Topics for the Research Paper

English 105, Fall 1999

D. Bivona

Directions: If you have not already discussed another topic with me, choose one of the following to investigate for your research paper. Remember: these are only topics. You will need to generate a research question to focus your research. You should begin preliminary thinking about that question before you plunge into full-fledged research. All of the topics below have some relationship to the broad topic of "education." A number of them draw on in-class readings from this course.

Once you have found a research topic, you should plan your research. Often, preliminary research begins with a visit to a major encyclopedia. The Library card catalog and major indexes are usually consulted next as you focus your search. Be sure to take good notes (only those who own laptops should take notes on computers; the rest should use 4 x 6 index cards). At the top of each card should be a complete citation of the source you are taking notes from, using either MLA format or APA format. You must cite all online sources using the recommended format. You should note major ideas, ideas relevant to your particular topic, potentially helpful quotes, and anything else you think you might eventually use. If you have a xerox of an article, you need not take fully detailed notes on the article. Just note relevant passages and page numbers and consult the xeroxed article itself for quotes when you are writing your first draft.

If you have any questions about how to come up with a research question, please see me during office hours or email me.


1) Creationism in public schools

2) Recent refinements to the theory of natural selection

3) Manipulation of the gene pool

4) Autobiography and lying

5) The education of women

6) Human sexuality/animal sexuality

7) Faith and doubt

8) "Doing as one likes"

9) The politics of education

10) The culture of advertising

11) Responsibilities of the press

12) Internet issues

13) Literary analysis (see me for topic)

14) Art in education

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