High School Freshman Research Paper

Business

Cheap labor U.S. companies that move factories to undeveloped nations barely pay employees enough to live on. Is it unethical to pay cheap wages or are companies doing those workers a favor?

Fitness programs Should companies allow employees to exercise on work time?

Mining What safety measures made the recent Canadian mining accident a noncasualty event, while recent U.S. mining accidents have been fatal?

Oil companies Do oil companies make big bucks while the rest of us pay over $3 a gallon?

Wage gap Women still earn only 75 cents for every $1 a man earns. Explain why.

Wages There’s a minimum wage, but should there also be a maximum wage/salary a person can earn?

Workaholics Do Americans work too hard? Does working more actually reduce productivity? Is a 40-hour workweek too much? Should there be a mandatory cap on the number of hours a person can work? Should there be changes in employment laws to give Americans more relaxation time?

Education

Athletes in high schools Should shoe companies be able to give away free shoes and equipment to high school athletes?

Censorship Should parents censor textbooks and other literature for children in schools?

College athletics Should college athletes be paid?

Electronic information preservation Does the Information Age mean we are losing important historical information?

Exams Exams often do little more than measure a person’s ability to take exams. Should exams be outlawed in favor of another form of assessment?

Flag Should children be required to say the Pledge of Allegiance in schools?

Gap year Should teens in the U.S. adopt the British custom of taking a “gap year” between high school and college?

Grades In some European schools, fewer than 10% of students get A’s. Is there grade inflation in the U.S.? Why so many A’s for Americans?

No Child Left Behind Act Is it working?

School lunches Should government impose restrictions on what kinds of foods can be served in school cafeterias?

School uniforms Pros and cons of school uniforms.

Single-sex schools Do children learn better in boys-only and girls-only schools?

Environment

Climate change Is global warming a hoax? Is it being exaggerated?

Coal Should the use of coal be subjected to stricter environmental regulations than other fuels?

DDT Should DDT be reapproved for use in the wake of recent bedbug outbreaks across the country?

Wind energy Is wind energy really that cheap? Is it effective? Is it practical?

Government Policy

Airport security Should the government use invasive pat-downs and body scans to ensure passenger safety or are there better methods?

al-Qaida Has U.S. policy actually spread terrorism rather than contain it? Will it get better or worse? Why and how?

Arming pilots Good idea?

Bridges, roads, waterways Why the government gets a bad report card on America’s infrastructure.

Health care crisis Most developed nations have universal health coverage. Why doesn’t the U.S., the wealthiest nation, have it?

Homeland Security Are we safer since the creation of this department?

Immigration Should illegal immigrants be made legal citizens?

Internet regulation Should the federal government be allowed to regulate information on the Internet?

Iraq War Is America winning or losing the war? What is the measurement of success? Have the benefits outweighed the costs?

Iraq War vets Are they being cheated on medical benefits?

Lead poisoning Should the U.S. stop importing Chinese-manufactured toys?

Marijuana legalization Should the federal government legalize the use of marijuana?

Military Should the U.S. have mandatory military conscription? For whom?

Moms Should stay-at-home moms get a salary from the government?

Obesity and weight loss Should thin people have to pay Medicare and other health costs for the health problems of obese people? Should obese people have higher premiums?

Prescription medicines Should there be a national database to track controlled substances (i.e., oxycodone) or should it be a state issue?

Privacy Should the government be allowed to wiretap without permission?

School lunches Should government impose restrictions on what kinds of foods can be served in school cafeterias?

Sex offenders Once they leave prison, are laws about where they may live and be employed unfair?

Smoking bans Should the federal government pass a nationwide indoor smoking ban?

Health

Fast food Are we taking it too far by blaming fast-food restaurants for obesity? When is it individual responsibility and when is it appropriate to place blame?

Fitness programs Should companies allow employees to exercise on work time?

Food Steroids. Antibiotics. Sprays. Are food manufacturers killing us?

Health care crisis Most developed nations have universal health coverage. Why doesn’t the U.S., the wealthiest nation, have it?

Lead poisoning Should the U.S. stop importing Chinese-manufactured toys?

Malpractice How can we balance the need to lower the cost of malpractice insurance with the fact that physician malpractice is one of the leading causes of death?

Models Should there be a minimum weight limit?

Noise pollution How much is too much noise? What, if anything, should we do to curb it?

Obesity and weight loss Should thin people have to pay Medicare and other health costs for the health problems of obese people? Should obese people have higher premiums?

Prescription medicines Should there be a national database to track controlled substances (i.e., oxycodone) or should it be a state issue?

School lunches Should government impose restrictions on what kinds of foods can be served in school cafeterias?

Smoking bans Should the federal government pass a nationwide indoor smoking ban?

Social media Can excessive use of social media contribute to addictive behaviors (drugs, tobacco, alcohol) or mental health issues?

Steroids Should they be legalized?

Vaccines Should parents avoid vaccinating their children?

Human Behavior

Nonverbal communication How do men and women communicate differently using body language, and why does it matter (in dating, the workplace, social circles)?

Road rage Why do normally patient people become impatient behind the wheel?

Social anxiety How is it different from shyness? And, are we a society of anxiety?

Suicide bombers What kind of person becomes a suicide bomber?

Terrorism Can terrorism ever be justified?

Legal Issues

Airplane accidents Who is responsible? Should families of victims be entitled to compensation?

Bullying laws Should the state or federal government put laws into place to prevent bullying?

Civil disobedience Is breaking the law for a cause justifiable?

Civil unions If civil couples have the same rights/privileges as married people, why get married?

Holocaust Should denial of the Holocaust be illegal?

Infidelity In some states, it is illegal to cheat on a spouse. Should we prosecute cheaters? Is a law that’s not enforced really a law?

Juvenile offenders Should juvenile offenders be tried and punished as adults?

Organ sale Should we legalize the sale of human organs?

Parents Should parents be held responsible when their children break laws?

Sex offenders Once they leave prison, are laws about where they may live and be employed unfair?

Statutory rape Recently, a 17-year-old boy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. Are statutory rape laws patronizing to girls and discriminatory to boys?

Media and Freedom of Speech

Advertising Should certain kinds of ads be banned in the interest of health/morality/annoyance – alcohol, cigarettes, prescription meds, etc.?

Art A few years ago, an artist was criticized for depicting the Virgin Mary with elephant dung. When is art not really art?

Censorship Should parents censor textbooks and other literature for children in schools?

Church arson Hate crime?

Flag Should children be required to say the Pledge of Allegiance in schools?

Journalism Should newspaper reporters be required to reveal their sources?

Media Does the media, both print and broadcast, report fairly? Does it ever cross the line between reporting the news and creating the news?

Paparazzi What, if any, limitations should be applied to the paparazzi?

Pornography Parental filters on the Internet. Does censorship actually increase curiosity and use of pornography?

Public figures Does the public have a right to know about a public figure’s private life?

Racial bias in media Does news coverage favor whites?

Religion

Church arson Hate crime?

Religion Is there one true religion?

Women in the clergy Should women be priests, pastors, ministers and rabbis?

Social Issues

Abstinence programs Do they work?

Alcohol Should the U.S. lower the drinking age to 18?

Animal rights Should it be illegal to use animals for sports and entertainment?

Beauty contests Do they serve any purpose in society?

Campus sexual assault Are sexual assault incidences on college campuses on the rise or has awareness just increased?

Child soldiers Why and how children are used for war

Civil unions If civil couples have the same rights/privileges as married people, why get married?

Cyber crime What are the latest ways to steal identity and money?

Divorce Should we reform laws to make it harder to get a divorce?

Felons and voting Should convicted felons have the right to vote?

Feminism Is feminism still relevant? How do young women view feminism?

Gay marriage Should there be a constitutional amendment that allows gays and lesbians to legally marry?

Generations How four different generations in the workplace can work together.

Infidelity In some states, it is illegal to cheat on a spouse. Should we prosecute cheaters? Is a law that’s not enforced really a law?

Internet and children Are children smarter (or more socialized) because of the Internet?

Intersexuals What, if anything, should be done medically and socially?

Literacy Are Americans “literate”?

Models Should there be a minimum weight limit?

Muslim Americans What is life for them like in the U.S. after September 11, 2001?

Organ sale Should we legalize the sale of human organs?

Privacy What medical information should be confidential? Who, if anybody, should have access to medical records?

Sex offenders Once they leave prison, are laws about where they may live and be employed unfair?

Spanking Should it be outlawed?

Sports parents What are the effects on children whose parents push them in sports?

Statutory rape Recently, a 17-year-old boy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. Are statutory rape laws patronizing to girls and discriminatory to boys?

Title IX Has it helped women’s sports? Has it harmed men’s sports?

Tough love Does parental “tough love” really work?

Toys Do certain children’s toys create social or emotional problems?

Wages There’s a minimum wage, but should there also be a maximum wage/salary a person can earn?

Wage gap Women still earn only 75 cents for every $1 a man earns. Explain why.

Workaholics Do Americans work too hard? Does working more actually reduce productivity? Is a 40-hour work week too much? Should there be a mandatory cap on the number of hours a person can work? Should there be changes in employment laws to give Americans more relaxation time?

Working mothers What differences, if any, are there in children who are raised by stay-at-home moms and working moms? Does society today still discriminate against working mothers who wish to have flexible work schedules?

World

Middle East Why so many conflicts? Are there solutions?

Overpopulation What would happen globally if the demand for natural resources becomes greater than the supply?

 

Tired of writing about the same tired old topics like the ban on smoking in public places, the dangers of texting and driving, or gun control? Good. Your professors are tired of reading about these topics, too.

When you’re writing a research paper, you want to impress your professors with your writing skills, but you also want to offer new insights into a topic. You won’t likely be able to write anything new and enlightening about these tired old topics in only a few thousand words.

So how do you impress your professor if you think he or she has heard it all before?

To begin with, try a newer and more original topic.

Stumped for fresh ideas?

Don’t worry. This blog post contains 25 interesting research paper topics to get you started.

5 Interesting Research Paper Topics on Local Issues

True, it might take a little more effort to research local issues, but you’re up for the challenge, right?

Besides, learning and writing about the concerns of your community not only keeps you informed and involved, but also makes for a great research paper.

A great research paper means a great grade, so how can you go wrong?

To start researching local issues, head straight to local newspapers and online sources. They won’t provide all the details you’ll need to write an in-depth research essay, but they’re a good place to begin your research.

Researching local issues is also another chance for you to practice your interviewing skills. (After all, you’ll need them when you become the next host of The Tonight Show, right?) Seriously though, what better way to get the inside scoop than by interviewing the parties directly involved in the issue?

Not sure what types of local issues to research? Try one of these.

Interesting Research Paper Topic #1. Local Political Scandals

Has a local politician embezzled money, been charged with corruption, or been involved in a sizzling sex scandal?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #2: Local University Dramas

Are employees trying to form (or break) local unions? Are students fighting for lower tuition or book costs? Has the college president (or other administrator) been in the local news lately for any number of issues? Are police investigating a cheating or athletic scandal?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #3: Small Business Struggles and Triumphs

Is a small business a cornerstone in your community, and you want to research its impact on the community? Is a small business struggling due to a new big box store in the area?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #4: Local Government Issues

Should local government do more to help its citizens? Should more money be allocated to fix roads and bridges? Is the city providing adequate services such as clean water, trash pick up, safe neighborhoods, etc.?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #5. Local Public School Battles

Have students and/or teachers been involved in a sexting scandal?  Are the school board and/or parents battling over a new curriculum, athletic reform, or some other topic?

5 Interesting Research Paper Topics on Health and the Environment

You can research environmental or health topics ranging from small, local and regional topics to large, global issues.

For instance, you might research the best practices of sustainable cities to explain how your own city might work to emulate them. On the other hand, you might write from a global perspective and examine sustainable cities across the world.

If you’re writing about the environment or health, you might consider one of the following topics.

Interesting Research Paper Topic #6: BPA

Due to concerns with contaminants such a BPA, are canned foods safe to eat? Should stricter regulations be in place for labeling plastics containing BPA?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #7: Hunting Carnivores

Should the practice of killing carnivorous animals (such as wolves) to protect farms and livestock be stopped? Do ranchers have a right to protect their livestock by killing wolves? What are the results of allowing wolves to thrive?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #8: Sustainable Cities

Are sustainable cities and neighborhoods really possible? What are some examples of existing sustainable cities, and what are their best practices? What steps can you take to make your community sustainable?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #9: Plastic Bags

Should plastic bags (including plastic grocery bags) be banned in all 50 states? Should grocery stores charge a fee for each plastic bag used at the checkout? What are the effects of plastic bag bans in states that have already adopted the policy?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #10: Mountaintop Removal Mining

Should mountaintop removal mining be allowed to continue? Is mountaintop removal mining an effective coal mining method? What are the impacts of this type of mining on the communities that do it?

5 Interesting Research Paper Topics on Social Issues

Social topics impact us all. If you’re writing about social issues, you will generally be writing about how the topic affects larger groups of people, such as how poverty affects an entire generation.

However, keep in mind that social issues might also focus on smaller groups, such as a city or neighborhood.

If you’re feeling a little antisocial right now, spend a few minutes Googling some of these topics to see if they might work for your research paper.

Interesting Research Paper Topic #11: High School Dropouts

What social, personal, and political concerns lead to high school dropout rates? What are possible solutions to help decrease the dropout rate?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #12: Children and Poverty

How are children affected by poverty? What can governments do to help reduce child poverty? What can you do to help reduce child poverty?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #13: Medical Rights of Youths

Should 16 and 17 year olds have the right to refuse medical treatment? At what age do people have the right to determine whether or not they receive medical treatment?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #14: Overmedication of Children

Are children being overly medicated? If so, what is the driving force behind the rise in prescriptions?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #15: Free College Education

Should a college education be free for all U.S. citizens? How are free universities in Germany and other European countries benefiting these countries and students?

5 Interesting Research Paper Topics on Law Enforcement

Researching any issue about government or laws can become overwhelming because of the complexity of the issues and even because of the wording of some laws.

Spending time to review sufficient sources (and maybe getting a little help from a political science professor) will help you understand the topic.

Here are 5 topics to get you started.

Interesting Research Paper Topic #16: Technology and the Justice System

Is ShotSpotter technology reliable? Should the surveillance technology be admissible in court?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #17: Policing U.S. Law Enforcement

Should all police officers be required to wear body cameras? Will the use of body cameras reduce police brutality, and/or will it create a safer working environment for police?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #18: Juvenile Crime and Punishment

Should solitary confinement be banned for juveniles? Should juveniles be exempt from life sentences? Should juveniles be punished as adults for certain types of crimes?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #19: Incarceration Rates in the U.S.

What factors have led to increasing incarceration rates? How has this affected the U.S. economically and socially?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #20: License Plate Readers

Are license plate readers an invasion of privacy? Or, are these readers a necessary tool for law enforcement?

5 Interesting Research Paper Topics on Media, Social Media, and Advertising

As with anything involving media, social media, and advertising, watch out for biased and inaccurate information.

People like to share their opinions on such topics through forums, blogs, and their own websites. You know the type: the guy or gal who does nothing but blog all day long about the newest movie, the newest XBox game, or even the funniest Super Bowl commercial.

Though reading some anonymous blog that includes a glowing review of Grand Theft Auto and reading another that includes a scathing criticism of the sexism in the game might inspire some creative thought, you shouldn’t consider them credible research sources.

So remember, as you’re researching, make sure to look for credible resources. (Read How to Apply the CRAAP Test to Your Essay Sources.)

Not sure where to begin to look for ideas for media-related topics? You start with these.

Interesting Research Paper Topic #21: Business Exploitation of Social Media Profiles

Are teens (or adults) concerned that their use of social media is being exploited for profit by large companies? How do these new marketing strategies affect consumers and consumerism?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #22: Social Media and Self-Esteem

Can the use of social media, such as Facebook, lower teens’ self-esteem? Are there instances where these sites can help to raise teens’ self-esteem?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #23: E-Sports

Should e-sports be recognized as college sports? Can a sport that requires little physical ability really be considered a sport?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #24: Advertising in Schools

Should corporate advertising be allowed in public schools? Does corporate advertising provide much needed revenue to schools with limited federal funding?

Interesting Research Paper Topic #25: Advertising and Stereotypes

How does advertising perpetuate gender and/or racial stereotypes? Are ad campaigns that attempt to reverse the norms more or less effective?

Closing Tips on Writing an Interesting Research Paper

Remember, an interesting research paper starts with an interesting research paper topic. But choosing your topic is only the beginning.

Make sure you read How to Write a Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide to help you with refining and researching your topic and writing the final paper.

Don’t forget to choose a topic that interest you. If you’re bored while writing your paper, that will definitely show in your final product. If you’re excited about the topic, that will show too!

Not sure if you can work with any of the topics here?  For more ideas, read 50 Research Paper Topics to Help Jumpstart Your Writing.

Looking for additional help choosing and refining interesting research paper topics? Try this resource! Want some additional help finding and narrowing your topic? Read this!

After you’ve written your paper and feel it’s complete, have one of our Kibin editors review it to make sure it’s great!

Good luck!

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