How To Choose Controversial Topics For Your Research Paper: Tips & Examples


Some classes may assign a basic research paper on a controversial topic. In order to write this paper, students must be able to find a good topic and research it thoroughly. Often, the most controversial topics are issues that society has not formed a full opinion about. For students to receive a good grade on this paper, they must make an argument choosing one side or another.

Picking A Topic

The first step in making a controversial research paper is to choose a strong topic. Students should start by brainstorming different options. The best controversial topics will be something that the student can argue. A topic like “Live Longer by Eating Healthier” is not controversial. It is something that is easily proven. Society generally accepts that this statement is true. Instead, students should find topics like abortion, stem cell research, gun control or gay rights. These topics continue to be issues that are debated in the media. Gun control techniques, doctor-assisted suicide and illegal immigration are also topics that would be considered controversial.

Once the topic is selected, students should consider information that supports their position. For papers on topics like illegal immigration, students could focus on techniques for combating illegal immigration or how to deal with immigrants to the United States. Since most research papers have page limits, students may need to focus their topic narrowly to fit it into the page requirement.

Start Researching

A research paper is called a research paper for a reason. It is a document that takes a lot of effort to write. Students must review all of the material that they have found on the topic. After reviewing the research, some of the sources may need to be thrown out. In some cases, students will need to find new sources. While they are looking through the source material, students should take notes about the page number and text where they found a particular piece of information. This will make it easier for them later during the writing process.

Outline the Body of the Essay

Before the essay can be written, students must make an outline. The outline should include key points in the argument in a logical order. After introducing the thesis, students will have to expand on their argument to show that the thesis is correct. By building the argument thoroughly throughout the paper, students can ensure that they have the strongest essay possible.