What Are Some Topics for a Popular Culture Paper?

Image of college students working on an assignment.
... monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Writing about popular culture can be a welcome relief from essays on historical events or literature for many students. However, if students choose too broad of a topic, they might struggle with the assignment, finding it difficult to prove their point or stay within the bounds of a page limit or word count. So it's important that students consider different topics in popular culture before sitting down to write.

1 Impact of a Popular Culture Figure

A popular culture paper can analyze the impact of a past or current figure in pop culture. Students can choose pop culture figures who intrigue them, which will make the project an engaging one to write. For example, a student might choose to write about how his favorite band, the Rolling Stones, has transcended time over several decades. Or he can select an actor or a moment in popular culture and explain how that person or event affected society.

2 Compare and Contrast

Popular culture evolves over time, and students can analyze the changes in popular culture in a compare-and-contrast paper. A compare-and-contrast pop culture paper can take many angles. For example, a student can write about how a particular element of pop culture, such as purchasing artists' music, has changed over time or popular television shows from a previous decade compared with current popular television shows.

3 Changes in Advertising

Advertising is a part of popular culture, and it is always changing, reflecting the times. Assessing changes in the advertising industry or different advertorial strategies that companies use to sell products to consumers is a possible paper topic. Students can narrow this broad topic down by talking about advertising in a specific industry. For example, they can assess how toy advertisers market to children and what strategies they use to effectively sell their products now and in the past.

4 Globalization of Pop Culture

A paper on popular culture can analyze the globalization of pop culture. Students can look at the impact of pop culture in different countries and assess whether some elements of pop culture are pervasive from continent to continent. They can also look at how American elements of pop culture have spread across the world and determine whether other countries respond to pop culture in the same way Americans do.

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.