Most modern teachers are inclined to believe that students should receive practical knowledge at school that will later help them successfully integrate into society. For this purpose, it is recommended to move away from the classical formation of skills and abilities and provide students with a different educational model related to personality formation and the development of their creative skills.
Naturally, the introduction of forms of such education should be implemented in elementary school. Research activity is one of them. Many research topics in various subjects (English, literature, mathematics and other disciplines) are focused mainly on high school students. However, it is best to introduce its basics already in the elementary grades so that students can learn how to independently collect, analyze and evaluate their work as early as possible. Of course, a student should have a wide selection of topics for analysis, we will also talk about this below.
Steps to Finding Good Research Topics / Ideas
Regardless of your academic level or institution, you can use the steps below to find an interesting research topic:
- brainstorm for ideas,
- pick a topic that you understand and has available material,
- keep it manageable,
- define the research question and formulate a thesis statement,
- create an outline.
Research work in its turn includes the following stages:
- choosing the topics;
- setting goals and objectives;
- conducting research;
- preparatory work to defend your topic;
- defending the research.
A feature of conducting research in any type of school is the special role of the teacher/supervisor. He should guide, stimulate and captivate students, show them the importance of carrying out such work, and also actively involve parents as assistants.
About the Features of Research Activities
Getting started on a school project is important to understand the distinctions between research activity and organization projects. The fundamental difference of research activities consists in solving problems. Project activities always focused on solving practical problems, getting a certain and predicted result whereas research activity relies on a wide range of knowledge that may not find practical application. Often, the researcher does not even know what result he will come to. Through research, we identify what is already in the object or process, and designing, we will create something that is still not there.
Project activities foster practical skills to create projects, implement them in a social environment, get the right one information, collaborate with partners, lead other people,
monitor situations, calculate risks, choose optimal tools for solving problems.
Research contributes to self-skill to gain knowledge, and is aimed at the formation of a research culture thinking based on the ability to: see contradictions and problems, put forward hypotheses, establish, describe and explain facts, observe, conduct experiments.
How to set up a research
Work on the selected topic for students will not be easy. At first a student can encounter difficulties and even feel stuck because even if the topic is close, he probably will not know how to start exploring it, even if there is a plan. But everything is very simple. First you need to ask yourself a few questions and write down your answers to them:
- what do I know about this topic;
- how can I rate her;
- what conclusions can I make.
Next, you should collect material on a topic of interest. Previously, students used only libraries for this, but now, with the development of the Web, the possibilities are much wider. Indeed, on the Web you can find not only articles on certain topics and directly literature itself, but also archives of various magazines and television programs of different years. No need to be shy about asking teachers/supervisors, parents and other older pals.
All received data you should record (write down), photograph/picture, or video. You should not be afraid to conduct experiments and comparative analyzes. All the conclusions made by students on their own cost much more than the memorized text from the textbook on a particular issue. Even if they are naive and ill-founded, this is the beauty of creative work.
The more students of a modern school will be involved in creative activity the broader their horizons will be, they will not be afraid of the modern world, will learn to draw conclusions on each issue, and not be guided by certain dogmas, which are often already outdated.
Research topics in high school
The goal of involving high school students in research work is to stimulate their creative and intellectual potential in an interesting way.
Research Topics in English
- Analysis of print (Web) media headlines.
- Non-personal forms of the verb.
- The wonderful world of W. Shakespeare’s sonnets.
- Distinctions between British and American English.
- Homonyms in English and their specific features.
- English abbreviation for online language/communicating and online games.
- Nickname on the Web.
Research Topics in Physics
- Thermocouple batteries manufacturing and temperature measurement.
- Adverse environmental consequences of the operation of heat engines.
- Science is the guardian of health. The effect of ultrasound on the human body and ultrasound diagnostics.
- The manufacture of home-made devices to demonstrate the effect of a magnetic field on a conductor with current.
- Transmission mechanisms and their types.
Research Topics in Chemistry
- Mineral water is a unique gift of nature.
- Theory of electrolytic dissociation.
- The effect of types of chemical bonds on the properties of substances.
- Metals – material for creating masterpieces of world art.
- The artistic value and properties of glass.
- Name reactions in organic chemistry.
- Paper manufacturing technology.
Research Topics in Biology
- Creating a manual for solving genetic problems.
- The study of individual biorhythms.
Research Topics in Economics
- Monopoly power – function, regulation and principles.
- The Asian currency crisis in Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia.
- The weaknesses in the ILP model of policing.
- Can food policy changes prevent the world hunger?
- Classifying Bitcoin as a legal currency.
Research Topics in Sports
- Should chess be considered a sport?
- Age effects on athletes’ performance.
- Should men coach women’s teams?
- Enhancement of fan aggression by media.
- Male and female salaries in sports.
Research Paper Topics in Education
- College admission policies and the educational pipeline.
- Facts about being a college athlete.
- College tuition planning.
- Distance education and its importance.
- Diploma mills and ways to spot them.
- Why education needs more funding.
- Greek letter societies and their effect on youth.
- What hazing looks like – facts.
- Homeschooling: pros and cons.
- Intelligence tests.
- Learning disabilities and disorders.
- Illiteracy in the USA.
- What is Plagiarism.
- Can students pray in public schools.
- Sex and reproduction education.
- School vouchers – good or bad.
- Standardized tests – pros and cons.
Research Paper Topics in History
- What happened during the Salem witch trials?
- How did life in the USA change when trains and railroads appeared?
- What Olympic events were practiced in ancient Greece?
- How did Cleopatra come to power in Egypt? What did she accomplish during her reign?
- What was the women’s suffrage movement and how did it change America?
- How was the assassination of Abraham Lincoln planned and performed?
- What were Cold War’s tensioning effects and how it influenced the US?
- What happened to the lost settlers at Roanoke?
- How did Julius Caesar affect Rome?
- How did the Freedom Riders change society?
- What was the code of the Bushido and how did it affect samurai warriors?
- How did Joan of Arc change history?
- What dangers and hardships did Lewis and Clark face when exploring the Midwest?
- How are the Great Depression and the Great Recession similar and different?
- What was the Manhattan Project and what impact did it have on the world?
- Why did Martin Luther King protest against the Catholic Church?
- How did the Roman Empire fall?
- How did the black plague affect Europe?
- How did Genghis Khan conquer Persia?
- How did journalists influence US war efforts in Vietnam?
- Who is Vlad the Impaler and what is his connection to Count Dracula?
- Who was a greater inventor, Leonardo di Vinci or Thomas Edison?
- What was the role of African Americans during the Revolutionary War?
- What was Britain’s view of India during the times of British rule?
- What were the factors in the China-Tibet conflict?
- Research and analyze the emergence of the Catholic Church as a political force to follow the collapse of the Roman Empire.
- Investigate Dr. Eileen Powers’ claim that the Roman Empire was lost primarily due to an inability to perceive itself as subject to the change inevitable to all governments, or her “force of nature” theory.
- Explore and discuss the actual cooperation occurring through the centuries of Barbarian conquest of Rome.
- Examine the differences and similarities between Western and Eastern concepts and practices of kingship.
- Investigate and explain the trajectory of Alexander the Great’s empire (minimum emphasizing personal leadership).
- To what extent did commerce first link Eastern and Western cultures, and how did this influence early international relations?
- Analyze the process and effects of Romanization on the Celtic people of ancient England: benefits, conflicts, influences.
- Investigate the known consequences of Guttenberg’s printing press during a period of the first 30 years after its invention, solely in regards to the interaction between European nations.
- Investigate the enormous significance of Catholic Orthodoxy as the dominant faith in Russia, and its meaning and influence in an empire populated by a minimal aristocracy and predominant serfdom.
- To what extent did Philip II’s religious convictions result in shaping European policy as well as the conflict in the 16th century?
- Trace the path leading to the convocation of the Estates in France in the late 18th century, leading to the Revolution. Assess political and social errors responsible.
- What were the circumstances leading to World War I, and how might the war have been averted?
- Assess the Cold War of the 20th century in an historical context.
- Analyze Roosevelt’s resolutions of the New Deal implementing. Come up with optional strategies, or support rationality of the actions.
- What architectural marvels were found in Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire?
- What was the cultural significance of the first moon landing?
Think of the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “why” questions:
- Who provides information on this topic? Who might publish information on your research topic?
- What are the main questions for this research topic? Is there a broad discussion on this topic? What issues and viewpoints should be considered?
- When is/was your research topic important? Is it a current or historical event? Can you compare your topic for a research paper or essay over time?
- Where is your research paper topic important? Is it at the local, national, or international level? What specific places are affected by the topic of your research paper?
- Why did you select the topic for your research paper? Why are you interested in it? What is your opinion about the topic?