Research papers often elicit sighs, groans and dread in students assigned to write them. The first step to overcome is generating research topics to write about. While you may initially draw a blank, tune into the subject matter of the class and brainstorm to dig deeper for a research topic that wows your readers.

Step 1

Consider the reason you are writing the research paper. Stick to research topics that revolve around the lessons you are learning when the paper is for a specific class. For example, write a paper about global warming for a science class. A paper that is part of a scholarship application or contest should be aimed at the interests of the people or organization judging your paper. For example, write a paper about recession for a business college scholarship.

Step 2

Browse newspapers and the Internet for current events to research and write about. Search out current controversies and new studies making news that apply to the subject. Choosing a current event to write about ensures that your paper is fresh and original.

Step 3

Write a list of the top 10 topics you can think of and then do some brief research on the Internet. Nearly any topic can be the basis of a research paper so don't be afraid to explore the ideas and issues you love. For example, if you use Twitter, you can write about how the company began and quickly rose from a small social website to a major networking tool used by practically everyone.

Step 4

Pick a topic that you already need to know detailed information about to kill two birds with one stone. For example, if you plan to apply to graduate school, write your research paper about the benefits of post-graduate education and include discussion about the best schools in each area of study.


  • Avoid topics that appear boring to you. If you don't want to write about the topic, chances are that not many people want to read about it.