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English Composition I: Selecting a Research Topic

Select a Research Topic

Choosing a research topic is the first step in the research process. Choosing your topic is research! Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Choose a topic that interests you! Research is a lot easier when you care about the topic.
  • Review the guidelines about topic selection outlined in your assignment. You may wish to ask your instructor for recommendations and suggestions.

Picking Your Topic is Research

This 3 minute video explains how to test and revise a topic as part of the research process. (North Carolina State University, CC-BY-NC-SA)

Potential Topics

Abortion Embryonic Stem Cell Ethics Immigration NFL Reaction to Domestic Violence Puppy Mills
Affirmative Action Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Junk Food in Schools North Korea and Nuclear Weapons Race and Policing
Affordable Care Act or Obamacare Global Warming Medical Marijuana Online Dating Social Media
Arts and Humanities Funding Gun Control Mexico - U.S. Border Fence Opioid Crisis Space Race
Bullying Human Trafficking National Anthem Protests Plastic Bags Banned Student Debt
Cyber-bullying in Schools Hunger in America Near Death Experiences Police Brutality Vaccinations

Recommended YouTube Videos / Potential Research Topics

Why is blue so rare in nature?

The Science of Lying

The Secret is in the Space Suit

Why is There Still Poverty in America?

Why Japanese Swords Are So Expensive?

Recess: Right or Privilege?

Time Magazine

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New York Times Sunday Review

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JSTOR Daily ( is an online magazine that provides context and background to news stories and current affairs. It publishes short and long posts from journalists and academics, and all pieces link to journal articles on JSTOR for deeper reading.

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TED Talks

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks that are 18 minutes or less.

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Websites to Help You Identify a Research Topic