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English Comp 2 Research Paper Topics

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!

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.

Below are the minimal requirements of both the College of DuPage and the Illinois Articulation Initiative for Composition 2.
  1. The minimum length of the text is 2500 words, not including any front or end matter (such as headers, title pages, outlines, table of contents, notes, bibliographies, or appendices).
  2. The paper must employ a minimum of six sources, both primary and secondary, both book and periodical, and the sources must be scholarly/professional sources. Scholarly books and periodicals are accessible through the COD library and its databases. Web resources, encyclopedias, newspapers, and news magazines (even if you access them via the databases) are not allowed under any circumstances, without a compelling reason. If you wish to use any of those sources, then you must clear those resources with me first. Using sources barred here is an automatic 10 point deduction, perhaps more.
  3. The paper must incorporate quotes/paraphrased materials from both 1984 and your abstracted sources. Failing to use your abstracted research is an automatic 10 point deduction, perhaps more.
  4. The paper must conform to the MLA style sheet/format. Failure to follow the MLA is an automatic 10 point deduction, perhaps more.

his research paper focuses on Orwell's 1984. There are many topics from which you can choose below, but you are welcomed to come up with your own topic too. I ask only that the topic be directly related to Orwell and/or the novel. This is crucial.

rving Howe's edition of the novel has more than two score of suggested topics for papers in the appendix at the end, and over the years, students themselves have added several more. The novel is expansive enough so that no matter what your interests may be, history, law, sociology, family, child rearing, politics, psychology, religion, cults, Nazism, Communism, Hitler, Stalin, authoritarianism, South Africa and apartheid, or literature and language, there is probably something in the novel to spark your interests. The following list is a collection of favorite topics from students of yore:

  1. Mind Control
    • advertising as mind control, e.g., military recuitment advertisements, tobacco, etc.
    • television as propaganda spreading official information leading to mind control
    • alcohol/substances as mind control
    • cults of personality and other religious cults
  2. Newspeak
    • officialese
    • weasel words
    • advertising
    • Doublespeak
  3. Sexual Repression, Sexism, and Pornography as Mind Control
    • Orwell as a (non-)sexist author
    • notice the effects of 'free speech' and 'free press' in the USSR after Gorbachev: a boom of pornography
  4. Literary Topics
    • utopias, dystopia, and antiutopias
    • heroes and antiheroes
    • the role of guilt in Smith's character development
    • the religious allusions in the novel
    • comparisons to Animal Farm, Brave New World, 1985, The Time Machine, We, The Handmaid's Tale, The Giver, and others
    • autobiographical origins of 1984
    • the relationship between Orwell's politics and his art
  5. Censorship
    • "This will not be another Viet Nam": how the military handled the media in the Gulf wars
    • If you can't beat 'em, embed 'em: co-opting the media during war
    • Aljazeera vs. Fox News: who has the memory hole?
    • "All the news that we see fit to print": corporate ownership of the US media
  6. Propaganda
    • how journalism and the media failed this country after 9/11 and during the lead-up to war
    • fear and loathing: how to coerce people with fear, prejudice, and blatant nationalism, manipulating them to do what you want
    • the Bush administration's justifications for invading Iraq
    • the Bush administration's efforts at Public Diplomacy, e.g., exporting democracy, Karen Hughes, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy, etc.
    • Condoleezza Rice's "mushroom cloud" speech and the CIA Leak Scandal
  7. Invasion of Privacy and/or Prior Restraint
    • the loss of civil liberties during "war," i.e., the Patriot Act
    • 1984 as a warning about how governments can use fear to erode civil liberties
  8. Historical Parallels
    • the loss of civil liberties during "war," i.e., the Patriot Act
    • Oceania and the USSR
    • Oceania and Nazi Germany
    • Big Brother as Hitler or Stalin or the cult figure of your choosing
    • the Cold War
    • the Military-Industrial Complex: what President Eisenhower warned us about more than 50 years ago has come true about why we fight, or 'how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.'
    • 1984 as a warning about how democracies become authoritarian states run by elites
    • WHIG (the White House Iraq Group run by VP Cheney) as the Inner Party

ou can read the final draft of my research paper, if you wish. I published the paper several years ago as "The Uses of Passivity: Suppressing Agency in Nineteen Eighty-Four," in Advances in Systemic Linguistics (Martin Davies and Louise Ravelli, eds.), London: Frances Pinter, 1992, pp. 229-250. Presented at the seventeenth International Systemic Congress, Sterling, Scotland, July 5, 1990. The paper is not in the MLA format, however, since the publisher, Pinter (a British publisher), uses an in-house format and style sheet.

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