research paper prompts

Hints on how to find controversial research papers topics

When you are tasked with writing a research paper, you might be intrigued at the idea of writing something controversial. When picking a controversial topic, you want to select something that is often debated. Look for two things that are related such as the ethics of or use of something. Try and relate your topic to the here and now. Consider the examples below:

  • Write about the moral or ethical components to abortion
  • Discuss abstinence programs and their relation to AIDS
  • Write about addiction. Are some considered more severe than others? Is this socially acceptable?
  • Write about advertising in schools
  • Discuss our agricultural industry
  • Write about alternative energy sources
  • Discuss binge drinking and alcohol advertising
  • Write about animal experimentation and animal cloning
  • Discuss assisted suicide
  • Write about the bioethics of biomedical technology
  • Discuss bioterrorism
  • Write about body image and advertising
  • Write about bilingual education and whether it should be a requirement
  • Discuss the border fence idea
  • Write about cell phone use in school
  • Discuss censorship and whether there are times that it is necessary
  • Write about child welfare
  • Research protection laws for children online
  • Research clean coal possibilities
  • Research commercial whaling
  • Write about domestic terrorism and drone use
  • Discuss drug use in sports and drug legalization
  • Discuss genetically modified foods
  • Write about gambling
  • Research the idea of freedom of speech
  • Write about gay parental adoption
  • Discuss human trafficking
  • Discuss health insurance
  • Write about gun control and hate crimes
  • Research reproductive technology and anonymous sperm and egg donations
  • Discuss stem cell research
  • Write about teenage pregnancy
  • Research technology and its impact on society
  • Write about war crimes
  • Research water pollution
  • Writer about terrorism and the use of torture
  • Discuss the federal deficit

In all of these topics you can take one side or the other. You can argue for or against something. You can argue that something is good or bad. Your job is to make the idea something shocking. You can, for example, explain that bioterrorism can be beneficial because an airborne toxin can be released that would randomly cause infertility in one third of the population around the world, which would be beneficial to society as a whole because with time, that infertility would spread at a rate fast enough to reduce the overpopulation of the world. You can state that this is a benefit and explain why overpopulation is a problem and why this is a solution.

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