To prove your writing and academic research skills throughout your education, you’ll be required to write a research essay.
This form of essay writing is highly technical, requiring students to research information on a particular topic and provide an in-depth analysis in the form of an essay.
For example, students might be assigned topics such as ‘The Invention Of The Bicycle’ or ‘The Effects Of Technology On Children.’ Then, with a research essay, students would be expected to compile their viewpoint on this topic and support it with facts and references throughout the writing.
In addition to facts that provide credible information on the topic, students should also include references to other relevant sources such as books and academic journals. These sources must be cited each time used to make the writer’s viewpoint more credible to the reader.
Even harder than writing this detailed essay is finding a good topic for a research essay. Topics too broad may not allow for a focused argument, while topics too specific may be limiting in credible sources and information.
Fortunately, this guide will provide you with 200 research essay topics perfect for any level of study, as well as helpful tips to structure your research essay, so you get the grade you deserve!
The Rules for Writing a Research Essay
Writing a research essay doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow the rules of the essay. To qualify as a research essay, students should never forget to:
- Cite all quoted and fact-based information with the author’s name or alternative source location. Be sure quoted sources begin and end with quotation marks.
- Use your own words throughout 80% of the research essay and factual statistics, quotes, and other cited sources throughout 20% of the essay.
- Limit the topic to a manageable length according to the parameters of the assignment.
- Paraphrase and summarize researched information, leaving out unnecessary detail to avoid confusing the reader.
The final rule essential to a well-written research essay is that students should pick a topic that they are passionate about when possible. This will make choosing an essay topic easier and make the research and writing of the essay more enjoyable.
How to Write a Research Paper
With a research essay, it is always helpful to outline your ideas in an easy-to-read format as follows to avoid getting stuck during the writing process.
The introduction for a research essay serves many purposes. The first is that it set the tone of the entire paper. Therefore, students should focus on crafting an engaging introduction that includes:
- A topic sentence or ‘hook’ that entices the reader and makes them want to continue reading.
- Definitions to key concepts and terms throughout the essay
- Relevant background information necessary for the reader to know before transitioning into the body of the essay
- A thesis statement that provides a roadmap to the essay’s structure in chronological order.
With an introduction that includes all of these components, students are well on their way to writing an informative and engaging essay.
Once the introductory paragraph is complete, students should write body paragraphs that continue the discussion of the topic sentence in chronological order.
Students should use facts and statistics throughout each of these paragraphs while keeping in mind not to overuse or repeat the same information. A well-written body paragraph should follow a structure similar to this format:
- Topic sentence
- Explanation of examples
Be sure to close each paragraph with a transition phrase that wraps up the topic and moves the reader seamlessly into the next section. Examples of transition phrases and words include:
- in conclusion
- as a result
- to summarize
- another take
- on the other hand
- however, there was also
Any of these transition phrases will help move the essay forward without confusing the reader.
The final step in writing a strong research essay is to write a conclusion that provides an extended closing for your paper. This section should be no more than two paragraphs long, summarizing key points from each body paragraph and reiterating the thesis statement.
If the tone, style, and topic of the essay allow for it, students can choose to end their research essay with a thought-provoking question or insight, a general consequence of the information provided, or a rhetorical question for the reader to ponder.
Be sure not to include any new information in the conclusion paragraph, only a recap of what has already been stated or a final word or insight the reader can take with them.
200 Research Essay Topics
With the basics of research essay writing out of the way, students can now choose any of the following 200 research essay topics from the list below.
Research Essay Topics About Science
- The impact of asteroids on the Earth’s formation
- How crystals form in caves
- The geologic history of the Grand Canyon
- How big is our galaxy?
- What happens to the Earth’s temperature when its tilted side faces away from the sun?
- Who is the father of astrophysics?
- What is the lifecycle of a locust?
- What is the average speed of a hurricane?
- How much damage can lightning cause?
- What is the difference between active and passive solar heating?
- How can we harness energy from ocean currents?
- Was there life on Mars?
- What happens to matter during nuclear fission and fusion reactions?
- Why do volcanoes exist?
- How can mosquitos spread the Zika virus?
- What is the composition of the air on Venus?
- How does a mass spectrometer work?
- What is climate change?
- What is ocean acidification, and why should we care about it?
- How was the microscope invented?
Research Essay Topics About History
- What battle sealed the victory for Union soldiers during the civil war?
- Who was the 32nd president of the United States of America?
- How did the Battle of Plassey change British control in India?
- Which books were banned during China’s cultural revolution?
- What is a V-Day, and why does it matter?
- What caused the collapse of the USSR?
- What was the Cold War?
- What spurred the French Revolution?
- Who was Abraham Lincoln?
- Who were the Luddites?
- What caused World War II?
- When did World War I start, and when did it end?
- Why was Germany involved in WWI?
- How did Genghis Khan shape Eurasia’s history?
- Who are the ancient Sumerians?
- What were the motivations behind the Salem witch trials?
- Was Emperor Constantine responsible for converting Christianity into a state religion, and what was his motivation for doing so?
Research Essay Topics About Math
- How does a calculator calculate?
- How do computers recognize letters and numbers?
- What is the Fibonacci sequence, and why is it significant?
- How does cryptography work?
- What are prime numbers, and how are they used in cryptography?
- What is the golden ratio?
- Is pi an irrational number or a rational one?
- Why are prime numbers important for encryption?
- Who invented calculus?
- What is the fundamental theorem of arithmetic?
- How do quarks affect the structure of atoms?
- How does an induction coil work?
- What is pi, and why is it important in mathematics?
- What are Euler’s equations in math, and why are they significant?
- What is quantum entanglement?
- How do variable stars affect life on Earth?
- How did Pythagoras contribute to math, and why is he important in the field of math?
- What are right triangles significant in geometry?
- How can chaos theory help study populations?
- What are tesseracts?
Research Essay Topics About Fine Art
- Why was art in the late 19th century so controversial?
- Who was David Bowie, and what made him notable?
- Why are Picasso’s paintings significant?
- Why was Greek sculpture unique?
- What is cubism, and how did it change the way people think about art?
- What is feminist art criticism, and what impact has it had?
- What makes a painting successful?
- How did photography change the way people viewed fine art?
- What is postmodernism, and why has it been significant in fine arts today?
- Who were the Fauves, and what made them so unique?
- What are dadaists significant in fine art history today?
- What was surrealism, and why is it important to the fine arts of today?
- How did the Impressionist movement impact the way people view art today?
- Why was impressionism controversial for its time?
- Where did impressionism begin, and how did it impact fine arts today?
- How is a Pollock painting created, and why should we care about them?
- What is the difference between modernism and postmodernism in fine arts?
- What are watercolors, and how have different cultures viewed them throughout time?
- Why should people care about the arts today?
- What are trompe l’oeil paintings, and why are they essential pieces of fine art?
- How has pop art changed the way people view artwork throughout time?
- What is abstract impressionism, and how has it impacted fine arts today?
- What is Van Gogh’s life story?
Research Essay Topics About Technology
- What is a computer?
- What is the difference between a Turing machine and a Von Neumann machine?
- Who was Alan Turing, and why is he significant in technology today?
- What is a linked list, and what makes them important to programming today?
- How does artificial intelligence work, and how has it changed the way we think of computers today?
- What are neural networks, and what role do they play in AI today?
- How did Ada Lovelace contribute to computer science, and why is she important in technology today?
- Who was Grace Hopper, and what were her accomplishments as a woman in STEM?
- What is quantum computing, and how does it work?
- Who was Nikola Tesla, and what were his contributions to the world of science?
- How did Charles Babbage contribute to computer science, and why is he important in technology today?
- Why are passwords critical to protecting computers today?
- What is the Turing test, and what are its implications on artificial intelligence today?
- How did the Turing test influence AI research in computer science?
- How have social media sites impacted technology throughout time?
- Who were the Luddites, and why are they significant in technology today?
- What are the impacts of cybersecurity on computers today?
- What is an optical computer, and what makes them unique in computing today?
- What are the pros and cons of social media sites in technology today?
- What is Moore’s Law, and why does it matter to modern-day computers?
- What is the difference between real-time systems and embedded systems?
- How has technology changed our lives for better or worse?
- How does the cloud work?
Research Essay Topics About Pop Culture
- How did Pokemon change the world of video games?
- What are video game genres, and what impact do they have on society?
- Who was Ralph Baer, and why is he significant in pop culture today?
- What is social gaming, and where is it headed?
- What rock icons from the ’80s had the most impact on pop musicians today?
- Why do we need copyright laws?
- What is dubstep, and why has it been significant in pop culture today?
- What was grunge, and how did it change the way people viewed music?
- Who were the Beastie Boys, and what are their contributions to pop music today?
- What is the difference between pop music and rock music?
- Who were the Kingsmen, and why are they significant in pop culture today?
- Why were the Beatles’ groundbreaking for their time?
- What was punk rock, and how did it change the world of music throughout time?
- Who were the Black Eyed Peas, and how have they impacted pop music today?
- Who was Bob Marley, and what are his contributions to modern-day pop musicians?
- What is a rave, and how has it influenced pop culture throughout time?
- What is a music video, and how does it tie into the music industry today?
- What is famous for creating the first true digital camera in history?
- Why was A.D.I.D.A.S by Korn significant to pop culture today?
- What is nu-metal, and how did it impact pop culture throughout time?
- Who was Lady Gaga, and what are her contributions to pop music today?
- How have hip-hop lyrics changed over time?
- What are the pros and cons of being famous in the age of social media?
Research Essay Topics About Economics & Finance
- What is the importance of GDP in economics?
- What is the importance of inflation in economics?
- What are central banks, and how do they influence economies today?
- How did Keynesian economics impact the global economy throughout time?
- Who was John Maynard Keynes, and why was his theory significant?
- Why is G7 important in global economics today?
- What is the difference between G7 and BRICS?
- What are crypto-economists, and what are their impacts on modern-day economics?
- How has Bitcoin impacted finance throughout time?
- What is the Euro, and why is it an influential factor in global economics today?
- How has economic growth impacted modern-day countries around the world?
- Why was Adam Smith’s theory of “the invisible hand” important to society today?
- What is socialism, and what are its impacts on modern nations around the world?
- Why did China’s economy transition from a centrally-planned economy?
- What is the purpose of central banking, and how has it changed throughout history?
- How did socialism feed into Marxian economics?
- What is a commodity currency, and why does it impact global economics today?
- What is the difference between fiat, commodity, and mixed currency?
- What are the pros and cons of being part of the G20 in modern-day politics?
Research Essay Topics About Health & Fitness
- What is the importance of mental health in today’s society?
- What are some of the causes of mental illness?
- Who was Sigmund Freud, and why is he significant to psychology today?
- Why is smoking bad for one’s health?
- What are the leading causes of heart disease?
- How do cholesterol levels impact health?
- What are the leading causes of cancer today?
- What is an obesity epidemic, and why has it affected society today?
- Why are antibiotics necessary to modern-day medicine?
- How are vaccines made?
- Who was Alexander Fleming?
- What exercises are good for your health?
- What is cardiovascular exercise as a form of training?
- Why are the feet one of the most vital parts of our body?
Research Essay Topics About Politics & Government
- What are the three branches of the US government, and how is each necessary?
- Who was John Locke?
- What are the core principles of capitalism?
- What is anarchism, and how has it impacted politics throughout history?
- What are the pros and cons of being a democratic society?
- How did Karl Marx influence modern-day politics throughout time?
- Who was John Maynard Keynes?
- What are public goods, and how have they impacted economics throughout history?
- When did the Vietnam War begin, and why was it important?
- What are the pros and cons of being part of NATO?
- What is a constitutional democracy? What are its benefits?
- What is the difference between socialism and communism?
- Why was Vladimir Lenin so significant in modern-day politics throughout history?
- What is populism, and why has it impacted politics throughout history?
- How does a bill become a law?
- Where did the Korean War take place, and why was it significant in modern history?
- What are some ways that biased media can influence politics throughout time?
- How does voter turnout impact elections?
Research Topics About Women’s Studies
- Who was Sojourner Truth, and what were her contributions to women’s rights?
- Who was Susan B. Anthony and what are her contributions to women’s rights?
- What is intersectionality?
- What does it mean to be a feminist in today’s society?
- How has technology impacted the lives of modern-day women?
- What are some of the leading causes of sexual assault?
- What is rape culture, and why does it impact society today?
- Who was Simone de Beauvoir, and what are her influences on women’s studies?
- What is the difference between sex and gender?
- How has language impacted feminism throughout time?
- What are some of the leading causes of breast cancer?
- What is homophobia, and why does it impact society today?
- Who was Simone Veil, and what were her contributions to women’s studies?
- What are the leading causes of death for pregnant women in labor?
- How have birth control options impacted society today?
- What is slut-shaming, and how does it affect women in today’s society?
- How have reproductive rights impacted today’s society?
- Who was Mary Wollstonecraft, and what are her contributions to feminism?
- What are some of the leading causes of depression in pregnant women?
- Who was Emmeline Pankhurst, and what were her contributions to women’s rights?
- What does reproductive justice mean?
- Who was Lysistrata, and why is she significant in modern-day feminism?
- What is the pay gap between men and women in different professions?
Any of these 200 research essay topics are perfect for getting students started on their writing assignments. Remember to cite all of your sources and back up any claims with credible facts that will pull the reader to your point of view.