Popular English Research Paper Topics


As students advance in high school and college, they are more likely to encounter the English research paper. This writing assignment typically requires hundreds to thousands of words and specific formatting. To get started on the assignment, students must be able to select a topic that they can easily research. While some teachers prefer to have specific subjects, others allow any topic to be submitted. Consider some of the following topic ideas for future English research papers.

  1. What is the possibility of life on other plants? Is there valid research to support this idea?
  2. Why should the United States try to go to the moon again or visit Mars? Is there a benefit to doing this?
  3. Is the Patriot Act constitutional? Likewise, are new military developments like drones legal to use? Are there ethical problems associated with drones or the Patriot Act?
  4. Out of solar, wind, tidal, nuclear, coal and natural gas energy sources, which source is the most preferable? Which has the best cost-benefit analysis?
  5. Is the current welfare system effective? Should it be modified? If so, what modifications are needed? Are these changes backed by research?
  6. Are there ever “just wars” that are actually just? Why or why not?
  7. What are possible ways to deal with global warming? Is it possible for humanity to reverse course on climate change?
  8. The majority of other first-world nations around the globe have students that score better on standardized tests. Why are United States students performing so poorly in school?
  9. Are the representations of minorities, disabled people or women accurate in the media? How are they represented?
  10. Does the death penalty actually deter serious crime? Should the death penalty remain as a potential punishment?
  11. Is the United States justice system equally fair to everyone? Why or why not?
  12. Does birth order matter for siblings? Will an oldest child succeed more in life or not?
  13. Some nations like Israel require every citizen to serve in the military for two years. Should the United States adopt a similar system?
  14. Should the United States adopt an open door policy for immigration? Additionally, should new laws be passed that crack down on people who immigrate illegally?
  15. Instead of using a two-party system, should the United States adopt an election system similar to the United Kingdom where multiple parties and the entire country get a voice?

In addition to these research topics, some teachers require students to write about subjects in literature. For these types of papers, students could compare and contrast different characters in a work. They could research the outside influences on the novel or the historical events associated with it.

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