Popular senior research topics include advantages or disadvantages of gun control or the death penalty; government policies that are ineffective or discriminatory; the effects of corporations on the economy, small businesses and consumers; and unjust educational changes, such as reduced funding for the arts. Students may also choose to write and research about bullying laws, homosexual civil unions, copyright or music piracy laws, or the legality of steroids or marijuana.
Good senior research paper topics allow students to explore ideas in an in-depth manner and to display proficiencies in critical thinking, essay writing, and organization of thoughts, argument and ideas. For example, if a student chooses to write and research about the lack of nutritional foods in the school cafeteria, he can show proficiency with research by compiling articles from library databases that are relevant to the topic, evaluate the source information by showing what he agrees and disagrees with, and display critical thinking when presenting alternatives and solutions within the written essay.
Students may also choose to write about topics that have personal meaning. For example, if a student has struggled with an eating disorder, he may choose to write about obesity, bulimia or anorexia, or even to correlate the impact of peer pressure on eating disorders in general.