Term Paper Ideas For Students

How to find a good term paper topic: guidelines for dummies

Help! There’s a term paper due and I can’t find a good topic! Finding a good term paper topic is often the most difficult part of the writing process. The problem with finding a term paper topic is that there are so many topics to choose from. Another problem is that different people (students and teachers/professors) have different perspectives about what a “good” research topic is. Generally speaking, a “good” research topic is either unique or that a student approaches in a unique way. Some examples of unique topics might include the following:

  • Sports tied National or Regional Identity
  • Fairy Tales: Harmless Fantasy vs. Damaging Unrealistic Expectations
  • Student Athletes: School Prestige vs. Academic Standards; Drug-Testing Effectiveness; Effects on Academic Performance
  • Education: Placement in Grade Level by Age vs. Academic Ability
  • “Going Green”: Trend vs. Longevity
  • NFL: Excessive Celebrating or Taunting Rule vs. Freedom of Speech or Sportsmanship
  • Sex Education: Parents’ vs. Schools’ Responsibility
  • Zero Tolerance Drug and Alcohol Policy in Schools
  • Public Transportation vs. Personal Vehicle
  • School Meals: Healthy Choices vs. Cost Efficiency
  • Surprising Addiction (Shopping, Food, Internet, Exercise)
  • Childhood Immunizations: Health Benefits vs. Side Effects
  • Individuality vs. Professionalism at Work (i.e. hair color/style, tattoos, attire, piercings)
  • Childhood Obesity: Child Abuse/Endangerment?
  • Media: Misrepresentation, Misinformation, and Public Gullibility
  • Urban Legends/Myths: How do they develop and why do they endure?
  • Celebrities and Public Health: What effects do celebrities have on public health issues (positive or negative)?

Of course, your term paper topic will depend greatly on the particular assignment. If the assignment is to write an argumentative paper that addresses a problem that needs to be solved, writing a paper that explains how sports are tied to a country’s identity might not be appropriate. However, writing about the problem of fairy tales causing potentially damaging unrealistic expectations and proposing a solution might work much better.

Because you want to write about a topic that isn’t overdone, you will probably want to avoid some topics because teachers and professors have received tons of papers on these worn-out topics, which include:

  • Abortion
  • Death Penalty in America
  • Global Warming
  • Steroids and Sports
  • Animal Cruelty
  • Smoking
  • Drinking Age
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Violence in the Media (TV, Movies, Video Games, Ads, News, etc.)
  • Censorship
  • Cloning
  • Religion
  • Evolution/Creationism
  • Gay Marriage

As with any rule, there are always exceptions. If you do decide that you want to use a topic that seems overdone, you should find a unique approach to it. For example, you feel very passionate about abolishing the death penalty in America. To make this “old” topic “new,” you could take a financial approach and focus your argument on the benefits that abolishing the death penalty would have on the U.S. economy. By focusing on a different aspect of the debate instead of taking a moral or religious stance, you have made your approach to the topic focused and unique and you will be able to support your argument with credible, reliable, and logical evidence.

Ultimately, there are countless term paper topics to choose from. The challenge is finding a topic that interests you, narrowing that topic to make your research and writing more manageable, and approaching your topic from a unique angle. If you are still unable to discover a term paper topic, first try listing your interests and passions. Then, search your local library or online for credible books or articles that relate to your interests. Once you have read more about your interest, decide which aspects of the topic interest you. Finally, do some more reading on those subtopics to choose a narrowed topic that you could write about from an interesting angle.


Last Updated: May 25, 2020 | 2007-2020 © All rights reserved. Term And Research Paper Tips.