If you've been assigned a research paper for science class, you might be confused about which types of topics would be acceptable. After all, many research topics are relatively straightforward and will not provide enough material for a high-level research paper. Controversial topics or those that affect everyday life can be especially strong choices for a science research paper.

Environmental Issues

Environmental Issues
Environmental Issues

Some of the most common research paper topics revolve around issues that affect the environment. For example, global warming, air and water pollution or the endangerment of animals and plants in the rainforest are common research paper topic ideas. For some more specific ideas, consider writing about the advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy use, the question of whether we should permit drilling for oil in Alaska, or focus on a specific endangered animal and discuss methods that can be used to increase its population growth.

Ethical Issues

You can also examine the ethics of euthanasia in different situations, taking into account when should be considered the moment of death.
You can also examine the ethics of euthanasia in different situations, taking into account when should be considered the moment of death.

Ethical issues can be thorny to write about, especially those that involve science research. Discussing these issues in your research paper, however, can show how you are able to think critically about complex moral issues. Consider under which conditions experimentation on humans--both with and without their consent--is ethical. How about experimentation on animals, or on aborted fetuses? You can also examine the ethics of euthanasia in different situations, taking into account when should be considered the moment of death.

Health and Nutrition

Research health and nutrition
Research health and nutrition

Many health and nutrition topics can hit closer to home than other topics, especially in our culture, which is so obsessed with dieting and health problems. You may want to research whether some fad diets really work, or whether high-protein diets are healthy. You can discuss when and how antibiotics or stronger drugs should be used, and whether doctors over-prescribe them. Alternatively, examine the alleged over-diagnosis of certain diseases or disabilities, as well as how to make sure that someone fits the diagnosis criteria correctly. You may also want to research obesity, an epidemic that runs through the western world today, as well as how we as a community can work to deal with it.

Weather and Earth Science

Weather and Earth Science
Weather and Earth Science

Many aspects of the weather can be meaty topics for a research paper. For example, you may want to look into various aspects of flooding, including examples of floods that could have been avoided and what other at-risk areas should do to reduce their risk. You can research whether sunspots or moon revolutions actually affect weather and how meteorologists take this into account. Alternatively, you can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of cloud seeding or man-made rain.