Helping Students Pick a Research Topic
Identifying a topic is one of the most difficult aspects
of the research process. Students need topics that are realistic in
their scope, relevant to their assignment and compelling enough to keep
them interested. Effective topics also require students to use their
critical thinking skills.
Consider some of the following topics. Look for others in the Hot Topics
link on your NewsBank product menu page.
Science Research Topics
Disappearance of Honeybees: A large
percentage of the U.S. honeybee population has disappeared, and scientists
• Why are honeybees important?
• Who noticed their dwindling numbers, and how?
• What has been the result of their absence?
• What is being done to determine the reason for their disappearance?
• Is there anything that can be used to stimulate honeybees
to continue pollinating?
• Have there been similar disappearances of insects or animals
that have baffled scientists?
Warmest Year on Record: Explore this recent conclusion.
• Which year was declared the warmest on record?
• Where was the warmest weather?
• Who produced this theory?
• What has been the affect of higher than normal temperatures
on your part of the world?
• What are the reasons given for higher temperatures?
• How do local temperature patterns compare to those of other
countries around the world? Where are they highest? Lowest?
• What are the reasons for differences in temperatures between
• What, if anything, can be done to regulate the temperature
of a specific area?
Social Studies and History Research Topics
World Leader Elections: Countries
hold elections for their leaders at different times. However, the
results of these elections can have a measurable affect on the country.
• Find articles from the last two years focused on elections
in different countries that resulted in a leadership change.
• Select three of these countries.
• Determine for each country:
-- the former and new leader
-- the beliefs or platform of each leader
-- the differences and similarities between them
• what has stayed the same?
• what has changed in the country because of the new leader?
• what is the reaction of the public to these changes?
Becoming a Citizen: Australia recently issued a new
test for people wanting to become citizens in that country.
• Find out what must be done to become a citizen in your country.
• Find out what must be done to become a citizen of a country
on a different continent than your own.
• What is unprecedented about the Australian citizenship test?
• Compare the citizenship requirements of three countries. Are
they different? Why or why not?
• What are the reasons for their respective requirements?