and what could the government do to assist those people?
  • Models. In view of eating disorders, should models have a minimum weight limit?
  • Noise pollution: What is the truth?
  • Obesity. Are fast-food chains the only ones responsible for childhood obesity? Or does parenting play a huge part?
  • Prescription medicines . Should the federal government maintain a database on who buys which medicines? Or should states be in control?
  • School lunches. Should education boards be in charge of food served in school cafeterias?
  • Smoking . Should states follow California’s lead in a smoking ban in bars?
  • Social media. Does excessive social media use contribute to the intellectual decline of the youth?
  • Steroids. Should steroids be legalized in sports?
  • Traveling. Due to new variations of COVID-19, should traveling to affected countries be restricted?
  • Vaccines. What should be done to parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated?

Human Behavior: best research paper topics

Human behavior is important because it plays a huge part in understanding why a person acts the way that they do. Human behavior incorporates a number of different internal and external factors.  Observing the environment a person is exposed to is usually the best way to determine their behavior. See the list below for ideas on research paper topics for human behavior.

  • Nonverbal communication . What are the main differences between men and women in their use of body language (in the workplace, relationships, and social settings)?
  • Road rage. Is road rage a purely male issue?
  • Social anxiety. How is social anxiety different from shyness? What are the remedies?
  • Suicide bombers. Is there a correlation between Islamism and suicide bombers?
  • Terrorism . Is secularism the cure to fanatical tendencies?

Legal Issues: best research paper topics

Legal disputes are possibly the most complicated research paper to write about. Research papers on legal issues are long since there are so many laws and cases to discuss to solidify the arguer’s point. Knowing your way around legal matters may be considered a necessity to avoid fraud, among other things. Here is a list of legal research paper topics that students may enjoy writing about:

  • Aircraft accidents. Who should be blamed? What and how much should families of victims receive?
  • Bullying. Should the federal and state government intervene to enact laws to prevent bullying?
  • Civil disobedience . Is civil disobedience in pursuit of a noble cause justifiable?
  • Civil unions . Do civil couples really enjoy the same benefits/rights as married couples do?
  • Confederacy . Should former Confederate states abolish traces of the Confederacy?
  • Infidelity . Should cheaters be fully prosecuted? Or is it a law that is simply ignored?
  • Juvenile offenders . Under which circumstances should minors be tried as adults?
  • Organ sale . Should the sale of human organs be legalized?
  • Parents . Should parents be held accountable for their children’s misdemeanors?
  • Police brutality . Are there laws to protect people of color from police brutality? If yes, is it being properly enforced?
  • Sex offenders. After prison, are there laws that stipulate where they should reside and work?
  • Statutory rape. Are statutory rape laws lenient to females and harsh to males? What has the Genarlow Wilson case taught the country?

Media and freedom of speech: best research paper topics

The media industry has become extremely saturated over the years. Misinformation in the Internet age is quite common as even ordinary people are given the chance to speak up about certain topics they wish to. Sometimes, there seems to be no way to verify their claims. Discord has resulted due to people saying whatever they want to say online and discorded also rises from those whose freedom of speech is being restricted. If you are interested in media and freedom of speech, here are a few research paper topics just for you:

  • Advertising . Should certain advertisements be banned to safeguard religion (e.g. cigarettes, alcohol, prescription medicine, etc.)?
  • Art. When does art stop being art? Is tracing over someone else’s drawing considered art?
  • Censorship. Where is the line between obscenity and art?
  • Church arson . Should church arson qualify as a hate crime?
  • Citizen journalism . Is this an effective way of spreading news or does it only encourage the public to add fuel to the fire?
  • Freedom of speech. Should social media posts be regulated by the government?
  • Journalism . Should journalists be forced to divulge their sources of information?
  • Media . Do all media observe fairness in reporting? When is it reporting news and when is it creating news.
  • Media censorship. Do some news outlets filter their news and choose what they want their viewership to see? Is this ethical?
  • Paparazzi. Should paparazzi activity be regulated to protect famous figures?
  • Pornography. Do parental filters really work? Or does censorship only rouse the curiosity of children?
  • Public figures. Should the personal life of public figures be made available to the public?
  • Race. Institutional racism, what needs to be done about it?

why are atheist nations more peacefulIf you are determined to gather your reader's attention immediately, choose a topic that is controversial.


Religion: best research paper topics

Religion has been debated for centuries. People, since time immemorial, have been divided into factions in accordance with their religion. There are certain beliefs that one religion believes to be holy, while the other considers it taboo. Here is a list of research paper topics on religion:

  • Atheism. Why are atheist nations much more peaceful?
  • Irreligion. Should irreligion in the US be resolved or should religious people let non-believers be free to choose?
  • LGBTQ+ . Should religious leaders speak up about supporting and accepting the LGBTQ+ community instead of condemning them?
  • Religion. In the face of secularism and globalization, what is the future of religious belief?
  • Sexual abuse. What is the future of priesthood amidst the volume of sexual abuse allegations?
  • The United States. Should fundamentalist Christian churches preaching anti-LGBTQ+ messages be considered hate groups?

Social Issues: best research paper topics

Social issues typically change day by day. Social issues typically differ from country to country and social issues’ relevance may also be different from one country to another. Even in the face of a pandemic, some social issues that date back to the time of our ancestors still exist. With that, using social issues as the topic for your next research paper can be tricky. So here are ideas for social issues related research paper topic ideas to help you start with your research paper.

  • Abortion. Is Roe vs. Wade under threat?
  • Alcohol. Should the federal government reconsider lowering the drinking age to 18?
  • Animal rights. Should trophy hunting be outlawed?
  • Battered men. What are the current statistics of battered men in the US? Has it lessened over the past few years?
  • Beauty contests. Do beauty contests objectify women?
  • LGBTQ+. What is the future of the LGBTQ+ community in the Bible Belt?
  • Cybercrimes. What are the latest identity theft modi operandi?
  • Family. What are the latest divorce rate statistics in the United States?
  • Feminism. How do Generation Z youth view feminism?
  • Fraud. In this era of ordering things online, can one avoid being scammed?
  • Generations. How can Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials work together harmoniously?
  • Internet and the youth. Are children today more well-informed because of Internet access?
  • Literacy. What is the true meaning of literacy in the United States?
  • Muslims. Has Islamophobia brought forth by 9/11 subsided?
  • Privacy . What medical information should be made confidential? Who must have full access to medical records?
  • Racism . What academic and professional disadvantages are being encountered by immigrants or non-white people?
  • Sex offenders. After prison, are there laws that stipulate where they should live and work?
  • Spanking . Should states enact laws prohibiting the spanking of children?
  • Sports . In view of genetics, should transsexuals participate in sports?
  • Streaming services . Do streaming services contribute to the increase of obesity in the US?
  • Title IX . Has it improved women’s sports?
  • Toys . Is there a correlation between certain children’s toys and emotional intelligence?
  • Working moms . Does society still discriminate against working moms?

World: best research paper topics

There are lots of research paper topics to choose from when it comes to world events or the world in general. A student may talk about current events, culture, influence, and many more. If one looks into a country of interest, then that student is one step closer to finding the perfect research topic. One may pinpoint it that way, or look into a matter that they think affects the world as a whole. Here is a list of research paper topics for you to consider:

  • Colonialism . How much has _____ (Choose a country) influenced _____ (Choose a country) after the colonialization in terms of culture and practices?
  • Decommunization. Is decommunization in Ukraine worth the effort?
  • Holocaust. Is it fair to jail Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis?  
  • Indigenous people . Are indigenous people being given equal opportunities in academics and the workplace?
  • International exchange student programs. How does it change and benefit the student?
  • Japanese-Korean conflict. What are the disputes behind this and how can the current trade dispute affect both countries’ economies?
  • The Middle East. Can conflict in the Middle East solved soon?
  • Monarchy. Based on past abolished monarchies, will the abolition of the Crown of the UK be beneficial economically?
  • Right-wing. What can be done to curb the spread of right-wing populism?
  • Travel ban . Will imposing a travel ban worldwide for non-essential travel be effective in reducing the transmission of COVID-19?

Research Paper Writing Services for Students

While it is unarguable that there are other events and concerns from which topics can be derived, an exhaustive list, in the strictest sense, is physically impossible. Hence, only the best research paper topic ideas for students are covered in this article. The most interesting and relevant research paper topics for students center on issues that are currently affecting society as a whole and are deeply etched in the collective consciousness of the people, whose opinions greatly vary.

Correspondingly, this compiled list of the current best research paper topics are also rife in discourse and literature, from which a wealth of insights can be studied, and from which plenty new can be deduced. These are especially beneficial if you are tasked with writing a research paper, or even short essays . The listed best research paper topics for students in this article are certainly capable of enhancing the writing, argumentative, and researching skills of students.

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