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Popular Research Paper Topics
The formidable research paper: you know you have to write it, but you may feel at a loss to choose a topic. The topic and the research question are the foundation for the entire research paper. It’s not a simple process of choosing the research question to match the topic. Actually, the process involves a few steps.
First, find a broad topic that you have an interest in; for example, the use of computers in schools. Next, choose a question, one that could be controversial and is related to your topic. For example, “Do computers pose a distraction in 5th grade classrooms?” Note how the research question is much more focused and defined than the topic is.
The following are some examples of topics plus the research question to get you started:
- Topic: High school athletes. Question: Is it ethical and moral for shoe corporations to give free shoes and sports equipment to high school athletes?
- Topic: The environment. Question: Is the greenhouse effect on global warming significant?
- Topic: School violence. Question: Do metal detectors decrease knife-related violence in schools?
- Topic: Malpractice in medicine. Question: Can there be a balance between the need to lower malpractice insurance costs and the increasing trend of death caused by physician malpractice?
- Topic: The threat of lead poisoning. Question: Should America ban the import of toys manufactured in China?
While it’s good to choose a research paper topic that has a wide interest, it’s not so good to choose topics that have already been written so often that they don’t offer new insights or new angles.
Any topic that you could think of can have multiple different research questions to pick from. Going back to the original example about the use of computers in schools, here are some more examples of questions that could be addressed:
Topic: The use of computers in schools.
Possible research questions:
- How often should the school board foot the bill for replacing computer technology in schools?
- Do computers in kindergarten classrooms offer significant educational advantage to warrant the cost?
- Should high school classrooms provide laptops to every student for academic use while at school?
All of these research questions have the possibility of several points of view. The objective of the research paper is for you to state your point of view and then provide evidence to convince the reader to adapt your point of view.