||Hey, how are ya? I'm Brian Carter.
In the last 3 years, I've written about 300 articles here
on PulseMed.org, many of which are research oriented. When
you're writing, research topics are the first place to start.
Below, I'll list a whole bunch of ideas for you. You may have
specific guidelines from a teacher or editor, so I can't show
you an exact example, but in the lefthand you can click to
read some research paper articles I've written.
First I'll discuss choosing a good research topic,
then I'll give you a list of sample topics, and finally, I'll
list a bunch of links you can use to brainstorm your idea.
How Important is Your Paper's Research Topic?
Your research topic choice can decide ahead of time the quality
of your paper and what grade you get. Why is that? Because your
attitude towards the topic may well determine the amount
of effort and enthusiasm you put into your research.
So, choose a topic:
- you care about and that
- challenges you.
You and Your Research Topic
Plus, your professor is going to be more impressed and like to
give you an A if you stretch yourself and put yourself
into the research paper. Think about it- beyond seeing that you
can write and use resources and not plagiarize, your teacher wants
to meet some part of you in the paper. They want to see you think.
And the right choice your paper's research topic is the first
key. But, this is not a license to just ramble on about what
you think. Make sure that 95% of what you're doing in your
paper is presenting the research on your topic.
How Narrow Should Your Paper's Research Topic Be?
Focus on a limited aspect, e.g. narrow it down from "Religion"
to "World Religion" to "Buddhism" or even
to "The Buddhist's experience of the Western World".
Get your topic signed off on before you start your research.
And make sure they're really approving of your topic. I still
resent the fact that my 11th grade English teacher agreed I could
write my term research paper on the music group "Yes"
but then gave me a B simply because of the topic choice! If you
are uncertain what's expected of you, re-read your assignment
sheet carefully or ASK your teacher.
Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot with Your Paper's Research
Select a subject you can manage. Avoid subjects that are too
technical, learned, or specialized. You don't have time to learn
a bunch of fundamental material so you can understand your sources.
For example, you may be interested in the Human Genome as a research
topic- but you can't get a cliff's notes version of biochemistry
and genetics- so you'll have to stay this general ("The Human
Genome Project")- you won't be able to go to a specialized
level like "Genome Informatics and Computational Biology".
How do you know if your paper's research topic is too specific?
Just measure your frustration level. Well, learning to research
your topic may make you stretch, but it shouldn't make you want
to break the computer screen with a fire extinguisher. Of course,
this isn't a valid test for those who already need help anger
Avoid research topics that have only a very narrow range of
You need a bunch of sources so you can make sure that all the
experts agree, and that there's enough to write on. You also don't
want to be tempted to plagiarize. Think about it this way- for
every source, you're going to write about 5% of it - just skim
the surface of each source - then put it all together in your
mind and in your research paper as you present the sources.
Sample ideas for your paper: Research Topics
that would work (if you're interested in them!)
- Affirmative Action
- Attack on America / Terrorism
- Bioethical Issues
- Brown v. Board of Education
- Death Penalty
- Drug Issues
- Presidential Elections and Impeachment
- Gender Issues
- Global Warming
- Gun Control
- Health Care Reform
- Help for Term Paper Writers
- Homeland Security, Open Government & the PATRIOT Act
- Human Rights
- Identity Theft
- Internet Issues
- Media Issues
- School Vouchers and School Choice
- Space Shuttle Disasters
Links to more resources for brainstorming
your paper's research topic:
More on this site about Writing, Research, and Education