College Research Paper Topics for All Students Level

February 17, 2015

Content topics for all students

A Few Research Paper Ideas for College Students

Unlike the way things were in high school, college students are often permitted to select their own topics for research papers. Of course, depending on the class, that selection might be limited. Obviously you aren't permitted to choose auto manufacturing as a topic in a Sociology class, but still the option to choose exists. In order to consider all of the possibilities, first, assume that any college research paper topic ideas are valid. While many students enjoy being able to select their own research paper ideas for college, some of them struggle with this task. There are some important points to consider when selecting the topic and these might assist with topic selection.

Some Important Things to Consider First

Know your professor. Remember, he or she is the one you are writing for, and that should be an important consideration when you choose not only your topic but the composition style you will use. If your professor is quite formal in approach to teaching, then your topic and your composition must be quite serious and formal. Other professors are more casual and will allow for a more casual topic with the context of the general subject area. One student recalls an American literature course in which he had to read Moby Dick. Now this is a serious work - grim and gruesome in parts, in fact. But m professor was more casual and appreciated creativity. When they were given a research paper assignment on this novel, he chose to research the humor in Moby Dick and titled the paper, “A Whale of a Laugh.” She loved it!

Topic selection is important for other reasons as well. Consider the following as you are bouncing around topic ideas:

  • You don't want to select a topic that is going to require so much research and note taking that you will become overwhelmed and won’t be able to finish on time without many sleepless nights.
  • You don't want to select a topic that half of the other students have selected.
  • You do want to pick a topic that will keep you and your peers interested.
  • You do want to pick a topic that will show your instructor that you have gained solid knowledge.

Start Big and Then Narrow Things Down

It is best to come up with a list of research paper topics college level, and then narrow that list down. Begin by listing a few major categories that interest you, and then list research paper topics that are related to each category. Then, select the favorites in each major category that you believe fit the class and the amount of time you can dedicate to the paper. If students have to choose between selecting a really challenging topic and making sure they can turn the paper in on time, they should always choose the latter option. Sometimes it is better to take the route that is less risky.

A Few Research Paper Topics for College Students

You might begin looking for a topic by watching the news and visiting Internet-based news sites. Covering a topic from current events is almost always a good choice. So, watch local, national, and world news and see what you come up with. Here are a few sure bets:

  • Anything on the topic of climate change if you are in a science class. Climate change has biological, chemical, and physics impacts.
  • The conflict(s) in the Middle East. For a world history class, take a look at the region within the time period of your topic area.
  • The best way for the United States to deal with North Korea in a contemporary issues or political science class
  • Should schools be funded solely by property taxes? Here’s a great topic for education, economics, political science, and sociology classes.
  • Should there be a federal initiative to encourage girls to become interested in STEM? (education, sociology, psychology)
  • What is the best alternative fuel source to replace coal and oil? (science, modern history, political science, economics)
  • What are the ethical considerations of biogenetic engineering (all biological sciences, philosophy, sociology)

And if you are given a “blank check” for a topic in an English composition class – Whoo-Hoo! Choose your very favorite topic!

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of topic selection, and perhaps these topic ideas have led to some ideas of your own. Remember to put some time and thought into this, because choosing the right topic will have a major impact on how motivated you will be to produce the work. Research papers aren't necessarily fun, but they are important!