Controversial Topics For Research Paper

You will frequently must write research papers on controversial topics, if you are understanding a Journalism or Writing Class. Following how you go about it:

  • Research controversial topics. Scan through current and past newspapers, magazines, books, news portals, online libraries, databases, websites, blogs, search engines, etc. Make a list of controversial topics for your research paper.
  • Select a topic that you find relevant. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something that is in the news at present.
  • Research the background of the topic. Again, make use of newspapers, books, magazines, news portals, databases, online libraries, websites, blogs, search engines, etc. See your local library and museum. If it is a local incident and you can interview the people involved, do that. Even if it’s not a local topic, thanks to the quick communication facilities provided by the Internet, it is still possible to make contact with the concerned individuals.
  • Research all the current information you can find. Follow the same procedure.
  • Piece all the past and current information together. Using a computer will make this easier.
  • Read everything carefully and evaluate the information in the whole. Does it strike you as authentic? Is the writer or source stating all the facts correctly? Do you feel the writer or source is biased? Are you getting the same information from several different sources? Have you weighed both sides of the story or have you been viewing it from just one end?
  • Once you have thoroughly understood the matter, write the paper. Write what you have understood. Write what you have concluded about the topic. Don’t just regurgitate the opinion of the ‘experts’. The whole point of this exercise is to think critically, and form and state your own opinion. However, keep it in mind, you should back your opinion with facts and evidence. Rationality is the order of the day, not emotional. You have to show exactly how and why you have reached the opinion you have. Don’t worry about the quality of the writing for the first draft. The important thing is to have something down on paper. You can polish, re-polish, and change around the words all you like afterwards.
  • You will probably have to present your final paper in a certain specific format, listing all your sources and references. There are different writing style formats like MLA, APA, Turabian, Chicago, etc. Make sure you know which is required. If you don’t know about the formats, research and find out.

Following list of Controversial Topics:

  1. Did the 11 September 2001 strike on the World trade Center justify the attack on Iraq?
  2. Do you think that Public Surveillance Technology will make your city safer or just invade your privacy?
  3. The Western Countries make a great deal out of ‘Free Speech Rights’. So then, was it right to jail David Irving for questioning the existence of the Holocaust?
  4. If it is alright for the Danish Cartoonists to mock Mohamed, why is it horrendous for the Iranian Cartoonists to mock the Holocaust?
  5. Will implementing Gun Control laws help? Will they bring down the crime level? Or simply make it difficult for people to defend themselves?
  6. Does the Death Sentence have a negative effect on our social fabric? Why? Wouldn’t it be a positive thing in fact to have all the rapists, pedophiles, and murderers taken out?
  7. If you are a Pro-Life person, how can you still eat meat?
  8. If you are willing to foist your moral opinions on other people, are you as willing to take personal responsibility for those? How have you done it so far?
  9. Is the Quota/Reservation System in India really going to bring about social equality? Wouldn’t it be better to implement a quota by economic standards instead of caste?
  10. Do you think Iran scored a considerable political point recently with the arrest and subsequent release of the 15 British sailors? Have you noted the difference between their treatment and the treatment meted out to the Prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo?
  11. What does the existence of places like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo say about the democratic and freedom-loving principles of the United States?
  12. Should certain breeds of dogs, like the Pit Bull for example, be banned?