Stumped while brainstorming report writing topics? We’ve got your back. Take a look at our list of interesting-to-research report ideas.
Completing a research report for a high school or college English class can be a great way to show off your smarts or interest in a topic, but it can be tough to figure out where to start. Choosing a topic that interests you is an important part of getting started. The more curious you are about your chosen topic, the more interested you’ll be in the research process.
Choose a topic from our list below to show off your writing skills—we’ve got options that work for several different types of report writing formats. If you’re stuck picking your next essay topic, check out our round-up of essay topics about education.
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- 1. Technology’s Effect on Society
- 2. Gun Control in America
- 3. Anxiety and Social Media
- 4. Present-Day Slavery
- 5. Should Assisted Suicide be Legal?
- 6. The Draft’s History in America
- 7. No Child Left Behind: Did It Work?
- 8. The BP Oil Spill: 12 Years Later
- 9. Parental Leave Around the World
- 10. The Insanity Plea
- 12. Trans Rights: At What Age Should a Person be Legally Allowed to Transition
1. Technology’s Effect on Society
In many ways, technology makes our lives easier, but today’s tech-heavy society can also have detrimental effects. Some people find that they must always be reachable due to constant access through email and cell phones, while others appreciate instant access to the people closest to them.
In a research report on how technology affects today’s society, you can focus on both sides of the coin, touching on how technology makes life easier and how it can affect relationships and work-life balance. It’s also smart to discuss how technology has positively affected medical care and how the overuse of technology has contributed to health issues (including an increasingly sedentary lifestyle). Be sure to back up your points with background information based on research.
2. Gun Control in America
Gun control in the United States is a controversial topic. This type of academic report can either be written as a report that presents both sides of a story or as a persuasive report that argues one side. People who are for gun control argue that access to guns increases the risk of violence in the United States, while people who are against gun control argue that guns themselves aren’t responsible for deaths and violence.
While presenting this topic in a formal report, discuss the history of gun control in the United States. You may also want to consider comparing gun violence rates in the United States with gun violence in other countries, as well as comparing gun control laws in the U.S. to gun control laws in other countries. Be sure to check your sources carefully when writing about gun control, and choose unbiased sources as often as possible.
3. Anxiety and Social Media
It’s tough to avoid social media in today’s day and age. While many people find social media a valuable tool for keeping in touch with family and friends, others find apps like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to induce stress. Research shows that using social media can have an addictive effect, as scrolling through a social media app affects the brain’s levels of dopamine, a feel-good chemical.
The high associated with scrolling social media can become addictive. People may find themselves stuck in the downward spiral of scrolling for a dopamine hit, followed by comparing themselves to others, negatively affecting their self-esteem. In a paper on this topic, explore how cutting down on social media can relieve adolescent anxiety and explain how social media can also be used to boost self-esteem positively.
4. Present-Day Slavery
While many think of slavery as a thing of the past, the concept is still sadly alive today. This can be an emotional and tough topic to research and write about. Still, it can educate your readers about the harsh reality of present-day slavery, bringing attention to an issue that often goes ignored.
According to antislavery.org, nearly 50 million people live in modern-day slavery, and approximately 25% of modern-day enslaved people are children. There are many forms of modern-day slavery, including forced marriage, domestic servitude, forced labor, human trafficking, and descent-based slavery (when enslaved children are also forced to work as enslaved people). For your research report on present-day slavery, you may focus on one of these areas or explore the concept of modern-day slavery as a whole.
5. Should Assisted Suicide be Legal?
Many people who have experienced the death of a loved one have struggled to watch them suffer and have wished that there was something they could do to help them end their suffering. In some states in America, assisted suicide has become legal. This means that a person who is terminally ill can work with their medical treatment team to develop a plan to die on their terms.
Some people are against assisted suicide and believe people should not be able to choose how and when they’ll die. In contrast, others feel that allowing people to choose their time of death following a diagnosis of a terminal illness allows them to pass away with dignity.
This is another topic that can either work as an informational or persuasive essay. If you have strong feelings on the topic, be sure to present both sides of the argument and your personal opinion on your point of view. You’ll also want to be sure to touch on the history of assisted suicide in the United States and views on assisted suicide around the world, as the practice is common in many areas of the world.
6. The Draft’s History in America
The draft in the United States dictates that any male over the age of 18 can be called to military service in times of war. While some people believe that the draft is outdated and should be left behind, others believe that the draft still has a place in America.
This topic can work either as a research report or a persuasive essay. If you can, talking with a military veteran who began their service due to the draft can help bring realism to your report. You may also want to talk with people who left the country to avoid the draft.
While the draft currently can only bring men to military service, some people believe that women should also be able to be drafted. Discussing this aspect of the history of the draft in the United States can add an exciting aspect to your report.
7. No Child Left Behind: Did It Work?
No Child Left Behind was enacted by President George W. Bush and was in effect from 2002-2015. The law rewarded teachers and schools for having high-performing classrooms and penalized schools that did not perform up to par. While some people felt that the law was the right thing to keep schools accountable for student progress, others felt that it kept disadvantaged students at a disadvantage instead of providing teachers and schools with the support they needed to achieve.
While some schools rose to the challenges of No Child Left Behind, others struggled. In an essay on the topic, you’ll need to form your own opinion on whether NCLB was an effective law for education in the United States. You may want to interview educators and administrators working in schools during the No Child Left Behind era to get firsthand opinions on whether the laws were adequate.
8. The BP Oil Spill: 12 Years Later
Also known as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the BP oil spill occurred on April 20, 2021, and spilled more than 130 million gallons off the Gulf of Mexico near New Othe Orleans, Louisiana coast. The effects of the BP oil spill are still being felt in the area more than a decade later.
There are several different directions you can go while reporting on the effects of the BP oil spill. The animal and plant life in the area is still suffering from the spill’s effects. People in the area are also struggling, especially those who made a living fishing off the coast. Tourism in the area has also been affected, leaving many people in New Orleans struggling to make ends meet.
The length of your research paper will determine how in-depth you can go with the topic. If you’re writing a shorter research paper, it’s wise to choose one of the topics (how the spill has affected the economy of the area, wildlife, tourism, etc.). If you’re writing a longer research paper, split it into subheadings so you can fully delve into each facet of the topic.
9. Parental Leave Around the World
Many parents in the United States struggle to make ends meet following the birth of a child due to the short amount of time that companies are required to give parents after they welcome a baby into their home. While the United Nations recommends that mothers have at least four months to recover after giving birth, the United States has no federal requirement for parental leave.
While researching this issue, it’s key to explain the differences between how new parents are treated in the United States compared to other countries and how this treatment affects both the stress levels and job performance of new parents. You’ll want to be sure to look at both sides of the issue, also explaining how the lack of a federally mandated parental leave policy can affect companies.
10. The Insanity Plea
In the United States, a person can be found not guilty of a crime because of insanity. This means that the person accused of a crime isn’t found innocent—the court has decided that they could not understand the severity of the crime. Some people argue that people should not be able to plead insanity after committing a crime, as the crime occurred whether they understood their actions or not. Others argue that the insanity defense is necessary to protect people who do not understand the consequences of their actions.
When writing a research paper on the insanity defense, it’s key to include examples from real-life legal cases, such as the Steven Steinberg case (1981). Mr. Steinberg claimed he was sleepwalking and dreaming about a break-in to his home when he stabbed and killed his wife. Steinberg was found not guilty due to temporary insanity, as the jury decided he was not in his right mind when the crime occurred.
12. Trans Rights: At What Age Should a Person be Legally Allowed to Transition
Transgender health has received a lot of attention in the news recently, and one of the most commonly debated topics in the transgender health medical community is at what age it makes sense for people who are transgender to begin taking hormones and undergo surgical procedures that allow their body to be in alignment with their gender identification.
According to AP News, “The World Professional Association for Transgender Health said hormones could be started at age 14, two years earlier than the group’s previous advice, and some surgeries are done at age 15 or 17, a year or so earlier than previous guidance.”
Digging into the current research on transgender health and gender dysphoria can help you determine your position on this issue. Be sure that the news sources you use are current, as research in this area is constantly evolving. You’ll want to be sure you’re basing your opinion on the most up-to-date information from the medical community.
If you’d like to learn more, in this guide our writer explains how to write an argumentative essay.
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