One quality research paper for an English class could explore the ways in which gunpowder changed warfare. The emphasis on many English research papers is developing skills for finding information and then communicating that information effectively Finding a topic is often a matter of identifying personal interests.
Some other possible English research paper topics could include the ways in which airport security has changed since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; describing the daily life of a Buddhist monk; identifying the ways in which the arrival of a Walmart location alters the economy of a small town and the surrounding area; and exploring the methods and purposes for domesticating dogs and cats.
After developing a research topic, completing an English research paper requires thorough research. It is not enough to pore through Wikipedia and a few other Internet sources; instead, it is much more effective to look back at primary sources that come from the time period under study. For example, pursuing the topic about gunpowder and warfare would result in a much more successful paper if the researcher found writings about gunpowder that date back to early uses. Using only secondary sources, particularly online ones, puts a paper at risk of merely recycling what others have written about the same topic.