research paper guides

How To Come Up With An Interesting Term Paper Topic: A Few Helpful Suggestions

If you are given a term paper, chances are it is worth quite a bit in terms of your final grade. A term paper is often ten to twenty pages in length, which means you will be working with it for at least one month. That being said, you will find that burying yourself inside of a topic and researching it through and through for at least one month will be much easier if you follow these helpful suggestions about how to pick an interesting topic.

The first thing that has to take place prior to picking your topic is to review the details of your assignment. This is done to ensure the topic you select falls within the parameters of your assignment. After this is done you should try free writing or mind mapping exercises in order to brainstorm the subjects or topics that interest you the most. Finding a topic that is most interesting is important too. You will take more pride in the organization and evidence you include. You will find only the most up to date and relevant sources because you care.

There are many broad subjects that you can start with before you narrow down a topic:


  • Presidential debates
  • Capital punishment
  • Gun control
  • Hazing
  • Immigration
  • Violent crimes
  • Student loan debt
  • Cyber bullying
  • Surrogate mothers
  • Taxation
  • Juvenile criminals
  • Day care
  • Terrorism
  • Prostitution
  • The green movement
  • Child care
  • Racial discrimination
  • Hate crimes
  • Political advertising
  • Health care
  • Religion in politics
  • Cloning

Find a subject you like and refine it with a few potential research questions:


  • Write a paper that addresses why beauty contests still exist and what purpose they serve, good or bad
  • Write a paper discussing the legal concerns related to journalists who want to protect their sources, but their sources threaten national security. Ethically, who is in the right?
  • Write a paper that addresses whether or not animals should be used for entertainment purposes?
  • Discuss whether gambling helps or hurts local and state economies
  • Discuss whether legalizing prostitution has helped increase safety of prostitutes and reduces disease spread
  • Write a paper discussing how child soldiers have been used in conflict
  • Write an essay that discusses whether parents should be responsible for censoring literature that children are given in school, or not

Once you have your topic, you are ready to dive right in!