25 Best Topics to Write About for Your Next College Paper
The problem with finding topics to write about in the Internet Age has nothing to do with lack of options. At any point, you can find hundreds of potential ideas for that next research paper or essay. However, it can become more challenging when it comes to holding the interests of your peers.
In the following article, we’ll be delving into 25 surefire topics to write about that your fellow classmates and instructor will love. We’ll also be giving some tips and advice on why the topic is a good one and what you can do to make it more interesting. Let’s begin!
1. Reality Television
Most people have a favorite reality television series. Even when the shows aren’t 100 percent reality, there is enough reality simulation going on to get the gist of it. Where this can be really helpful is as a hook for holding your reader’s interest. By doing an analytical or persuasive paper on the decisions of a certain character on the show, you can get your audience to go “all-in” as engaged participants.
Want to take the topic off the beaten path? Consider doing an analysis of the ending relationships on a show like The Bachelorette. How many couples are still together? Of the ones that split up, what were the main reasons for their split? How did they go about finding their next relationships?
You can never emphasize the importance of voting to your peers too much. It’s been said that you should vote “like your life depends on it,” because it literally does. You vote in the type of world that you want to live in. Papers on this topic give you and your audience a chance to really explore and uncover your core values.
If going this route, you might choose to do a study of undecided voters. What makes them that way? When do they usually make their decision, and what aspect of their chosen candidate is it that brings them aboard?
3. College Success
You’ll find that the world of business is really about helping as many people as possible solve a problem. By doing that, you add value. So why not get started early by adding value to your fellow classmates. You can do this if you write about the keys to college success.
When going this direction, make sure you rely on more than just your own experience. Talk about how other more recognizable figures than you achieved success. Tap into your own insecurities to relate to your classmates and make the material you’re writing relatable.
4. Credit Cards
Credit card debt, in particular, may not be something any of us like to think about. However, it too often becomes an essential topic by the end of your freshman year when you’ve gained access to those first few cards and maxed out all their limits.
This scenario describes what millions of college students go through annually, and you can help them out by sharing the dangers of paying with a credit card, the concerning statistics, and the steps toward financial literacy that can prevent one from ever getting bogged down in plastic debt.
5. Drinking, Smoking, and Drugs
Illegal and legal-but-harmful drugs are issues that have followed generation after generation of college student. Your class is no different, and chances are pretty good that you already know that. That your classmates already know it!
Yet each year, many students drop out, get sick, or even die because they have defied that obvious and given into their addictions or temptations. It never hurts to view this problem through a lens that your classmates can understand: that of their peers (you).
6. Social Media Behavior
Social media behavior is out-of-control in many ways. You don’t have to scroll very long before you run into #CancelCulture, trolling, bullying, and other forms of unproductive behavior. Sometimes the social networks in which these things appear will take down abuses of policy. But that still leaves a lot of discussion that does nothing but divide us and waste time.
That behavior may also exclude your classmates from future job opportunities if they are offensive enough. Go over social media etiquette with your classmates. Let them know the harmful effects of sharing the wrong thing, as well as how it can follow them through the rest of their lives even after the rest of the world forgets about it.
7. Making New Friends
This topic is a little lighter than some of the others on our list, but it’s still relevant to what your peers are going through. When you get to college, it can be difficult stepping out of your comfort zone at first. You may find yourself hanging around your old high school friends when they’re probably not the best ones out there to help you find your true identity.
If you’ve mastered the art of making new friends, share some of your tips and tricks! This is important for getting to that next level of understanding about who you are and what you want to be in life.
8. Playing the Field
The “other side” of making new friends is to learn how to play the field. In other words, figure out the types of relationships that you want to be in, whether straight, same-sex, or other. Beyond sexuality, learn about the personality types who bring out the best in who you are as a person.
A paper on this would be relatable to anyone who reads it or hears it as a speech, but especially those who are still figuring things out for themselves. The act of writing it and finding a unique take would be cathartic and revealing for you as well.
9. Balancing Relationships and School
Relationships, whether with a significant other or group of friends, are important. They’re not the primary reason you go to school, though. A reminder of this for your next writing assignment could help your audience to understand the importance of getting and keeping balance between the two.
How do you balance relationships? What do you do when you start to feel overwhelmed? What communication tactics work best when giving friends or lovers news they may not want to hear? All of this helps to keep your relationships from bleeding over into your study time.
10. Sharing Differences
Before heading off to college, you may not have a lot of exposure to other religions or belief systems. After college, you will be immersed in differences. Why not do a paper on that very topic? Explore some religion outside of your own, drawing comparisons and contrasts as needed.
The act of writing about it will force you to open your mind, and that can be a great introduction to new ideas or a way of reinforcing the beliefs that you hold dear. Either way, it prepares you to be a functional part of our society and strive for positive social changes.
11. Domestic and Sexual Violence
It’s a tragedy that so many young women and men experience sexual violence before they reach the age of consent. The numbers are higher for women, but it is an issue that can cause undue suffering on both sides of the gender spectrum.
It’s so common, in fact, that you probably know at least one person who has experienced it. By shining a light, you can break down the shame and fear that victims often feel. As it has been said, sunlight is the best disinfectant. By crashing through those stigmas and having a dialogue, you can accomplish a lot more with your written assignment than getting an A.
12. Depression, Anxiety, and Suicide
Yet another issue that has too often been overlooked is that of mental health and suicide. Depression and anxiety are usually the buildup to these tragedies. We can all connect with the topic, so your audience for it is automatic. Along the way, you can discover some things about yourself that need attention as well as the tools and resources for dealing with them.
13. The Importance of Staying in Shape
Physical and mental fitness often go hand-in-hand. How well you take care of yourself plays a significant role in your ability to think clearly and be productive. It also helps you to avoid preventable diseases and medical conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
Clinging to good fitness habits now will pay dividends your whole life. Help your audience embrace this mindset, and you can contribute to making changes to our collective happiness and healthcare system.
14. Fake News
Truth has become too much of a concept instead of a reality. Things are the way you perceive them instead of how they actually are. Fake news is a problem on both the right and the left sides of the political aisle, and many people have trouble spotting it.
Consider writing a paper that shows others how to tell opinion from fact and points them in the direction of legitimate resources. Furthermore, show them how you can tell if information or findings are accurate without having to rely on a biased journalist or clever marketer.
15. Staying Sane in a Pandemic
Sadly, this is a topic that might not have been as relevant three months ago as it is today. But after shutting down the entire country for two months, people will not soon forget the global pandemic of 2020, and it will have significant reverberations on our livelihoods for some time to come.
Sharing tips for how to keep one’s mind clear and productive during a pandemic is helpful. You also might do a paper on how to enjoy your old hobbies and pastimes amid the limitations that a pandemic can impose.
COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus) has burst into the mainstream lexicon due to the large economic and societal impact that it has caused. But how many people know how it is transmitted, how to kill it, etc? Chances are, a lot fewer than you think.
It’s the modern enemy, and we should all be more aware of what we’re up against as it could be sticking around for some time to come with no vaccines ready for public use. By shedding light on this topic, you could be saving lives and learning how to function better during an outbreak.
17. How Technology Has Changed in Your Lifetime
Technology has probably changed more over the last 20 years than at any time in the history of mankind with the possible exceptions of the railroad and the invention of the wheel. If you’re in the age range of 18-25 years old, it can be interesting to do an examination of the astounding number of changes that have occurred throughout your life. You may be surprised at the extent!
18. Dissecting a Bingeworthy Show
Who hasn’t blown a whole Saturday watching two seasons of a favorite television series? Not only is this a relatable pastime — especially in the age of the pandemic — but it gives you a set of rich characters and events that you can dig into for psychological understanding.
Choose a show popular with all your classmates or introduce them to one they should be watching. Try to find ways to tie the show into something relevant to the subject matter you’re studying (i.e., English, Biology, etc.). It’s a compelling away to connect with others.
19. Streaming vs. Cable
The television-watching habits of today’s college generation are vastly different from those of previous generations. A comparison or contrast of that could be an interesting take for a written assignment, especially considering there are now hundreds of channels to choose from compared to the three that existed in the early days of TV.
20. Reducing Carbon Footprints
As populations continue to increase along with the consumption of resources, it will be important to find more efficient ways of sustaining life. Reducing our carbon footprints is one of the best ways of accomplishing this, but there is plenty of room for debate on how best to do this. A research paper on just such a topic would be incredibly relevant to your audience and future.
Practicing mindfulness is a great activity because it can be done with virtually every activity (i.e., eating, reading, sitting quietly in a room in meditation). It adds value to whatever you’re doing. Food tastes better. The mind regenerates more quickly.
So why not teach people how to be more mindful by talking about practical exercises they can integrate into their daily lives? These techniques can help them become better students, workers, friends, and family members. And they’ll have you to thank for it!
Bullying should never be acceptable in any of its forms. No one knows the horrific toll it can take on someone until it’s too late. While so many speak out against it these days, it continues to be a topic that demands attention. Channeling your creative efforts toward the topic of bullying can provide hope, information, and resources to those who need it the most.
23. The Afterlife
We all have our different idea of what happens (if anything) when the time for living is over. Some cultures believe in reincarnation, some believe in Heaven and Hell. Where does the belief in afterlife come from? How do different systems of belief picture it? This could be an interesting exploration in a term paper.
24. Nationalism vs. Globalism
With the 2020 Presidential Election fast approaching, the topics of Nationalism and Globalism are going to be more searched and talked-about. Contribute to the discussion with a comparison and contrast. Highlight the pros and cons of each. Try to get to the heart of why some stand by it and why some are afraid.
Unfortunately, racism continues to be a relevant issue in today’s society as we’ve seen with the dozens of unarmed black men and women killed by police or people like George Zimmerman. How do we fix what has gone for so long unfixed?
The answers are worth exploring. In fact, they must be explored because we are an unsustainable path as a society. Until injustice anywhere is addressed, there cannot be justice everywhere. It is a cause worth fighting for no matter your age or skin color, and it would make something worthy of discussion in a paper or project.
We Hope These Topics to Write About Will Keep You Going
The world can be a challenging place. School is a microcosm of that. Our assignments and projects can be welcome opportunities to explore the issues that matter. If you’re looking for viable topics to write about, give the ones we’ve presented here some consideration. And if there are any good ones that we’ve left off the list, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by International Consulting]