How to Choose Research Paper Topics: Simple Guide With Examples

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If your instructor hasn’t provided you with a particular research paper topic, your path to a perfectly written research paper becomes longer. The first step you have to take is to compose a list of research paper topics and pick the most appropriate and interesting among them. Take into account that the title for a research paper has to be relevant to your research question!

You should devote enough time to choosing a really impressive topic which can be supported by significant arguments and facts; otherwise, you can fail with your research paper on the primary steps of writing.

How to Choose Research Paper Topics

So, you’ve checked a lot of sites and other resources in your discipline, and you have at least a general idea of what information may interest your professor, and – what is more important for a good piece of writing – you. Still, you have no idea how to narrow this list to one particular topic that would be relevant to your research question.

Don’t worry! We always think about the comfort of our readers, so we’ve composed a simple instruction on how to choose research paper topics. You have to follow several steps:

  1. Make your decision on one of the general themes – for example, you want to research and describe marketing approaches.
  2. Specify the chosen topic – for example, pick two different marketing approaches: the 4Ps and value approaches.
  3. Formulate the final version of the topic – for example, you will write a compare and contrast research paper on the 4Ps vs. value approaches.You can use this method no matter what your discipline is. Remember that your topic should be catchy and precise in order to interest your readers and instructor.

How to Find a Topic for a Research Paper

Good topics for a research paper don’t fall from the sky like shooting stars. Of course, insight may come to you at any time, but you shouldn’t wait until the last moment. The deadline won’t wait anyway! We offer to stimulate artificial insight using a range of effective techniques. The actions mentioned below will help you not only to find research paper topics but also broaden your intellectual horizons.


Have you ever heard about TEDx Talks? Online webinars? No? Google it immediately! You live in an era of technology and internet and have almost unlimited access to the best sources of information. Use them! Professional lecturers know how to inspire their audience for writing creative papers. Don’t neglect the opportunity to learn from their experience.


Perhaps, reading books is not trendy today. Social media, YouTube, and Netflix consume too much time. However, if you don’t want to carry heavy books around or sit in stuffy libraries, download ebooks! Just imagine how many new things you can learn! Art, history, chemistry, math, economics, or music – you can choose any field of knowledge and start your journey. Books are not only able to give you some ideas on topics for a research paper, but improve your literacy and writing style as well.


Look around. You’ll see a huge world filled with mysteries and beauty. Abstract ideas are in the air. You simply have to catch and narrow them down to a clear thesis statement that will become your topic for a research paper. If your surroundings never change, there is no chance to get some inspiration from regular circumstances. You’d meet new people, visit new places, and walk new roads in order to discover new sources of ideas.


This method doesn’t sound attractive in comparison to others. Still, if you enjoy reading about scientific discoveries, new theories, or daring hypotheses, journals are your best option. You may choose a specific one or read the first one you notice. It doesn’t matter if you feel inspired and interested.


Truth emerges from the clash of ideas. When you need to be persuasive to express your personal opinion, you try to look at regular things from a new perspective and an unusual angle seeking a convincing argument. And that’s how great research paper topics come to your mind. You start wondering: “Why haven’t I thought about it before?” Perhaps others have not thought about it either. Now, you have a good subject for your research.

how to find a topic for a research paper

Topics for a Research Paper According to Paper Type

All research papers have a particular purpose. If you want to present two viewpoints on the same issue, you choose an argumentative research paper. If you want to offer ways of solving a certain problem, you should compose a problem-solution research paper. Below, we will discuss seven different types of research papers and provide you with excellent examples of research paper topics for every type.

1. Argumentative research paper

In this type of paper, the writer presents two controversial views on the same topic. Each opinion should be provided by convincing arguments, exemplifying facts, and critical reasoning. Although the writer has to display both opinions equally and objectively, he or she has to choose one side in conclusion and stand for it.

As you see, any topic for an argumentative research paper should be debatable, so you’ll have an opportunity to analyze two points of view and support one of them.

Examples of an argumentative research paper topics:

The Importance of Physical Training for Chess Players
Here, you may argue if training is needed or not.

The Influence of Animated Cartoons on Early Childhood Development
With this topic, decide if cartoons are good or bad for kids.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Homeschooling
Here, you compose a list of pros and cons and then make a decision.

2. Analytical research paper

In this paper, you don’t have to prove anything or choose a certain position. Your unique goal is to provide an in-depth analysis of existing facts and boil it down to a logical conclusion. You’d better use multiple sources of information, so make sure that your topic is not too difficult for your research skills.

Examples of an analytical research paper topic:

Causes of Common Phobias in Children and Adolescents
Here, you’ll examine causes of a few widespread fears and try to find a common pattern.

The Impact of World War II on the Economic Situation in Italy
Here, you’ll describe the economic situation in Italy before, during, and after WWII; then, you’ll come to a general conclusion.

The Development of Personal Tastes in Early Childhood
Here, you’ll explain the factors that influence the development of personal tastes, the process itself, and why people’s tastes may vary.

3. Compare and contrast research paper

You choose this type of research paper when you need a well-considered and logically structured comparison of two objects, methods, events, styles, books, etc. You should describe each object in short, as the main part of your paper is a comparison itself. If you compare two characters or two stories, don’t forget to cite the primary source.

Examples of a compare and contrast research paper topic:

Facebook Censorship and Instagram Censorship: Key Similarities
Here, you’ll look for similar peculiarities of two social networking services in relation to their censorship policy.

Communication with Elderly People and with Peers: Which Is More Beneficial
Here, you analyze advantages and disadvantages of communication with both categories of people.

TV Adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Stories: Differences and Similarities of Elementary and Sherlock
Here, you briefly describe two TV series and then analyze their common and different traits.

4. Definition research paper

The main purpose of such research papers is to provide an informative framework. You have to collect actual data from multiple sources and present them in a readable way. However, you shouldn’t analyze them or include your personal opinion. Forget about emotions and arguments and simply provide your readers with an exhaustive collection of facts and statistics on some subject.

Examples of a definition research paper topic:

Kabuki: Japanese Theater
Here, you’ll tell your readers about kabuki’s history, elements, actors, famous plays, etc.

Anhedonia: Component of Depressive Disorders
Here, you’ll explain the term “anhedonia,” compose the list of reasons and symptoms, and describe the methods of treatment.

Occam’s Razor: Problem-Solving Principle
Here, you’ll provide your readers with background information about William of Ockham, explain how this principle can be used, and describe its strength and weaknesses.

5. Cause and effect research paper

This type of paper is about finding a connection without certain circumstances and the results that they have entailed. So, you describe a current situation in few words and then analyze its causes. You can do everything in reverse order and trace the possible results of some action. Please, don’t get confused with the logical sequence.

Examples of a cause and effect research paper topic:

Happy Marriage and Career Success
Here, you’ll try to find out if there is a connection between marriage and professional success and what their mutual influence is.

What Makes Superhero Movies So Popular?
Here, you’ll describe the phenomenon of superhero movies in modern pop-culture and explain the reasons for their success.

What Was the Effect of the Arab Spring on the European Economy?
Here, you’ll have to profoundly analyze the economic state of the European countries in order to find out how the Arab Spring influenced it.

6. Experimental research paper

In this paper, you describe a particular experiment in detail, share the results, and provide experiment analysis. Experimental research papers are usually written by students who study chemistry, physics, biology, sociology, and other disciplines that use an experiment as a research method.

Examples of an experimental research paper topic:

Behavioral Study of Anger
Here, you have a good topic for a psychology experimental research paper.

Suitability of the Paleo Diet
This one will work for a medicine experimental research paper on proper nutrition.

Efficient Methods to Reduce Stress
Here, you may study this topic from different perspectives: emotional, biological, or social.

7. Problem-solution research paper

Write this research paper in three steps: describe a problem, offer a possible solution, and defend its effectiveness (provide facts, real-life examples, statistics, etc.). Offer solutions that you actually believe in. Otherwise, your arguments won’t convince anybody.

Examples of the problem-solution research paper topic:

Ways to Reduce Unemployment in Developing Countries
Here, you present data about levels of unemployment in developing countries, then offer a proper solution, and finally defend your point of view.

How to Simplify the Job Application Process
Here, you describe the difficulties that a candidate may face while applying for a new job and offer the ways to make the whole process easier.

How to Make a Speech Confidently
Here, you can offer some popular techniques and then offer your own.

list of topics for research paper

60 Amazing Research Paper Topics to Consider

IT Topics

  1. Methods to enhance IT security.
  2. Gender issues in the IT domain.
  3. Theories regarding computer imitation of a human being.
  4. The impact of digitization of medical records on the IT domain.
  5. The role of online platforms on startup development.
  6. Efficient techniques to fight cyber crimes.
  7. Online privacy as a new human right.
  8. The peculiarities of copyright in the IT domain.
  9. The ways to reduce illegal online advertisement.
  10. Ageism and sexism in the IT domain.

History Topics

  1. Consequences of the Cold War for the USA.
  2. The most remarkable revolution in history.
  3. Has slavery changed the development of the western world?
  4. The influence of strange medieval family laws on society.
  5. Life in London in the 15th century.
  6. The role of Australia in World War II.
  7. The impact of the world wars on technological progress.
  8. Crusades as an economical strategy.
  9. The historical meaning of Jesus Christ.
  10. The reasons for first-wave feminism.

Psychology Topics

  1. The origin of phobias: engaging the monster within.
  2. Are dreams messages from within?
  3. Thinking mechanisms: it’s all in your head.
  4. The function of short and long-term memory.
  5. The impact of social networks and mental health.
  6. How depression impacts the immune system.
  7. A phenomenon-oriented approach to the study of depression.
  8. How to handle post-traumatic stress disorder in children.
  9. Eating behaviors in different cultures.
  10. The consequences of insomnia.

Education Topics

  1. The mental process behind human learning.
  2. The interpretation of IQ test results.
  3. Education as a method of socialization for prisoners.
  4. How to prevent school bullies and harassment.
  5. Particular learning methods for blind children.
  6. Is there a one-size-fits-all strategy for education?
  7. How is early childhood development important for academic success?
  8. Why should music lessons be an indispensable part of education?
  9. International volunteering as a method of language learning.
  10. The efficient strategies of home-schooling.

Cultural Topics

  1. The impact of advertisements on how people comprehend the world.
  2. Social roles adults endorse to children via toys.
  3. The origin of racial discrimination.
  4. The segmentation and integration of people.
  5. Painting a portrait of the average american family.
  6. Instagram profiles as a new form of art.
  7. The influence of modern technologies on art development.
  8. The evolution of the graphic novel in US culture.
  9. The idealization of antiheroes in modern pop-culture.
  10. Stand-up comics as modern philosophers and thought leaders.

Literature Topics

  1. What role do soliloquies play in Macbeth by William Shakespeare?
  2. How do the characters in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald reflect both the myth and the reality of the American Dream?
  3. Symbolic objects in The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.
  4. The conflict of generations in King Lear by William Shakespeare.
  5. How are the characters of Romeo and Juliet interpreted in modern pop-culture?
  6. Social inequality as a root of conflict in Martin Eden by Jack London.
  7. Historical allusions in A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin.
  8. The conflict between justice and revenge in Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
  9. The impact of surroundings on morality of major characters in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
  10. The idea of duty in Antigone by Sophocles.

You should also check out the post Outstanding Research Paper Topics to Get Your Writing Started on our blog. There you’ll find topics on marketing, business, medicine, art history, and other disciplines.

We’ve told you everything about the nuances of searching and choosing topics for a research paper. Don’t let our efforts be in vain! Find the most impressive example of a research paper topic and create a truly brilliant piece of writing!

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