When writing a controversial research paper for college, you have to consider a few basics. You need to decide on a good controversial paper topic, and you also need to be careful not to offend anyone by choosing one of the topics. As a college student, you should choose something that will keep your interest, but at the same time, is controversial enough with proper research materials to back it up with facts.
The most controversial research topics are those that include ideas that some readers might disagree with, whereas other readers may agree with or even support.
Thus, if you study any of the most dangerous and sensitive topics in a given discipline, then there is a chance that your paper will be one of the most controversial.
However, this does not mean that you should shy away from choosing controversial topics under any circumstances. If you choose to investigate a touchy subject for your paper, then it can actually help you to establish your authority as an expert or specialist in your field.
What is a controversial research paper?
A controversial research paper is one that has an opinion not shared by most people. It might have a statement about the government, religion, or society in general. It’s best to choose a topic that has at least two sides to it so you won’t be accused of being biased in your writing.
Qualities of good controversial research paper topics
A good controversial research topic should have the following qualities:
- A recent and up-to-date topic.
- A topic with both sides of the argument presented.
- A topic that can be researched thoroughly.
- An interesting subject with many aspects.
- Minimal bias.
How to choose a controversial topic for a research paper
Here are the steps to choose a good controversial research paper topics:
- Determine whether you are interested in the topic or not.
- Choose a broad enough topic so that it does not limit the rest of the research paper.
- Make sure that you are able to discuss both sides of the argument.
- Choose a topic with minimal bias on either side.
- Make sure that you are able to find enough data for the research paper.
How to write a controversial research paper
Writing a controversial research paper can be a hard task for students. Here are the steps to follow when writing a research paper on a controversial topic:
- Choose a topic that will ignite your passion.
- Find credible sources and read relevant information in order to write a hook and thesis statement for your paper.
- Conduct research on the Internet to find more appropriate information for your paper.
- Create the outline of your research paper.
- Write a rough draft and then revise it.
- Have a peer who is knowledgeable in the subject to read through it for you.
- Create a reference page and then submit your paper.
Controversial research paper topics for college students
What are some examples of controversial research topics?
Some examples of the most controversial research topics are be:
- Abortion – some people think it should not be allowed, while others believe that women have the right to choose.
- Religion – Some people believe that God is the only true god and there are no other gods besides him, but others consider all gods to be equal.
- Politics – Some people think the government should be like the one they experienced when growing up, while others might disagree with them completely.
- Social media issues – Some people see social media as a way to keep in touch, but others feel that it detracts from real life relationships or causes other types of mental health issues.
- Animal rights – Some believe that animals should be left alone, but others think it is okay to experiment on them or keep them in zoos for study purposes.
What makes a research topic controversial?
What turns a topic into one people might disagree about enough to label as “controversial” is how they feel about it. For example, a paper about the benefits of legalized abortion would be a very controversial topic because people have strong feelings about it either way.
A list of good controversial topics for a research paper
Let dive in to our list of research paper topics on controversial issues.
If you are still wondering what is a good controversial topic for a research paper, below is a list of 200+ topics to use for your controversial paper writing task:
Historical controversial topics for research paper
Here is a list of historical controversial topics for research paper:
- Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany
- Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories
- Battle of Waterloo
- Bombing of Dresden during World War II
- Boston Tea Party
- British retreat from India in 1947 after the Indian independence movement
- Civil rights movement in the United States from 1954 to 1968
- Cuban missile crisis
- D-Day invasion of Normandy, France
- Death and state funeral of Winston Churchill
- Desert One during the Iran hostage crisis
- Execution of King Charles I of England in 1649 during English Civil War
- First Battle for Fallujah between US troops and insurgent fighters during Operation Phantom Fury in November 2004
Gun control controversial topics for research paper
Here are some controversial research topics on gun control. Pick one and write a research paper:
- Gun control & crime rate in America
- Bans on certain types of guns and people’s safety and security
- Criminals who use restricted weapons illegally
- Gun control & people’s right to protect themselves
- The role of the second amendment in gun control and who it was written for
- Gun control & the partisan politics surrounding it
Easy controversial topics for research paper
Below is a list of easy controversial topics for research paper that are quick to think of without taking much time.
- Drugs should be legalized in sports
- The value of religious tolerance
- Why schools should have uniforms
- Animals are as important as human beings
- Food additives are harmful to health
- Access to contraceptives reduces the number of abortions
- Science and technology for solving environmental problems
- Should animal testing be banned?
- Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are killing the art of letter writing
- Smoking should be made illegal
- Is television making us dumber by reducing human interaction?
- The need for singing as a form of entertainment
- Communication skills are not relevant in the workplace
- The value of classical music compared to rock or pop
- The negative effects of fast food on health
- Is junk food more addictive than drugs?
- Blaming parents for juvenile delinquency is unfair
- Free internet porn has changed the sexual behavior of youth
- The value of critical thinking vs following orders in the army
- The benefits of genetic testing outweigh personal privacy issues
Controversial biology topics
Below is a list of controversial biology topics for research paper:
- Whether or not animals experience pain in a similar way that humans do.
- Whether or not humans evolved from primates (or if they even did at all).
- How much the scientific community actually knows about how life works.
- What is consciousness? Can it be proven that non-humans experience this “feeling” in any form.
- Why do people believe in God? Is it possible for this to be explained by biology and the human brain being able to receive “spiritual” connections.
- The relationship between life and death. Can one exist without the other? Are they both different parts of a greater cycle or is it possible that one doesn’t even exist at all?
- Whether or not there is life on other planets, specifically other humans.
- What is the meaning of life? Is it necessary for there to be a purpose or can everything in existence simply happen by chance?
Researching any one of these topics could lead to an interesting look into how biology affects humanity. Some of these ideas are more controversial than others, though that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as interesting.
Controversial health topics for research paper
Here is a list of controversial health research paper topics that many students have found interesting to research on.
- Nutrition and obesity in America: What part does nutrition play in the obesity epidemic in the United States?
- Obesity and its associations: How is obesity affecting our society and how is it associated with certain health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancers etc.?
- Healthy eating and physical activity can help prevent obesity: What is known about the relationship between nutrition and physical activity and weight gain?
- Consequences of childhood obesity: How is an obese child affecting his health, education and social life?
- Effects of food advertisements on children: How do food advertisements affect children’s food choices and preferences? Is it true that children today cannot distinguish between advertisements from actual recommendations?
- Is there a link between obesity and bad parenting? How does parental influence affect a child’s eating behaviors, food choices and physical activity level?
- The rise of childhood type 2 diabetes: What can be done to prevent the youth from developing type 2 diabetes. Has the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children doubled between 2001 and 2009?
- Is obesity associated with developmental delays in children? What is the prevalence of excess weight among children under 5 years old?
- Does having an overweight parent or sibling affect your risk of obesity at a younger age? How does family influences on eating behaviors, physical activities level and body image develop over time.
Controversial medical topics for research paper
Here is a list of controversial medical research paper topics for medical students. These topics are often considered as unethical in the society where they are widely practiced. They are still being researched for this very reason that they have an exceptional potential to become cure or treatment for some major disease affecting the population.
- Stem cell transplantation in the field of medicine
- Tissue regeneration in the field of medicine
- Organ transplantation in humans
- Hybrid babies being created to have a high IQ level. This is often considered as unethical in the society.
- Scientific cloning
The above mentioned topics are just examples to show how controversial these research papers can be. The students must not choose any topic with which they are not completely comfortable. These topics should be chosen only when the student has thorough knowledge of the subject and has an exceptional command over the language.
Controversial political topics for research paper
Here is a list of controversial political research paper topics for college students:
- Should the United States close its borders to immigrants?
- Should stores be allowed to refuse service to people based on their sexual orientation?
- Can Intelligent Design or Creationism be taught in schools along with Evolution?
- Is it ethical for doctors to allow death row inmates to be experimented on before they are executed?
- Should research animals receive more protection from scientific experiments?
- Should cities and states be allowed to create laws that require their citizens to own guns?
- What circumstances justify a parent using physical force against their child?
- Is the death penalty an effective deterrent for serious crimes such as murder, rape and kidnapping?
Controversial psychology topics for research paper
Here is a list of controversial psychology research paper topics that will surely get your professor’s attention.
- Intelligence and race
- Gender differences in intelligence
- Sexual orientation and gender identity
- Strength of religious beliefs
- Sensation seeking behavior
- The link between violence and genetics
- Influence of violence in TV, films, video games on children’s behavior
- Violence in media coverage. Does media coverage build up violent criminals?
Death penalty controversial topics for research paper
Here is a list of controversial death penalty research paper topics for college and university students.
Death penalty controversial research paper topics:
- Should we reform the death penalty?
- How have our methods of execution changed?
- What is the difference between state and federal government executions?
- Has the death penalty had any effect on crime rates in society?
- Should we use capital punishment for minors or criminals with mental disabilities?
- Is there such a thing as a humane way to kill someone by lethal injection?
- What makes someone a serial killer and the moral implications of the death penalty?
- How are women affected by the death penalty compared to men?
- Is there any evidence that suggests an individual will commit more crimes if sentenced with life imprisonment instead of capital punishment?
- Is capital punishment ethical according to different religions, cultures, and geographical locations?
- Do the costs of life imprisonment outweigh those of capital punishment?
- Is it wrong to execute an innocent person?
Death penalty controversial research paper topics conclusion:
The death penalty is among one of the most widely debated issues in society today. For this reason, there are several types of arguments on both sides that can be used as controversial death penalty research paper topics.
Human rights controversial topics for research paper
Here is a list of controversial human rights research paper topics:
- The right to food, along with access to water and sanitation, is one of the most important human rights that include economic empowerment aspects.
- The right to development is a controversial topic when it comes to the task of finding the balance between rights and responsibilities.
- While women’s rights are highly recognized today, there are still many countries where women don’t enjoy these rights . That’s why this topic is considered controversial in some circles.
- Modern slavery or trafficking in human beings is one of the most controversial human rights issues of our time.
- The right to asylum is also called on by many people, although it leads to some negative consequences for states in need of resettling people.
- While torture has been legally condemned, its practice still takes place in certain countries . That’s why this topic is considered highly controversial in some circles.
- The right to privacy and confidentiality of personal data is another controversial topic that must be researched thoroughly to understand the root causes and consequences of its breach.
- Identity politics and intercultural dialogue are difficult topics to define, while they require certain levels of awareness and knowledge about other cultures.
- There are still debates around the right to strike, while it includes legal aspects.
- The right to self-determination is one of the controversial topics that must be taken into consideration at all times because of its potential implications for regions like Palestine, Kashmir, and other disputed territories .
- The right to protest has become more relevant in recent years, due to the development and advancements of civil and political rights.
- The right to food is one of the most fundamental human rights that include economic empowerment aspects. That’s why it’s a very controversial phenomenon in some areas of the world.
- Extreme poverty must be fought through international cooperation and coordination at all times, as it still affects millions of people around the world.
- There are still debates around the right to strike, while it includes legal aspects. This topic is highly controversial in some circles.
Science controversial topics for research paper
Here is a list of controversial science research paper topics:
- Abortion and advancement in science.
- Abuse of animals by humans
- Accidents and injuries in the home
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
- Altered states of consciousness: Can they be achieved? Do they have psychological and/or physical benefits?
- Anesthesia awareness
- Animal consciousness
- Artificial intelligence and machine consciousness
- Autism spectrum disorders in children
- The Big Bang Theory: What caused it? Can anything be proven?
- Bioecology, environmental pollution, and global warming. Who’s at fault? What can we do to clean up the mess? Should everyone’s standard of living be adjusted for the sake of saving the earth?
- Biological weapons and cluster bombs: Should they be outlawed?
- Body modification: Are we trying to improve our looks or just going overboard with piercings and tattoos? Are we losing confidence in ourselves as a society by modifying our appearance with plastic surgery, implants, body paints, etc.?
- Censorship in the arts. Who should have the final say?
- Chemical weapons and gas warfare: Should they be outlawed?
- Circumcision (male) – Is it medically necessary? Does it affect personality development? Can anything be proven either way? Is this practice harmful to society by setting a bad example?
- Cloning: Is this a good idea? How far are we willing to go with biotechnology? When do we draw the line between life and human-created life forms?
- Commercial genetic cloning. Should it be legalized for scientific purposes, for commercial reasons, or outlawed completely?
Controversial food topics for research paper
Here is a list of food controversial research paper topics to write about.
Illustrative food examples of controversial research paper topics
- Which is better for you, fast food or homemade meals?
- How does the quality of school lunches affect our children’s brains?
- Is genetically modified food safe for human consumption?
- Can you trust that the ingredients contained in your favorite snacks are actually safe to eat?
- Why do we still eat meat despite the harmful effects brought about by it?
- The disastrous effects of fast food chains on our health and families.
- Is sugar bad for you or is fat really to blame?
- How does eating too much processed food affect your body?
- Are all fats created equal?
- Why do we eat junk food despite the numerous studies that prove how bad it is for our health?
- Do genetically modified crops negatively affect the ecosystem?
- What are some good arguments against vegetarianism?
- Is vegetarianism a healthy diet or a hoax intended to make money from vegans and vegetarians alike?
Controversial healthcare topics for research paper
Here is a list of controversial healthcare research paper topics:
- Abortion and Health Care: A Patient’s Perspective.
- Abortion and Adolescents.
- Age as a factor in receiving healthcare.
- Breast cancer and uterine cancer: Risk factors, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
- Bias against alternative medicine.
- Cancer and complementary medicine.
- Cervical cancer vaccine research.
- Contraception choices in adolescents.
- Correlation of stress levels with obesity in women.
If you need more information on how to write a research paper on a controversial topic, the following guides will help you:
- How to write a research paper
- How to write a research proposal
- How to write a research paper outline
- How to write a research paper introduction
- How to write a research paper conclusion
- How to format a research paper
- Research paper examples
Other controversial paper topics resources
- Current Events and Controversial Issues – Research Topic Ideas
- The Best Controversial Topics for Debates and Essays
- Finding a Topic – Controversial Issues – SCSU Research Guides
- What Topics Should You Avoid in Writing a Research Paper?
- Publication of Research on Controversial Topics
- Controversial Topics – NHCC.edu
- Getting Started: Topic Overviews – Controversial Topics
Need help writing a controversial research paper or choosing a topic?
You can now ask for controversial research paper help or term paper help online. Discussing sensitive or problematic issues can be challenging, if not impossible, for beginning writers to approach without support.