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1000+ FREE Research Topics & Title Ideas

If you’re at the start of your research journey and are trying to figure out which research topic you want to focus on, you’ve come to the right place. Select your area of interest below to view a comprehensive collection of potential research ideas.

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Research Topic FAQs

What (exactly) is a research topic.

A research topic is the subject of a research project or study – for example, a dissertation or thesis. A research topic typically takes the form of a problem to be solved, or a question to be answered.

A good research topic should be specific enough to allow for focused research and analysis. For example, if you are interested in studying the effects of climate change on agriculture, your research topic could focus on how rising temperatures have impacted crop yields in certain regions over time.

To learn more about the basics of developing a research topic, consider our free research topic ideation webinar.

What constitutes a good research topic?

A strong research topic comprises three important qualities : originality, value and feasibility.

  • Originality – a good topic explores an original area or takes a novel angle on an existing area of study.
  • Value – a strong research topic provides value and makes a contribution, either academically or practically.
  • Feasibility – a good research topic needs to be practical and manageable, given the resource constraints you face.

To learn more about what makes for a high-quality research topic, check out this post .

What's the difference between a research topic and research problem?

A research topic and a research problem are two distinct concepts that are often confused. A research topic is a broader label that indicates the focus of the study , while a research problem is an issue or gap in knowledge within the broader field that needs to be addressed.

To illustrate this distinction, consider a student who has chosen “teenage pregnancy in the United Kingdom” as their research topic. This research topic could encompass any number of issues related to teenage pregnancy such as causes, prevention strategies, health outcomes for mothers and babies, etc.

Within this broad category (the research topic) lies potential areas of inquiry that can be explored further – these become the research problems . For example:

  • What factors contribute to higher rates of teenage pregnancy in certain communities?
  • How do different types of parenting styles affect teen pregnancy rates?
  • What interventions have been successful in reducing teenage pregnancies?

Simply put, a key difference between a research topic and a research problem is scope ; the research topic provides an umbrella under which multiple questions can be asked, while the research problem focuses on one specific question or set of questions within that larger context.

How can I find potential research topics for my project?

There are many steps involved in the process of finding and choosing a high-quality research topic for a dissertation or thesis. We cover these steps in detail in this video (also accessible below).

How can I find quality sources for my research topic?

Finding quality sources is an essential step in the topic ideation process. To do this, you should start by researching scholarly journals, books, and other academic publications related to your topic. These sources can provide reliable information on a wide range of topics. Additionally, they may contain data or statistics that can help support your argument or conclusions.

Identifying Relevant Sources

When searching for relevant sources, it’s important to look beyond just published material; try using online databases such as Google Scholar or JSTOR to find articles from reputable journals that have been peer-reviewed by experts in the field.

You can also use search engines like Google or Bing to locate websites with useful information about your topic. However, be sure to evaluate any website before citing it as a source—look for evidence of authorship (such as an “About Us” page) and make sure the content is up-to-date and accurate before relying on it.

Evaluating Sources

Once you’ve identified potential sources for your research project, take some time to evaluate them thoroughly before deciding which ones will best serve your purpose. Consider factors such as author credibility (are they an expert in their field?), publication date (is the source current?), objectivity (does the author present both sides of an issue?) and relevance (how closely does this source relate to my specific topic?).

By researching the current literature on your topic, you can identify potential sources that will help to provide quality information. Once you’ve identified these sources, it’s time to look for a gap in the research and determine what new knowledge could be gained from further study.

How can I find a good research gap?

Finding a strong gap in the literature is an essential step when looking for potential research topics. We explain what research gaps are and how to find them in this post.

How should I evaluate potential research topics/ideas?

When evaluating potential research topics, it is important to consider the factors that make for a strong topic (we discussed these earlier). Specifically:

  • Originality
  • Feasibility

So, when you have a list of potential topics or ideas, assess each of them in terms of these three criteria. A good topic should take a unique angle, provide value (either to academia or practitioners), and be practical enough for you to pull off, given your limited resources.

Finally, you should also assess whether this project could lead to potential career opportunities such as internships or job offers down the line. Make sure that you are researching something that is relevant enough so that it can benefit your professional development in some way. Additionally, consider how each research topic aligns with your career goals and interests; researching something that you are passionate about can help keep motivation high throughout the process.

How can I assess the feasibility of a research topic?

When evaluating the feasibility and practicality of a research topic, it is important to consider several factors.

First, you should assess whether or not the research topic is within your area of competence. Of course, when you start out, you are not expected to be the world’s leading expert, but do should at least have some foundational knowledge.

Time commitment

When considering a research topic, you should think about how much time will be required for completion. Depending on your field of study, some topics may require more time than others due to their complexity or scope.

Additionally, if you plan on collaborating with other researchers or institutions in order to complete your project, additional considerations must be taken into account such as coordinating schedules and ensuring that all parties involved have adequate resources available.

Resources needed

It’s also critically important to consider what type of resources are necessary in order to conduct the research successfully. This includes physical materials such as lab equipment and chemicals but can also include intangible items like access to certain databases or software programs which may be necessary depending on the nature of your work. Additionally, if there are costs associated with obtaining these materials then this must also be factored into your evaluation process.

Potential risks

It’s important to consider the inherent potential risks for each potential research topic. These can include ethical risks (challenges getting ethical approval), data risks (not being able to access the data you’ll need), technical risks relating to the equipment you’ll use and funding risks (not securing the necessary financial back to undertake the research).

If you’re looking for more information about how to find, evaluate and select research topics for your dissertation or thesis, check out our free webinar here . Alternatively, if you’d like 1:1 help with the topic ideation process, consider our private coaching services .

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This post was based on one of our popular Research Bootcamps . If you're working on a research project, you'll definitely want to check this out ...

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 113 great research paper topics.

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General Education

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One of the hardest parts of writing a research paper can be just finding a good topic to write about. Fortunately we've done the hard work for you and have compiled a list of 113 interesting research paper topics. They've been organized into ten categories and cover a wide range of subjects so you can easily find the best topic for you.

In addition to the list of good research topics, we've included advice on what makes a good research paper topic and how you can use your topic to start writing a great paper.

What Makes a Good Research Paper Topic?

Not all research paper topics are created equal, and you want to make sure you choose a great topic before you start writing. Below are the three most important factors to consider to make sure you choose the best research paper topics.

#1: It's Something You're Interested In

A paper is always easier to write if you're interested in the topic, and you'll be more motivated to do in-depth research and write a paper that really covers the entire subject. Even if a certain research paper topic is getting a lot of buzz right now or other people seem interested in writing about it, don't feel tempted to make it your topic unless you genuinely have some sort of interest in it as well.

#2: There's Enough Information to Write a Paper

Even if you come up with the absolute best research paper topic and you're so excited to write about it, you won't be able to produce a good paper if there isn't enough research about the topic. This can happen for very specific or specialized topics, as well as topics that are too new to have enough research done on them at the moment. Easy research paper topics will always be topics with enough information to write a full-length paper.

Trying to write a research paper on a topic that doesn't have much research on it is incredibly hard, so before you decide on a topic, do a bit of preliminary searching and make sure you'll have all the information you need to write your paper.

#3: It Fits Your Teacher's Guidelines

Don't get so carried away looking at lists of research paper topics that you forget any requirements or restrictions your teacher may have put on research topic ideas. If you're writing a research paper on a health-related topic, deciding to write about the impact of rap on the music scene probably won't be allowed, but there may be some sort of leeway. For example, if you're really interested in current events but your teacher wants you to write a research paper on a history topic, you may be able to choose a topic that fits both categories, like exploring the relationship between the US and North Korea. No matter what, always get your research paper topic approved by your teacher first before you begin writing.

113 Good Research Paper Topics

Below are 113 good research topics to help you get you started on your paper. We've organized them into ten categories to make it easier to find the type of research paper topics you're looking for.

Arts/Culture

  • Discuss the main differences in art from the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance .
  • Analyze the impact a famous artist had on the world.
  • How is sexism portrayed in different types of media (music, film, video games, etc.)? Has the amount/type of sexism changed over the years?
  • How has the music of slaves brought over from Africa shaped modern American music?
  • How has rap music evolved in the past decade?
  • How has the portrayal of minorities in the media changed?

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Current Events

  • What have been the impacts of China's one child policy?
  • How have the goals of feminists changed over the decades?
  • How has the Trump presidency changed international relations?
  • Analyze the history of the relationship between the United States and North Korea.
  • What factors contributed to the current decline in the rate of unemployment?
  • What have been the impacts of states which have increased their minimum wage?
  • How do US immigration laws compare to immigration laws of other countries?
  • How have the US's immigration laws changed in the past few years/decades?
  • How has the Black Lives Matter movement affected discussions and view about racism in the US?
  • What impact has the Affordable Care Act had on healthcare in the US?
  • What factors contributed to the UK deciding to leave the EU (Brexit)?
  • What factors contributed to China becoming an economic power?
  • Discuss the history of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies  (some of which tokenize the S&P 500 Index on the blockchain) .
  • Do students in schools that eliminate grades do better in college and their careers?
  • Do students from wealthier backgrounds score higher on standardized tests?
  • Do students who receive free meals at school get higher grades compared to when they weren't receiving a free meal?
  • Do students who attend charter schools score higher on standardized tests than students in public schools?
  • Do students learn better in same-sex classrooms?
  • How does giving each student access to an iPad or laptop affect their studies?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Montessori Method ?
  • Do children who attend preschool do better in school later on?
  • What was the impact of the No Child Left Behind act?
  • How does the US education system compare to education systems in other countries?
  • What impact does mandatory physical education classes have on students' health?
  • Which methods are most effective at reducing bullying in schools?
  • Do homeschoolers who attend college do as well as students who attended traditional schools?
  • Does offering tenure increase or decrease quality of teaching?
  • How does college debt affect future life choices of students?
  • Should graduate students be able to form unions?

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  • What are different ways to lower gun-related deaths in the US?
  • How and why have divorce rates changed over time?
  • Is affirmative action still necessary in education and/or the workplace?
  • Should physician-assisted suicide be legal?
  • How has stem cell research impacted the medical field?
  • How can human trafficking be reduced in the United States/world?
  • Should people be able to donate organs in exchange for money?
  • Which types of juvenile punishment have proven most effective at preventing future crimes?
  • Has the increase in US airport security made passengers safer?
  • Analyze the immigration policies of certain countries and how they are similar and different from one another.
  • Several states have legalized recreational marijuana. What positive and negative impacts have they experienced as a result?
  • Do tariffs increase the number of domestic jobs?
  • Which prison reforms have proven most effective?
  • Should governments be able to censor certain information on the internet?
  • Which methods/programs have been most effective at reducing teen pregnancy?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Keto diet?
  • How effective are different exercise regimes for losing weight and maintaining weight loss?
  • How do the healthcare plans of various countries differ from each other?
  • What are the most effective ways to treat depression ?
  • What are the pros and cons of genetically modified foods?
  • Which methods are most effective for improving memory?
  • What can be done to lower healthcare costs in the US?
  • What factors contributed to the current opioid crisis?
  • Analyze the history and impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic .
  • Are low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
  • How much exercise should the average adult be getting each week?
  • Which methods are most effective to get parents to vaccinate their children?
  • What are the pros and cons of clean needle programs?
  • How does stress affect the body?
  • Discuss the history of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
  • What were the causes and effects of the Salem Witch Trials?
  • Who was responsible for the Iran-Contra situation?
  • How has New Orleans and the government's response to natural disasters changed since Hurricane Katrina?
  • What events led to the fall of the Roman Empire?
  • What were the impacts of British rule in India ?
  • Was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary?
  • What were the successes and failures of the women's suffrage movement in the United States?
  • What were the causes of the Civil War?
  • How did Abraham Lincoln's assassination impact the country and reconstruction after the Civil War?
  • Which factors contributed to the colonies winning the American Revolution?
  • What caused Hitler's rise to power?
  • Discuss how a specific invention impacted history.
  • What led to Cleopatra's fall as ruler of Egypt?
  • How has Japan changed and evolved over the centuries?
  • What were the causes of the Rwandan genocide ?

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  • Why did Martin Luther decide to split with the Catholic Church?
  • Analyze the history and impact of a well-known cult (Jonestown, Manson family, etc.)
  • How did the sexual abuse scandal impact how people view the Catholic Church?
  • How has the Catholic church's power changed over the past decades/centuries?
  • What are the causes behind the rise in atheism/ agnosticism in the United States?
  • What were the influences in Siddhartha's life resulted in him becoming the Buddha?
  • How has media portrayal of Islam/Muslims changed since September 11th?

Science/Environment

  • How has the earth's climate changed in the past few decades?
  • How has the use and elimination of DDT affected bird populations in the US?
  • Analyze how the number and severity of natural disasters have increased in the past few decades.
  • Analyze deforestation rates in a certain area or globally over a period of time.
  • How have past oil spills changed regulations and cleanup methods?
  • How has the Flint water crisis changed water regulation safety?
  • What are the pros and cons of fracking?
  • What impact has the Paris Climate Agreement had so far?
  • What have NASA's biggest successes and failures been?
  • How can we improve access to clean water around the world?
  • Does ecotourism actually have a positive impact on the environment?
  • Should the US rely on nuclear energy more?
  • What can be done to save amphibian species currently at risk of extinction?
  • What impact has climate change had on coral reefs?
  • How are black holes created?
  • Are teens who spend more time on social media more likely to suffer anxiety and/or depression?
  • How will the loss of net neutrality affect internet users?
  • Analyze the history and progress of self-driving vehicles.
  • How has the use of drones changed surveillance and warfare methods?
  • Has social media made people more or less connected?
  • What progress has currently been made with artificial intelligence ?
  • Do smartphones increase or decrease workplace productivity?
  • What are the most effective ways to use technology in the classroom?
  • How is Google search affecting our intelligence?
  • When is the best age for a child to begin owning a smartphone?
  • Has frequent texting reduced teen literacy rates?

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How to Write a Great Research Paper

Even great research paper topics won't give you a great research paper if you don't hone your topic before and during the writing process. Follow these three tips to turn good research paper topics into great papers.

#1: Figure Out Your Thesis Early

Before you start writing a single word of your paper, you first need to know what your thesis will be. Your thesis is a statement that explains what you intend to prove/show in your paper. Every sentence in your research paper will relate back to your thesis, so you don't want to start writing without it!

As some examples, if you're writing a research paper on if students learn better in same-sex classrooms, your thesis might be "Research has shown that elementary-age students in same-sex classrooms score higher on standardized tests and report feeling more comfortable in the classroom."

If you're writing a paper on the causes of the Civil War, your thesis might be "While the dispute between the North and South over slavery is the most well-known cause of the Civil War, other key causes include differences in the economies of the North and South, states' rights, and territorial expansion."

#2: Back Every Statement Up With Research

Remember, this is a research paper you're writing, so you'll need to use lots of research to make your points. Every statement you give must be backed up with research, properly cited the way your teacher requested. You're allowed to include opinions of your own, but they must also be supported by the research you give.

#3: Do Your Research Before You Begin Writing

You don't want to start writing your research paper and then learn that there isn't enough research to back up the points you're making, or, even worse, that the research contradicts the points you're trying to make!

Get most of your research on your good research topics done before you begin writing. Then use the research you've collected to create a rough outline of what your paper will cover and the key points you're going to make. This will help keep your paper clear and organized, and it'll ensure you have enough research to produce a strong paper.

What's Next?

Are you also learning about dynamic equilibrium in your science class? We break this sometimes tricky concept down so it's easy to understand in our complete guide to dynamic equilibrium .

Thinking about becoming a nurse practitioner? Nurse practitioners have one of the fastest growing careers in the country, and we have all the information you need to know about what to expect from nurse practitioner school .

Want to know the fastest and easiest ways to convert between Fahrenheit and Celsius? We've got you covered! Check out our guide to the best ways to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit (or vice versa).

These recommendations are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links, PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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Selecting a Research Topic: Overview

  • Refine your topic
  • Background information & facts
  • Writing help

Here are some resources to refer to when selecting a topic and preparing to write a paper:

  • MIT Writing and Communication Center "Providing free professional advice about all types of writing and speaking to all members of the MIT community."
  • Search Our Collections Find books about writing. Search by subject for: english language grammar; report writing handbooks; technical writing handbooks
  • Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation Online version of the book that provides examples and tips on grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and other writing rules.
  • Select a topic

Choosing an interesting research topic is your first challenge. Here are some tips:

  • Choose a topic that you are interested in! The research process is more relevant if you care about your topic.
  • If your topic is too broad, you will find too much information and not be able to focus.
  • Background reading can help you choose and limit the scope of your topic. 
  • Review the guidelines on topic selection outlined in your assignment.  Ask your professor or TA for suggestions.
  • Refer to lecture notes and required texts to refresh your knowledge of the course and assignment.
  • Talk about research ideas with a friend.  S/he may be able to help focus your topic by discussing issues that didn't occur to you at first.
  • WHY did you choose the topic?  What interests you about it?  Do you have an opinion about the issues involved?
  • WHO are the information providers on this topic?  Who might publish information about it?  Who is affected by the topic?  Do you know of organizations or institutions affiliated with the topic?
  • WHAT are the major questions for this topic?  Is there a debate about the topic?  Are there a range of issues and viewpoints to consider?
  • WHERE is your topic important: at the local, national or international level?  Are there specific places affected by the topic?
  • WHEN is/was your topic important?  Is it a current event or an historical issue?  Do you want to compare your topic by time periods?

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How to Research a Topic

Last Updated: January 10, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 293,333 times.

With so much information potentially available at your fingertips, having a research assignment can be daunting. However, if you approach your research methodically, you'll be able to answer any research question in a thoughtful and comprehensive way. Develop a research question that is narrow enough to be addressed within the scope of your paper, then use keywords to find sources that have the information you need. Once you've found several sources, you'll be ready to organize your information into a logical report that adequately answers your question. [1] X Research source

Developing Your Topic

Step 1 Read through your assignment instructions carefully.

  • If you don't understand any aspect of the assignment, don't be afraid to ask your instructor directly. It's better to get an explanation about something than to assume you know what it means and later find out your assumption was incorrect.

Step 2 Brainstorm some topics that interest you and fall within the assignment's parameters.

  • For example, suppose your instructor assigned a research paper about a "public health concern." You might make a list that included such public health concerns as teenage vaping, anti-vaxxers, and drunk driving.
  • From your list, choose one area in particular that you want to look at. This is where you'll start your research. For the purposes of this example, assume you chose to research vaping among teenagers.

Step 3 Look up general information about the topic.

  • If you're doing a general internet search on your topic and not getting back many strong results, there may not be enough information out there for you to research that topic. This is typically rare, though, unless you've started off with a topic that's too narrow. For example, if you want to study vaping in your high school, you might not find enough sources. However, if you expanded your search to include all high schools in your state, you might have more luck.
  • If you're not very knowledgeable about your topic, look for a resource that will provide a general overview, so you can become more familiar with possible questions you could answer in your research paper.

Step 4 Decide on the question you want to answer through your research.

  • For example, if you wanted to look at teenagers and vaping, you might decide to ask "Are teenagers who vape more likely to smoke than teenagers who don't?"
  • How you frame your question also depends on the type of paper you're writing. For example, if you were writing a persuasive research essay, you would need to make a statement, and then back that statement up with research. For example, instead of asking if teenagers who vape are more likely to smoke than teenagers who don't, you might say "Teenagers who vape are more likely to start smoking."

Tip: Be versatile with your research question. Once you start more in-depth research, you may find that you have to adjust it or even change it entirely, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's just part of the process of learning through research.

Step 5 Seek knowledge about your specific question.

  • Look at the number of results you get, as well as the quality of the sources. You might also try an academic search engine, such as Google Scholar, to see how much academic material is out there on your chosen question.

Step 6 Refine your question...

  • For example, if you've selected teenagers who vape, the "who" would be teenagers. If a search of that topic yields too much information, you might scale it back by looking at a specific 5-year period (the "when") or only at teenagers in a specific state (the "where").
  • If you needed to broaden your question on the same topic, you may decide to look at teenagers and young adults under the age of 25, not just teenagers.

Finding Quality Sources

Step 1 Identify the types of sources you'll likely need.

  • 1- to 2-page paper: 2 to 3 webpages or short journal articles
  • 3- to 5-page paper: 4 to 8 journals or scholarly articles, webpages, or books
  • 5- to 10-page paper: 6 to 15 journals or scholarly articles, webpages, or books
  • 10- to 15-page paper: 12 to 20 journals or scholarly articles, webpages, or books

Step 2 Use topical keywords to find your initial sources.

  • For example, if you're researching the prevalence of vaping among teenagers, you might also include "adolescents" and "youth" as synonyms for teenagers, along with "tobacco use" or "e-cigarettes" as synonyms for vaping.
  • Take advantage of academic databases available online through your school in addition to the internet.

Tip: Get help from research librarians. They know the most efficient ways to find the information you need and may be able to help you access sources you didn't even know existed.

Step 3 Evaluate potential sources using the CRAAP method.

  • Currency : How recent is the information? When was the source last updated?
  • Reliability : Are there references for facts and data? Is the content mostly opinion?
  • Authority : Who is the creator of the content? Who is the publisher? Are they biased in any way? Does the creator have academic credentials in the field?
  • Accuracy : Has the content been peer-reviewed or edited by a third party? Is the information supported by evidence? Can you easily verify facts in another source?
  • Purpose/Perspective : Is the content intended to teach you something or to sell you something? Is the information presented biased?

Tip: If your source fails any prong of the CRAAP method, use extreme caution if you refer to it in your research paper. If it fails more than one prong, you're probably better off not using it.

Step 4 Mine reference lists to find additional sources you can use.

  • If an author mentions a particular source more than once, you definitely want to read that material.
  • The reference list typically contains enough information for you to find the source on your own. If you find that you can't access the source, for example because it's behind a paywall, talk to your school or a public librarian about it. They may be able to get you access.

Step 5 Take notes about each resource you find.

  • List the citation information for the source at the top of the card, then take notes in your words. Include the page numbers (if applicable) that you would use in your citation.
  • If you copy something directly from the source, put quote marks around those words and write the page number (if applicable) where that quote appears. You may also want to distinguish quotes even further, for example, by having quotes in a different color text than your words. This will help protect you against accidental plagiarism .

Organizing Your Information

Step 1 Create a spreadsheet with bibliographic information for all of your sources.

  • Include columns for the full citation and in-text citation for each of your sources. Provide a column for your notes and add them to your spreadsheet. If you have direct quotes, you might include a separate column for those quotes.
  • Many word-processing apps have citation features that will allow you to input a new source from a list, so you only have to type the citation once. With a spreadsheet, you can simply cut and paste.

Tip: Even if your word-processing app automatically formats your citation for you, it's good practice to create the citation yourself in your spreadsheet.

Step 2 Categorize your notes into groups of similar information.

  • For example, if you were writing a paper on teenagers and vaping, you may have notes related to the age teenagers started vaping, the reasons they started vaping, and their exposure to tobacco or nicotine before they started vaping.
  • If you used a digital note-taking app, you typically would categorize your notes by adding tags to them. Some notes may have more than one tag, depending on the information it covered.

Step 3 Order your categories in a way that answers your research question.

  • For example, suppose your research indicated that teenagers who vaped were more likely to switch to regular cigarettes if someone in their household smoked. The category covering teenage vapers' exposure to tobacco or nicotine before they started vaping would most likely be the first thing you talked about in your paper, assuming you wanted to put the strongest evidence first.

Step 4 Draft a basic outline for your paper based on your order of categories.

  • Unless your instructor has specific requirements for your outline, you can make it as detailed or as simple as you want. Some people prefer full sentences in their outlines, while others have sections with just a word or two.
  • Working through the outline methodically can help you identify information that you don't have yet that you need to support your thesis or answer your research question.

Step 5 Review your notes and adjust your research question as necessary.

  • Even at this late stage, don't be afraid to change your question to more accurately frame your research. Because of your research, you know a lot more about the topic than you did when you first wrote your question, so it's natural that you would see ways to improve it.

Step 6 Search for additional sources to fill holes in your research.

  • For example, when outlining your paper about teenagers and vaping, you may realize that you don't have any information on how teenagers access e-cigarettes and whether that access is legal or illegal. If you're writing a paper about teenagers vaping as a public health concern, this is information you would need to know.
  • It's also likely that as you formulated your outline, you discovered that you didn't need some sources you previously thought would be valuable. In that situation, you may need to seek more sources, especially if throwing out a source took you below the minimum number of sources required for your assignment.

Community Q&A

wikiHow Staff Editor

  • Start your research as soon as possible after you get your assignment. If you leave it to the last minute, you won't have time to properly research the topic. You may also find that you overlook important information or make mistakes because you're rushing to finish. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 0
  • Breaking the research process down into small chunks and accomplishing a little each day can help you manage your time. Plan on spending at least as much time researching as you spend writing, if not more. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 0

topic for or research

You Might Also Like

Write a Position Paper

  • ↑ https://libguides.uta.edu/researchprocess/organize
  • ↑ https://researchguides.ben.edu/topics
  • ↑ https://clark.libguides.com/brainstorming
  • ↑ https://libraries.indiana.edu/sites/default/files/Develop_a_Research_Question.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.nhcc.edu/student-resources/library/doinglibraryresearch/basic-steps-in-the-research-process
  • ↑ https://ggu.libguides.com/c.php?g=106905&p=694002
  • ↑ https://salve.libguides.com/c.php?g=434998&p=2963676
  • ↑ https://guides.lib.lsu.edu/ENG1001/CRAAP
  • ↑ https://libguides.sdstate.edu/c.php?g=842619&p=6053357
  • ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/researching/notes-from-research/
  • ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/writingprocess/organizing
  • ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/outline
  • ↑ https://guides.lib.k-state.edu/c.php?g=181829&p=1197416
  • ↑ https://guides.lib.k-state.edu/c.php?g=181829&p=1196003

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To research a topic, you should use scholarly articles, books, and authoritative webpages, since they'll offer the most reliable information. You can find good sources by searching for keywords related to your topic online or using an academic database. For example, if your topic is about saving wild tigers, you could include keywords like "conservation," "tigers," and "wildlife," in your searches. Once you find a source you want to use, double check that it's up to date and written by someone trustworthy before you use it. Additionally, make sure you keep track of all your sources, since you'll need to make a reference list that includes each source you used. For tips on how to come up with a research topic, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Research 101 (A How-to Guide): Step 1. Choose a topic

  • Step 1. Choose a topic
  • Step 2. Get background information
  • Step 3. Create a search strategy
  • Step 4. Find books and e-books
  • Step 5. Find articles
  • Step 6. Evaluate your sources
  • Step 7. Cite your sources

Step 1. Choose a Topic

Choosing an interesting research topic can be challenging.  This video tutorial will help you select and properly scope your topic by employing questioning, free writing, and mind mapping techniques so that you can formulate a research question.

Video

Good Sources for Finding a Topic

  • CQ Researcher This link opens in a new window Browse the "hot topics" on the right hand side for inspiration.
  • 401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing, New York Times Great questions to consider for argumentative essays.
  • ProCon.org Facts, news, and thousands of diverse opinions on controversial issues in a pro-con format.
  • Room For Debate, New York Times This website, created by editorial staff from the New York Times, explores close to 1,500 news events and other timely issues. Knowledgeable outside contributors provide subject background and readers may contribute their own views. Great help for choosing a topic!
  • US News & World Report: Debate Club Pro/Con arguments on current issues.
  • Writing Prompts, New York Times New York Times Opinion articles that are geared toward students and invite comment.

Tips for Choosing a Topic

  • Choose a topic that interests you!   
  • Pick a manageable topic, not too broad, not too narrow. Reading background info can help you choose and limit the scope of your topic.
  • Review lecture notes and class readings for ideas.
  • Check with your instructor to make sure your topic fits with the assignment.

Picking your topic IS research!

  • Developing a Research Question Worksheet

Mind Mapping Tools

Mind mapping, a visual form of brainstorming, is an effective technique for developing a topic.  Here are some free tools to create mind maps.

  • Bubbl.us Free account allows you to save 3 mind maps, download as image or HTML, and share with others.
  • Coggle Sign in with your Google account to create maps that you can download as PDF or PNG or share with others.
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  • Next: Step 2. Get background information >>
  • Last Updated: Apr 9, 2024 2:36 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.depaul.edu/research101

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Research Process

  • Brainstorming
  • Explore Google This link opens in a new window
  • Explore Web Resources
  • Explore Background Information
  • Explore Books
  • Explore Scholarly Articles
  • Narrowing a Topic
  • Primary and Secondary Resources
  • Academic, Popular & Trade Publications
  • Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed Journals
  • Grey Literature
  • Clinical Trials
  • Evidence Based Treatment
  • Scholarly Research
  • Database Research Log
  • Search Limits
  • Keyword Searching
  • Boolean Operators
  • Phrase Searching
  • Truncation & Wildcard Symbols
  • Proximity Searching
  • Field Codes
  • Subject Terms and Database Thesauri
  • Reading a Scientific Article
  • Website Evaluation
  • Article Keywords and Subject Terms
  • Cited References
  • Citing Articles
  • Related Results
  • Search Within Publication
  • Database Alerts & RSS Feeds
  • Personal Database Accounts
  • Persistent URLs
  • Literature Gap and Future Research
  • Web of Knowledge
  • Annual Reviews
  • Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analyses
  • Finding Seminal Works
  • Exhausting the Literature
  • Finding Dissertations
  • Researching Theoretical Frameworks
  • Research Methodology & Design
  • Tests and Measurements
  • Organizing Research & Citations This link opens in a new window
  • Scholarly Publication
  • Learn the Library This link opens in a new window

Finding a Research Topic

Which step of the research process takes the most time?

A. Finding a topic B. Researching a topic C. Both

How did you answer the above question? Do you spend most of your efforts actually researching a topic, or do you spend a lot of time and energy finding a topic? Ideally, you’ll want to spend fairly equal amounts of effort on both. Finding an appropriate and manageable topic can sometimes be just as hard as researching a topic.

A good research topic will have a body of related research which is accessible and manageable. Identifying a topic with these characteristics at the beginning  of the research process will ultimately save you time.

Finding a research topic that is interesting, relevant, feasible, and worthy of your time may take substantial effort so you should be prepared to invest your time accordingly. Considering your options, doing some background work on each option, and ultimately settling on a topic that is manageable will spare you many of the frustrations that come from attempting research on a topic that, for whatever reason, may not be appropriate.

Remember that as you are searching for a research topic you will need to be able to find enough information about your topic(s) in a book or scholarly journal. If you can only find information about your topic(s) in current event sources (newspapers, magazines, etc.) then the topic might be too new to have a large body of published scholarly information. If this is the case, you may want to reconsider the topic(s).

So how do you find a research topic? Unfortunately there’s no directory of topics that you pick and choose from, but there are a few relatively easy techniques that you can use to find a relevant and manageable topic. A good starting point may be to view the Library's Resources for Finding a Research Topic Workshop below.

The sub-pages in this section (on the left-hand menu) offer various tips for where and how to locate resources to develop your research topic. And for additional information on selecting a research topic, see the resources below.

  • Defining a Topic - SAGE Research Methods
  • Develop My Research Idea - Academic Writer Note: You MUST create an Academic Writer account AND start a paper in order to access this tool. Once you have done so, open a paper and click Research Lab Book in the left navigation menu.
  • The Process for Developing Questions - ASC Guide

Resources for Finding a Research Topic Workshop

This workshop will introduce you to library resources which can be used to locate potential topics for a research paper or dissertation. This workshop explores websites, reference books, and scholarly articles, as well as review criteria to consider when selecting a topic.

  • Resources for Finding a Research Topic Workshop Outline

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Topic Research: The Tools and Process You Need to Generate Content Ideas

11 min read Filed Under: Content Marketing

It’s that time of the week again. The moment every content marketer dreads.

You sit in front of your computer and a blank page stares back at you.

The title reads “Content Topics for the Coming Week”.

You stand there, brain completely frozen, desperately trying to think of something you haven’t recently said. A fresh new topic – that elusive beast…

It doesn’t need to be this way. In fact, topic research can be an easy structured process that leaves you inspired and motivated rather than tired and deflated.

Today, I want to share some of my go-to tools that make topic research a breeze.

Topic research vs. keyword research – what’s the difference?

Some marketers conflate keyword research and topic research. However, there are substantial differences.

Keyword research is done by SEO experts. It tries to understand the specific phrases people use when discussing a given topic. The end goal is to rank for those keywords that are related to the brand or that will expose new qualified users to the brand.

Topic research is done by content marketers. It tries to understand what topics our target audience is interested in . It doesn’t study the specific phrases as much as it tries to combine them into relevant topics. The end goal is to inform the content plan so that the brand creates content of value to its target.

How to do topic research?

This will be a very short guy as there isn’t much to talk about in terms of process. What you need to do is:

  • Get a notebook at the ready or open a file on your computer.
  • Fire up your go-to topic research tools.
  • Insert a general keyword and see what related phrases and questions pop up.
  • Gradually go deeper, trying out more long-tail phrases to research different facets of the topic.
  • All along the way, take note of interesting topics you can cover in your content.
  • Combine these topics into topic clusters and figure out which ones you want to cover.
  • Draft your short-term content plan with these topics in mind.

Obviously, this is a very high-level process, but it’s not easy to go into a lot of detail. The whole idea is to allow enough time for divergent research, trying to note down as many different elements for your topic as possible. Only later will you be doing some convergent actual planning where you take into account:

  • Is the topic closely related to your product? You’ll probably start with topics that are close enough to your brand. Then you can organically nudge the reader to learn about your solution.
  • Is the topic of real interest to your specific target audience? The fact that a topic pops up during research doesn’t necessarily mean your persona will be researching it. You’ll need to make the call based on your prior knowledge of your target reader’s interests.
  • How close to the actual moment of purchase someone interested in the topic is likely to be? Most often, you’d want to start by focusing on topics that show up in the middle or bottom of the purchase funnel. In this way, you’ll be able to naturally pitch your product in your content and drive direct business results. Once your content marketing efforts have proven themselves useful to the business, you’ll gain more freedom to write about topics earlier in your customer’s journey.

My free topic research tools of choice

So where do you start when doing topic research? Here are the tools I usually use.

Your readers will go to Google to find answers. So you can go to Google to find questions.

Let’s say I’m the content marketer for an online retailer that sells outdoor equipment. I want to figure out what topics I should cover on my blog that will cater to the interests of hiking enthusiasts.

First off, I check auto-complete for interesting ideas:

topic research google auto-complete

“Hiking quotes” might be an interesting content type for my Instagram account. “Hiking calories burned’ can be a curious blog post to draft out. However, if a person is interested in burning calories, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to buy from my store. So I’ll probably do a roundup post of “hiking boots” as a start.

Then, I’ll hit enter and see a marvelous list of questions people are interested in – in the People also ask search box:

topic research google people also ask

At first, you’ll only see 3-4 questions but the more you click on the expanding results, the more the list gets populated. I see here “What should you not take on a hike?’ which is a curious question – it draws attention and fuels curiosity. I’ll add it to my list of topics.

At the bottom of the SERP I see a related searches list:

topic research google related searches

It’s not too helpful in this case, but I’ll still keep an eye on it, just in case.

Ubersuggest

You can use a pro tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs for topic research. But if you’re not willing to spend around $100/month, you might want to start with a free alternative. Ubersuggest is just that. It’s a pretty powerful little tool that lets you access a lot of information in exchange for registration.

topic research ubersuggest keyword overview

You will first see a general keyword overview – to a content marketer, the most interesting element of that is the seasonality trend. I see that I’m best suited to share hiking-related content during the summer months.

Then I will go to the Keyword Ideas section and find a wealth of information there. Ubersuggest basically does something similar to the Google stalking I demonstrated in the previous step but on steroids. The Suggestions and Related tabs present phrases that start with the keyword I entered or contain it within the key phrase:

topic research ubersuggest keyword ideas

“Hiking trails near me” is a popular search. This means I can write a few blog posts about the popular trails in my e-store’s region and attract the attention of avid hikers. Maybe I can also add some equipment suggestions for the different routes?

The Questions tab is where a lot of the money lies when it comes to topic research. You can already guess that it shows questions with my keyword:

topic research ubersuggest keyword questions

I see some interesting questions that will make for nice blog posts. “Why hiking is good for you” can even turn into a nice infographic. And “How much water you need while hiking?” can be very useful to my audience while also promoting some of the water bottles in my catalog.

The Prepositions and Comparisons tabs are usually less interesting but that doesn’t mean there are no gems to be found there:

topic research ubersuggest keyword prepositions

“Hiking with dogs”, “hiking with toddlers”, and “hiking and running shoes” all make it to my topic list. The cool thing is that when you click the phrase, you also see the top 10 search results. You can click through to see what content people are interested in seeing around the topic and what formats are popular – is it just blog posts, are there YouTube videos ranked there, etc.

As you can see, I’m only interested in the phrases and the topics hidden behind them. I’m keeping an eye out at the volume and keyword difficulty for context, but my goal here is not to rank for these keywords – it’s to create relevant content first and foremost.

Answer the Public

When we’re talking about relevant content, the best source of ideas are the questions your reader might ask. And Answer the Public is a tool that reveals these questions in a structured way.

It’s dead simple – you type in a phrase and you get a detailed list of questions that contain that phrase. When you click the Data tag on the results pag you’ll see a neat list of suggestions:

topic research answer the public

You can find a wealth of ideas here and this is probably the tool that’s responsible for the most topics added to my research notes. Continuing with the hiking example, I can find very specific questions like “Can hiking cause miscarriage?” or “Will hiking shoes stretch?” In the Alphabeticals list you will also find a few neat ideas like “hiking knee support” that can even let me push specific products from my imaginary e-shop.

Question DB

Answer the Public will convince you of the power questions have in your topic research. QuestionDB is another source for question-based ideas. The tool started off with a database of some 4 million questions sourced from Reddit but has now grown to scrape questions from other sites, as well. 

In any case, the reason I go to QuestionDB is because the question here are substantially different from the other sources on the list. And topic research is fuelled by diversity:

topic research questiondb

After checking the tool, I’ve added completely new content ideas like photography equipment for hikers and “hiking trails safe for women hiking alone”.

KeywordTool.io

KeywordTool.io lets you research content specifically on YouTube. Obviously the results there will be quite different than what you can find for text-based content:

topic research keywordtool.io

For example, seeing “hiking music” here gives me an idea to create a Spotify playlist with music that my readers might like for a trip to the mountains. Who said that “content” means blog posts only?

Finally, I would also look at Reddit Keyword Research Tool . It is another tool that will give you alternative results. The way it works is that it looks for the most popular keywords within a given subreddit (the site’s equivalent of a niche topic forum).

Since it doesn’t rely on traditional keyword research, it shows you some great topics you might otherwise miss:

topic research reddit keyword tool

For example, when I see the “ point and shoot ” topic, I understand that photography and hiking go well together. I might provide some advice on camera equipment – and the best backpacks that work for it.

Get ready to write

You need just 40-50 minutes of doing topic research to prepare a list with great content ideas. And the more time you spend on it, the more specific your ideas will get and the more useful your content will be to your target users.

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Research Method

Home » Research Topics – Ideas and Examples

Research Topics – Ideas and Examples

Table of Contents

Research Topic

Research Topic

Definition:

Research topic is a specific subject or area of interest that a researcher wants to investigate or explore in-depth through research. It is the overarching theme or question that guides a research project and helps to focus the research activities towards a clear objective.

How to Choose Research Topic

You can Choose a Research Topic by following the below guide:

Identify your Interests

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a research topic is your personal interest. This is because you will be spending a considerable amount of time researching and writing about the topic, so it’s essential that you are genuinely interested and passionate about it. Start by brainstorming a list of potential research topics based on your interests, hobbies, or areas of expertise. You can also consider the courses that you’ve enjoyed the most or the topics that have stood out to you in your readings.

Review the Literature

Before deciding on a research topic, you need to understand what has already been written about it. Conducting a preliminary review of the existing literature in your field can help you identify gaps in knowledge, inconsistencies in findings, or unanswered questions that you can explore further. You can do this by reading academic articles, books, and other relevant sources in your field. Make notes of the themes or topics that emerge and use this information to guide your research question.

Consult with your Advisor

Your academic advisor or a mentor in your field can provide you with valuable insights and guidance on choosing a research topic. They can help you identify areas of interest, suggest potential research questions, and provide feedback on the feasibility of your research proposal. They can also direct you towards relevant literature and resources that can help you develop your research further.

Consider the Scope and Feasibility

The research topic you choose should be manageable within the time and resource constraints of your project. Be mindful of the scope of your research and ensure that you are not trying to tackle a topic that is too broad or too narrow. If your topic is too broad, you may find it challenging to conduct a comprehensive analysis, while if it’s too narrow, you may struggle to find enough material to support your research.

Brainstorm with Peers

Discussing potential research topics with your peers or colleagues can help you generate new ideas and perspectives. They may have insights or expertise that you haven’t considered, and their feedback can help you refine your research question. You can also join academic groups or attend conferences in your field to network with other researchers and get inspiration for your research.

Consider the Relevance

Choose a research topic that is relevant to your field of study and has the potential to contribute to the existing knowledge. You can consider the latest trends and emerging issues in your field to identify topics that are both relevant and interesting. Conducting research on a topic that is timely and relevant can also increase the likelihood of getting published or presenting your research at conferences.

Keep an Open Mind

While it’s essential to choose a research topic that aligns with your interests and expertise, you should also be open to exploring new ideas or topics that may be outside of your comfort zone. Consider researching a topic that challenges your assumptions or introduces new perspectives that you haven’t considered before. You may discover new insights or perspectives that can enrich your research and contribute to your growth as a researcher.

Components of Research Topic

A research topic typically consists of several components that help to define and clarify the subject matter of the research project. These components include:

  • Research problem or question: This is the central issue or inquiry that the research seeks to address. It should be well-defined and focused, with clear boundaries that limit the scope of the research.
  • Background and context: This component provides the necessary background information and context for the research topic. It explains why the research problem or question is important, relevant, and timely. It may also include a literature review that summarizes the existing research on the topic.
  • Objectives or goals : This component outlines the specific objectives or goals that the research seeks to achieve. It should be clear and concise, and should align with the research problem or question.
  • Methodology : This component describes the research methods and techniques that will be used to collect and analyze data. It should be detailed enough to provide a clear understanding of how the research will be conducted, including the sampling method, data collection tools, and statistical analyses.
  • Significance or contribution : This component explains the significance or contribution of the research topic. It should demonstrate how the research will add to the existing knowledge in the field, and how it will benefit practitioners, policymakers, or society at large.
  • Limitations: This component outlines the limitations of the research, including any potential biases, assumptions, or constraints. It should be transparent and honest about the potential shortcomings of the research, and how these limitations will be addressed.
  • Expected outcomes or findings : This component provides an overview of the expected outcomes or findings of the research project. It should be realistic and based on the research objectives and methodology.

Purpose of Research Topic

The purpose of a research topic is to identify a specific area of inquiry that the researcher wants to explore and investigate. A research topic is typically a broad area of interest that requires further exploration and refinement through the research process. It provides a clear focus and direction for the research project, and helps to define the research questions and objectives. A well-defined research topic also helps to ensure that the research is relevant and useful, and can contribute to the existing body of knowledge in the field. Ultimately, the purpose of a research topic is to generate new insights, knowledge, and understanding about a particular phenomenon, issue, or problem.

Characteristics of Research Topic

some common characteristics of a well-defined research topic include:

  • Relevance : A research topic should be relevant and significant to the field of study and address a current issue, problem, or gap in knowledge.
  • Specificity : A research topic should be specific enough to allow for a focused investigation and clear understanding of the research question.
  • Feasibility : A research topic should be feasible, meaning it should be possible to carry out the research within the given constraints of time, resources, and expertise.
  • Novelty : A research topic should add to the existing body of knowledge by introducing new ideas, concepts, or theories.
  • Clarity : A research topic should be clearly articulated and easy to understand, both for the researcher and for potential readers of the research.
  • Importance : A research topic should be important and have practical implications for the field or society as a whole.
  • Significance : A research topic should be significant and have the potential to generate new insights and understanding in the field.

Examples of Research Topics

Here are some examples of research topics that are currently relevant and in-demand in various fields:

  • The impact of social media on mental health: With the rise of social media use, this topic has gained significant attention in recent years. Researchers could investigate how social media affects self-esteem, body image, and other mental health concerns.
  • The use of artificial intelligence in healthcare: As healthcare becomes increasingly digitalized, researchers could explore the use of AI algorithms to predict and prevent disease, optimize treatment plans, and improve patient outcomes.
  • Renewable energy and sustainable development: As the world seeks to reduce its carbon footprint, researchers could investigate the potential of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, and how these technologies can be integrated into existing infrastructure.
  • The impact of workplace diversity and inclusion on employee productivity: With an increasing focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, researchers could investigate how these factors affect employee morale, productivity, and retention.
  • Cybersecurity and data privacy: As data breaches and cyber attacks become more common, researchers could explore new methods of protecting sensitive information and preventing malicious attacks.
  • T he impact of mindfulness and meditation on stress reduction: As stress-related health issues become more prevalent, researchers could investigate the effectiveness of mindfulness and meditation practices on reducing stress and improving overall well-being.

Research Topics Ideas

Here are some Research Topics Ideas from different fields:

  • The impact of social media on mental health and well-being.
  • The effectiveness of various teaching methods in improving academic performance in high schools.
  • The role of AI and machine learning in healthcare: current applications and future potentials.
  • The impact of climate change on wildlife habitats and conservation efforts.
  • The effects of video game violence on aggressive behavior in young adults.
  • The effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques in reducing anxiety and depression.
  • The impact of technology on human relationships and social interactions.
  • The role of exercise in promoting physical and mental health in older adults.
  • The causes and consequences of income inequality in developed and developing countries.
  • The effects of cultural diversity in the workplace on job satisfaction and productivity.
  • The impact of remote work on employee productivity and work-life balance.
  • The relationship between sleep patterns and cognitive functioning.
  • The effectiveness of online learning versus traditional classroom learning.
  • The role of government policies in promoting renewable energy adoption.
  • The effects of childhood trauma on mental health in adulthood.
  • The impact of social media on political participation and civic engagement.
  • The effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy in treating anxiety disorders.
  • The relationship between nutrition and cognitive functioning.
  • The impact of gentrification on urban communities.
  • The effects of music on mood and emotional regulation.
  • The impact of microplastics on marine ecosystems and food webs.
  • The role of artificial intelligence in detecting and preventing cyberattacks.
  • The effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in managing chronic pain.
  • The relationship between personality traits and job satisfaction.
  • The effects of social isolation on mental and physical health in older adults.
  • The impact of cultural and linguistic diversity on healthcare access and outcomes.
  • The effectiveness of psychotherapy in treating depression and anxiety in adolescents.
  • The relationship between exercise and cognitive aging.
  • The effects of social media on body image and self-esteem.
  • The role of corporate social responsibility in promoting sustainable business practices.
  • The impact of mindfulness meditation on attention and focus in children.
  • The relationship between political polarization and media consumption habits.
  • The effects of urbanization on mental health and well-being.
  • The role of social support in managing chronic illness.
  • The impact of social media on romantic relationships and dating behaviors.
  • The effectiveness of behavioral interventions in promoting physical activity in sedentary adults.
  • The relationship between sleep quality and immune function.
  • The effects of workplace diversity and inclusion programs on employee retention.
  • The impact of climate change on global food security.
  • The role of music therapy in improving communication and social skills in individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
  • The impact of cultural values on the development of mental health stigma.
  • The effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques in reducing burnout in healthcare professionals.
  • The relationship between social media use and body dissatisfaction among adolescents.
  • The effects of nature exposure on cognitive functioning and well-being.
  • The role of peer mentoring in promoting academic success in underrepresented student populations.
  • The impact of neighborhood characteristics on physical activity and obesity.
  • The effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation interventions in improving cognitive functioning in individuals with traumatic brain injury.
  • The relationship between organizational culture and employee job satisfaction.
  • The effects of cultural immersion experiences on intercultural competence development.
  • The role of assistive technology in promoting independence and quality of life for individuals with disabilities.
  • The impact of workplace design on employee productivity and well-being.
  • The impact of digital technologies on the music industry and artist revenues.
  • The effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in treating insomnia.
  • The relationship between social media use and body weight perception among young adults.
  • The effects of green spaces on mental health and well-being in urban areas.
  • The role of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing substance use disorders.
  • The impact of workplace bullying on employee turnover and job satisfaction.
  • The effectiveness of animal-assisted therapy in treating mental health disorders.
  • The relationship between teacher-student relationships and academic achievement.
  • The effects of social support on resilience in individuals experiencing adversity.
  • The role of cognitive aging in driving safety and mobility.
  • The effectiveness of psychotherapy in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • The relationship between social media use and sleep quality.
  • The effects of cultural competency training on healthcare providers’ attitudes and behaviors towards diverse patient populations.
  • The role of exercise in preventing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • The impact of the gig economy on job security and worker rights.
  • The effectiveness of art therapy in promoting emotional regulation and coping skills in children and adolescents.
  • The relationship between parenting styles and child academic achievement.
  • The effects of social comparison on well-being and self-esteem.
  • The role of nutrition in promoting healthy aging and longevity.
  • The impact of gender diversity in leadership on organizational performance.
  • The effectiveness of family-based interventions in treating eating disorders.
  • The relationship between social media use and perceived loneliness among older adults.
  • The effects of mindfulness-based interventions on pain management in chronic pain patients.
  • The role of physical activity in preventing and treating depression.
  • The impact of cultural differences on communication and conflict resolution in international business.
  • The effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in treating anxiety disorders.
  • The relationship between student engagement and academic success in higher education.
  • The effects of discrimination on mental health outcomes in minority populations.
  • The role of virtual reality in enhancing learning experiences.
  • The impact of social media influencers on consumer behavior and brand loyalty.
  • The effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in treating chronic pain.
  • The relationship between social media use and body image dissatisfaction among men.
  • The effects of exposure to nature on cognitive functioning and creativity.
  • The role of spirituality in coping with illness and disability.
  • The impact of automation on employment and job displacement.
  • The effectiveness of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) in treating borderline personality disorder.
  • The relationship between teacher-student relationships and school attendance.
  • The effects of mindfulness-based interventions on workplace stress and burnout.
  • The role of exercise in promoting cognitive functioning and brain health in older adults.
  • The impact of diversity and inclusion initiatives on organizational innovation and creativity.
  • The effectiveness of cognitive remediation therapy in treating schizophrenia.
  • The relationship between social media use and body dissatisfaction among women.
  • The effects of exposure to natural light on mood and sleep quality.
  • The role of spirituality in enhancing well-being and resilience in military personnel.
  • The impact of artificial intelligence on job training and skill development.
  • The effectiveness of interpersonal therapy (IPT) in treating depression.
  • The relationship between parental involvement and academic achievement among low-income students.
  • The effects of mindfulness-based interventions on emotional regulation and coping skills in trauma survivors.
  • The role of nutrition in preventing and treating mental health disorders.

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  • 11 Best Blog Topic Research Tools (Free and Paid) + Tutorial

Ankit Singla Master Blogging

Written by Ankit Singla

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Last Updated on:

by Ankit Singla

Are you spending too much time searching for blog topic ideas?

Great blog topics are essential for success, but finding the right ideas can be challenging without the proper tools.

In this post, I’ll introduce you to the best blog topic research tools, both free and paid, based on over a decade of blogging experience.

Let’s go!

Blog Topic Research Tools

  • Semrush (Paid)
  • Mangools (Paid)
  • LowFruits .io (Paid)
  • Surfer (Paid)
  • Reddit (Free)
  • AnswerThePublic (Free)
  • AlsoAsked (Free)
  • Twitter (Free)
  • Quora (Free)
  • Search Response (Free)
  • QuestionDB (Free)

1. Semrush (Paid)

Topic research with Semrush is an absolute pleasure since it provided me with tons of great content ideas over the years. The topics are also incredibly diverse, ranging from question-based ideas to eye-catching comparison titles. 

Let me show you how I use it.

To follow along, start by creating your free 14-day trial account if you haven’t already.

Log in to your account, select ‘Content Marketing,’ and click ‘Topic Research.’  

Topic research tool in Semrush's main menu

Enter a broad topic or keyword that’s relevant to the content you’re trying to create. For example, if you want to produce content about fishing, enter “ fishing tips ” or something similar.  

Choose your target country and click ‘Get content ideas’ to complete this step.

Using the Semrush topic research tool

To “borrow” topic ideas from competitors, click ‘ Enter domain to find content on ‘ and enter your competitor’s blog URL. This will prompt Semrush to identify your competitor’s top-performing content.

Within seconds, Semrush will generate dozens of potential topic ideas based on your initial query. Each idea is sorted into cards, which contain the topic’s online traffic potential and headline templates you can use. 

Semrush's topic research tool results

If a particular topic catches your attention, click ‘Show more’ to reveal more useful insights. This includes additional headline ideas, the topic’s “ keyword difficulty ” rating, along with related questions and searches that will help readers understand your topic.

Semrush topic research tool headlines and questions

Want to get more topic ideas out of Semrush?

You can use the “ Mind Map ” view of the Topic Research tool to quickly discover interesting subtopics. This includes question-based topics and potential title ideas you can customize. 

Semrush Mind Map view for topic research

To obtain topic ideas from competitors, Semrush lets you analyze their blogs for their most popular content. For this, go to ‘Organic Research’ from the main menu and enter your competitor’s domain. 

Semrush organic research tool

In the organic research report, you can check your competitor’s top pages and long-tail keywords. Both sections are great for discovering in-demand blog topic ideas .

Using Semrush for organic competitor research

Not sure how to turn long-tail keywords into blog topics? 

Here’s what I usually do. 

Let’s say I want to target the keyword “trout fishing tips.” I simply combine it with popular blog post title formats, like: 

  • Top 10 Trout Fishing Tips for Beginners
  • Trout Catching Ultimate Guide: Trout Fishing Tips You Need to Know
  • Trout Fishing Tips and Tools for Rivers

Semrush is many things, but it’s not cheap (its entry-level plan costs $129.95 per month). The good news is, being a Master Blogging reader, you can use Semrush free for 14 days. 😉

2.  Mangools (Paid)

Mangools wins as my second favorite topic research tool. It offers three tools that can help you find great blog topics: SERPChecker , SiteProfiler , and KWFinder .

Looking for great topics that get high rankings?

SERPChecker by Mangools is a SERP analysis tool that evaluates popular content on Google.

To use it, log in to your Mangools account and select ‘SERPChecker’ from the main menu. 

Mangools SERPChecker tool from main menu

Just enter a relevant search query, hit ‘Analyze SERP,’ and wait for SERPChecker to pull in the top-ranking results. 

Mangools SERPChecker tool search bar

In addition to popular content, SERPChecker also scrapes useful information to help you prioritize the hottest topics from the best websites, like Domain Authority (DA), total number of backlinks, featured snippets, and more. 

SERPChecker topic research results

You can also get content topic ideas straight from competitors through SiteProfiler. This is the Mangools version of Semrush’s Organic Research tool, which can scan your competitor’s website for top-performing content ideas.

From your Mangools dashboard, click ‘SiteProfiler’ from the main menu and enter your competitor’s domain URL. 

Mangools SiteProfiler main interface

Scroll down to the ‘Top content’ section to find your competitor’s best posts. 

Mangools SiteProfiler top content results

Feel free to use these topics for your own blog or combine them with original ideas to create something better. 

Lastly, you may use KWFinder to obtain long-tail keyword ideas, which you can easily convert into blog post topics. Just head to ‘KWFinder’ from the main menu, enter a keyword or broad topic, and click ‘Find keywords.’ 

Using Mangools KWFinder interface

Within seconds, you’ll find dozens of long-tail keyword ideas you can use to create blog post topics. 

Mangools KWFinder showing long-tail keyword ideas

Just like Semrush, Mangools is a premium tool that requires a monthly subscription. You can check their different plans and prices here . 

Luckily, you can save almost $10 per month on a basic subscription using my 20% Mangools discount code.

3. LowFruits.io (Paid)

Find blog topic ideas that are easy to rank using LowFruits — a keyword research tool specifically built to find easy-to-target keywords.

I used this tool to elevate the rankings of my own posts on Google’s second page, which were eventually bumped to the first page and now generate a steady stream of organic traffic.

To use LowFruits for topic research, log in to your account and head to the ‘KWFinder’ from the main dashboard. 

LowFruits Main Dashboard

Enter a “ seed keyword ,” which is any phrase or word relevant to the topic you want to research, and click ‘Find keywords.’ 

LowFruits keyword finder tool interface

Once the initial research is complete, click the ‘Access’ button to reveal potential topic ideas around your seed keyword.

LowFruits keyword ideas 'access' button

LowFruits starts you off with a list of topic ideas that can be baked straight into your headlines. For example, the seed keyword “fishing tips” will get you the following: 

LowFruits topic research results

LowFruits also helps evaluate the popularity of topics by tracking important metrics, such as their estimated monthly search volume , average word count , and Cost Per Click (CPC) . The analysis also explores the topic’s “ weak spots ” or topics that are easy to dominate in search engine results. 

To run a topic analysis, select the check boxes of the topics you want and click the ‘SERP Extract and Analyze’ button in the bottom toolbar. 

LowFruits SERP data extract tool

Content topics are automatically sorted by LowFruits based on the number of “weak spots” in search engine results. These pertain to content with low-medium DA, forum threads, or social media posts — all of which don’t prioritize SEO. 

In other words, these are topics where you can easily outrank your competitors. Prioritize these topics and create content with SEO in mind to gain rankings.  

To find other low-competition topics, you can filter out topics that websites with a low DA rank for. Just click ‘DA < 10’ or ‘DA <20’ in the filters toolbar. 

Using LowFruits low DA filter

To find topics that align with your target audience’s objectives (make a purchase, compare products, etc.), use the search intent filter. Choose between high-intent, pre-purchase, post-purchase, and comparison to find the right topics for your goal.

Using LowFruits search intent filter

For even more topics, expand on your current topic and find subtopics by checking the ‘Suggestions’ and ‘Questions’ tabs. 

LowFruits tabs for more topic ideas

4. Surfer (Paid)

Surfer lets you combine topic research and content optimization into a single, seamless workflow. I’m particularly impressed with its powerful AI writing assistant, which is capable of instantly generating ideas for content sections, headings, and keywords for content.

To find topics with Surfer, go to ‘Keyword Research’ from the main menu. 

Surfer keyword research tool from the main menu

Enter a seed keyword and click ‘Create Keyword Research’ to generate relevant topic clusters (groups of posts about subtopics linked to a “pillar page,” which is about the main topic).

Surfer keyword research main interface

Let’s say your seed keyword is “WordAI.” Here are some of the topic ideas you can obtain from Surfer.

Surfer keyword research results for "WordAI"

As an added bonus, Surfer also includes useful metrics like the topic’s monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, and audience intent. These metrics will help you handpick topics that have the most traffic potential. 

My favorite Surfer feature is the “ Content Editor ,” which is accessible directly from Google Docs via a browser add-on. This lets you access most of its useful features for content creation, including suggested keywords, heading ideas, and the AI writing assistant. 

Surfer Google Docs sidebar

Surfer also lets you find topics that perform well in SEO through “ SERP Analyzer. ” This will help you find more topics based on common phrases, questions, and — of course — the Google search results.

Surfer SERP Analyzer results

5. Reddit (Free)

Reddit is a goldmine of community-driven topic ideas. My approach is to use specific search operators on Google. 

First, look for a subreddit related to your niche. Simply use the search bar, enter your main topic, and look for communities from the suggestions.

Reddit search suggestions for "fishing"

Once you find a relevant subreddit, copy its URL. 

Copying a subreddit URL

On Google use the “site:” search operator, paste the subreddit’s URL, and enter keywords to quickly find topic ideas. 

For example, use the search query below to find topic ideas from the “r/Fishing” subreddit:

Reddit topic research through Google

Find various topic ideas by experimenting with different keywords. Don’t forget to visit the actual Reddit post to gain insights on the kind of information readers want to see. 

6. AnswerThePublic (Free)

AnswerThePublic is a unique topic research tool that focuses on finding question-based content ideas. 

All I have to do is launch AnswerThePublic, enter 1-2 words, pick a target country, set a language, and click ‘Search.’ 

AnswerThePublic extracts all the relevant questions asked by users around the specified topic. You can then easily convert these questions into articles that provide the answers. 

AnswerThePublic topic search results

By default, AnswerThePublic suggestions appear using mind map visualizations. If I want to know more about the topic, I simply click a question to load the search results and take inspiration from the top pages. 

For example, if I click “how to get better at fishing,” Google will take me straight to these results:

AnswerThePublic topic search results through Google

7. AlsoAsked (Free)

AlsoAsked is a good alternative to AnswerThePublic for topic research. It scans Google for “People Also Ask” questions and compiles them into a single list—making it easier to choose relevant blog topics. 

AlsoASked topic research results for "fishing tips"

You can go deeper by clicking the ‘Plus’ icon next to any question. For example, let’s click the ‘Plus’ button next to “How do you catch big fish?”

AlsoAsked Expand Topic Idea

This prompts AlsoAsked to collect more related questions, which you can use as topics for your blog. 

AlsoAsked more question ideas for "how do you catch big fish?"

8. Twitter (Free)

To find trending topic ideas, I occasionally tap into the latest discussions on Twitter — now rebranded as “X.”

After creating an account, run a search using a keyword or hashtag to start looking for topic ideas. Scroll down the results to find popular topics or switch to the ‘Latest’ tab to find trends you can cover in your blog. 

#fishing results on Twitter or X

Twitter is perfect for finding newsworthy topics that can capture your target audience’s attention. But if you’re looking for more “ evergreen ” topics, consider attaching informational keywords like “ tutorial ,” “ tips ,” or “ guide ” to your search query. 

Searching for evergreen topics on Twitter

9. Quora (Free)

For question-based topic ideas, one of the best places to scan would be Quora . Its advanced search feature automatically pulls up topic and question recommendations while you type.

Quora topic research suggestions

To identify popular topics on Quora, look for posts with more “ upvotes ” than other results. 

Looking for Quora results with upvotes

It also helps to inspect posts with a high number of comments to discover ideas, tools, resources, and valuable insights from the community. 

Checking Quora comments for insights

Also Read : How To Get Traffic To Your Blog From Quora?

10. Search Response (Free)

Search Response features a collection of tools built for topic research and SEO content planning. 

Let me ask you a question, have you seen “ People Also Ask ” and “ People Also Searched For ” sections in Google search results?

I’m talking about these:

Google's "People also ask" results

These are the topic ideas that Search Response extracts.

Just pick the right tool from Search Response’s homepage. For example, if you want to obtain topics from “People Also Ask” suggestions, click ‘Go To PAA Tool.’

Search Response PAA tool

From there, just enter a seed keyword like “fishing tips” and click the magnifying glass icon. 

Search Response PAA tool interface

Search Response will provide you with a list of questions you can use as blog topics.

Search Response PAA question suggestions

To help you choose topics, Search Response includes useful metrics like monthly search volume, CPC, and search volume trend. 

Search Response topic results with monthly search volume

To analyze topic ideas in bulk, Search Response lets you export results as CSV files. Or, just click on the column headers to quickly sort topics based on a specific metric. 

11. QuestionDB (Free)

QuestionDB is another topic research tool that focuses on questions that internet users ask. I have recently discovered this tool, but I’m already impressed by its ability to generate tons of topic ideas and simple, clutter-free interface. 

To conduct topic research with QuestionDB, enter a seed keyword or phrase and click ‘Generate.’ 

QuestionDB main search tool

You should get enough questions to fuel your content ideation process for weeks. 

QuestionDB question/topic research results

Although QuestionDB works fast and provides a ton of topic ideas, you need the paid version to unlock the search volume and difficulty metrics. These pieces of data are crucial for determining the best topics to cover for getting more traffic or attaining higher search engine rankings

As a workaround, I use it alongside a standalone keyword research tool like Ubersuggest or Keyword Magic Tool by Semrush. This way, I don’t have to miss out on QuestionDB’s compelling topic ideas and Semrush’s content research capabilities.

Here’s what I do…

On QuestionDB’s results page, click ‘Download’ to save a copy of the question ideas.

QuestionDB download CSV button

Open the downloaded file using a spreadsheet app (Excel, Google Sheets, etc.) and copy the entire first column. This is the column that contains your question-based topics.

Copying first column from Excel

Moving on to Semrush, go to ‘Keyword Manager’ from the main menu and click ‘create a regular list’ to continue.

Semrush keyword manager "create a regular list" link

Give your keyword list a name and click ‘Create list.’ When done, click ‘Add keywords’ in the top-right corner.

This will open a pop-up window where you can manually add your question ideas.

Semrush keyword manager "add keywords" button

Next, paste your QuestionDB results into the keyword field.

Pasting keywords manually to Semrush keyword manager

Lastly, click ‘Add keywords’ and wait for Keyword Manager to pull in the data. Your new report should now have valuable metrics that will help you find profitable topics for your blog.

Semrush keyword manager results

Final Words

There are tons of ways to uncover great topic ideas for your blog. And, in most cases, it’s all about using the right tools. 

The list above contains my go-to topic research tools for bloggers. It keeps me supplied with fresh, attention-grabbing topics that not only get traffic, but also provide my audience with valuable information. 

Overall, I highly recommend choosing at least one paid tool like Semrush, Mangools, and Surfer for topic research. 

You can start today without spending a single cent using Semrush’s 14-day free trial offer .

Using a paid topic research tool will also uncover metrics that help you pick profitable ideas for your blog. This includes search volume, keyword difficulty, and search intent. 

Of course, you can use as many free topic research tools as you want. However, as I demonstrated with QuestionDB, it’s still a good idea to combine free tools with a paid one for effective topic research.

Disclosure: This article includes affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting us.

Ankit Singla Master Blogging

Ankit Singla

Ankit Singla is a full-time blogger, YouTuber, author, and public speaker. He founded and leads Master Blogging . With over 13 years of blogging expertise, he has assisted numerous aspiring bloggers in achieving their dreams of creating successful blogs.

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Master Blogging, powered by Ankit Singla’s 13 years of blogging expertise, is your reliable resource for building a profitable blogging business. Here, you’ll gain the insights and support to thrive in blogging.

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  • Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Research Topics

Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Simulation of Biofluid Flow and Heat Transfer in Living Biological Tissues

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About this Research Topic

Research in the mathematical modeling and numerical simulation of biofluid flow and heat transfer in living biological tissues is pivotal for advancing our comprehension of various physiological processes and disease mechanisms. In the realm of liver blood and bile circulation, as well as cancer therapy methodologies like hyperthermia, precise and effective numerical methods enhanced with image processing methodologies are indispensable. These methodologies aid in forecasting intricate flow patterns, temperature dispersion, and thermal impacts within biological tissues, thereby facilitating the formulation of efficacious treatment strategies and the optimization of therapeutic results. The importance of numerical simulations lies in their capacity to enhance the design and assessment of diverse biomedical procedures and devices, thereby contributing significantly to progress in medical research and practice. Continual advancements in advanced numerical and mathematical techniques are aimed at capturing the intricate interplay between biofluid dynamics and heat transfer phenomena in living tissues. Practices such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD), including finite element and finite volume analysis, and multiphysics modeling are extensively employed to emulate the complex geometry and behavior of biological systems. These practices enable researchers to examine the transient and nonlinear characteristics of bioheat transfer processes, incorporate tissue heterogeneity, and consider patient-specific parameters for personalized treatment planning. The amalgamation of sophisticated mathematical tools with experimental data enhances the precision and dependability of simulations, fostering more knowledgeable decision-making in clinical environments. The primary objective of research in mathematical modeling and numerical simulation of biofluid flow and heat transfer within living biological tissues, with a specific focus on liver blood and bile circulation, as well as cancer therapy modalities such as hyperthermia, is to progress the comprehension of underlying physiological mechanisms and optimize treatment strategies. By merging theoretical modeling with computational simulations, this research strives to elucidate the intricate interplay between blood flow, heat transfer, and tissue responses concerning liver diseases and cancer treatments. The ultimate aspiration is to devise pioneering therapeutic approaches capable of efficiently targeting diseased tissues, mitigating adverse effects, and enhancing patient outcomes. This call for participation beckons researchers and practitioners to explore various aspects associated with liver blood and bile circulation, cancer therapy methods encompassing hyperthermia, and alternative thermal strategies. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: • The modeling of tumor response to thermal therapy • The optimization of heat delivery mechanisms for cancer treatment • The comprehension of the role of blood perfusion in thermal therapies • Advanced numerical and mathematical methods, such as image processing based CFD methods, for simulating multi-physics problems appearing in mass and heat transfer in living tissues. Researchers are encouraged to delve into these domains to deepen our comprehension of bioheat transfer processes in biological tissues and promote the field of medical biophysics.

Keywords : biofluid flow, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) flow, nanofluid, dual phase lag heat transfer, stenosed artery, porous media

Important Note : All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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HPI-MIT design research collaboration creates powerful teams

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The recent ransomware attack on Change Healthcare, which severed the network connecting health care providers, pharmacies, and hospitals with health insurance companies, demonstrates just how disruptive supply chain attacks can be. In this case, it hindered the ability of those providing medical services to submit insurance claims and receive payments. This sort of attack and other forms of data theft are becoming increasingly common and often target large, multinational corporations through the small and mid-sized vendors in their corporate supply chains, enabling breaks in these enormous systems of interwoven companies. Cybersecurity researchers at MIT and the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) in Potsdam, Germany, are focused on the different organizational security cultures that exist within large corporations and their vendors because it’s that difference that creates vulnerabilities, often due to the lack of emphasis on cybersecurity by the senior leadership in these small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Keri Pearlson, executive director of Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan (CAMS); Jillian Kwong, a research scientist at CAMS; and Christian Doerr, a professor of cybersecurity and enterprise security at HPI, are co-principal investigators (PIs) on the research project, “Culture and the Supply Chain: Transmitting Shared Values, Attitudes and Beliefs across Cybersecurity Supply Chains.”

Their project was selected in the 2023 inaugural round of grants from the HPI-MIT Designing for Sustainability program , a multiyear partnership funded by HPI and administered by the MIT Morningside Academy for Design (MAD). The program awards about 10 grants annually of up to $200,000 each to multidisciplinary teams with divergent backgrounds in computer science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, engineering, design, architecture, the natural sciences, humanities, and business and management. The 2024 Call for Applications is open through June 3. Designing for Sustainability grants support scientific research that promotes the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on topics involving sustainable design, innovation, and digital technologies, with teams made up of PIs from both institutions. The PIs on these projects, who have common interests but different strengths, create more powerful teams by working together.

Transmitting shared values, attitudes, and beliefs to improve cybersecurity across supply chains

The MIT and HPI cybersecurity researchers say that most ransomware attacks aren’t reported. Smaller companies hit with ransomware attacks just shut down, because they can’t afford the payment to retrieve their data. This makes it difficult to know just how many attacks and data breaches occur. “As more data and processes move online and into the cloud, it becomes even more important to focus on securing supply chains,” Kwong says. “Investing in cybersecurity allows information to be exchanged freely while keeping data safe. Without it, any progress towards sustainability is stalled.”

One of the first large data breaches in the United States to be widely publicized provides a clear example of how an SME cybersecurity can leave a multinational corporation vulnerable to attack. In 2013, hackers entered the Target Corporation’s own network by obtaining the credentials of a small vendor in its supply chain: a Pennsylvania HVAC company. Through that breach, thieves were able to install malware that stole the financial and personal information of 110 million Target customers, which they sold to card shops on the black market.

To prevent such attacks, SME vendors in a large corporation’s supply chain are required to agree to follow certain security measures, but the SMEs usually don’t have the expertise or training to make good on these cybersecurity promises, leaving their own systems, and therefore any connected to them, vulnerable to attack.

“Right now, organizations are connected economically, but not aligned in terms of organizational culture, values, beliefs, and practices around cybersecurity,” explains Kwong. “Basically, the big companies are realizing the smaller ones are not able to implement all the cybersecurity requirements. We have seen some larger companies address this by reducing requirements or making the process shorter. However, this doesn’t mean companies are more secure; it just lowers the bar for the smaller suppliers to clear it.”

Pearlson emphasizes the importance of board members and senior management taking responsibility for cybersecurity in order to change the culture at SMEs, rather than pushing that down to a single department, IT office, or in some cases, one IT employee.

The research team is using case studies based on interviews, field studies, focus groups, and direct observation of people in their natural work environments to learn how companies engage with vendors, and the specific ways cybersecurity is implemented, or not, in everyday operations. The goal is to create a shared culture around cybersecurity that can be adopted correctly by all vendors in a supply chain.

This approach is in line with the goals of the Charter of Trust Initiative, a partnership of large, multinational corporations formed to establish a better means of implementing cybersecurity in the supply chain network. The HPI-MIT team worked with companies from the Charter of Trust and others last year to understand the impacts of cybersecurity regulation on SME participation in supply chains and develop a conceptual framework to implement changes for stabilizing supply chains.

Cybersecurity is a prerequisite needed to achieve any of the United Nations’ SDGs, explains Kwong. Without secure supply chains, access to key resources and institutions can be abruptly cut off. This could include food, clean water and sanitation, renewable energy, financial systems, health care, education, and resilient infrastructure. Securing supply chains helps enable progress on all SDGs, and the HPI-MIT project specifically supports SMEs, which are a pillar of the U.S. and European economies.

Personalizing product designs while minimizing material waste

In a vastly different Designing for Sustainability joint research project that employs AI with engineering, “Personalizing Product Designs While Minimizing Material Waste” will use AI design software to lay out multiple parts of a pattern on a sheet of plywood, acrylic, or other material, so that they can be laser cut to create new products in real time without wasting material.

Stefanie Mueller, the TIBCO Career Development Associate Professor in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and Patrick Baudisch, a professor of computer science and chair of the Human Computer Interaction Lab at HPI, are co-PIs on the project. The two have worked together for years; Baudisch was Mueller’s PhD research advisor at HPI.

Baudisch’s lab developed an online design teaching system called Kyub that lets students design 3D objects in pieces that are laser cut from sheets of wood and assembled to become chairs, speaker boxes, radio-controlled aircraft, or even functional musical instruments. For instance, each leg of a chair would consist of four identical vertical pieces attached at the edges to create a hollow-centered column, four of which will provide stability to the chair, even though the material is very lightweight.

“By designing and constructing such furniture, students learn not only design, but also structural engineering,” Baudisch says. “Similarly, by designing and constructing musical instruments, they learn about structural engineering, as well as resonance, types of musical tuning, etc.”

Mueller was at HPI when Baudisch developed the Kyub software, allowing her to observe “how they were developing and making all the design decisions,” she says. “They built a really neat piece for people to quickly design these types of 3D objects.” However, using Kyub for material-efficient design is not fast; in order to fabricate a model, the software has to break the 3D models down into 2D parts and lay these out on sheets of material. This takes time, and makes it difficult to see the impact of design decisions on material use in real-time.

Mueller’s lab at MIT developed software based on a layout algorithm that uses AI to lay out pieces on sheets of material in real time. This allows AI to explore multiple potential layouts while the user is still editing, and thus provide ongoing feedback. “As the user develops their design, Fabricaide  decides good placements of parts onto the user's available materials, provides warnings if the user does not have enough material for a design, and makes suggestions for how the user can resolve insufficient material cases,” according to the project website.

The joint MIT-HPI project integrates Mueller’s AI software with Baudisch’s Kyub software and adds machine learning to train the AI to offer better design suggestions that save material while adhering to the user’s design intent.

“The project is all about minimizing the waste on these materials sheets,” Mueller says. She already envisions the next step in this AI design process: determining how to integrate the laws of physics into the AI’s knowledge base to ensure the structural integrity and stability of objects it designs.

AI-powered startup design for the Anthropocene: Providing guidance for novel enterprises

Through her work with the teams of MITdesignX and its international programs, Svafa Grönfeldt, faculty director of MITdesignX and professor of the practice in MIT MAD, has helped scores of people in startup companies use the tools and methods of design to ensure that the solution a startup proposes actually fits the problem it seeks to solve. This is often called the problem-solution fit.

Grönfeldt and MIT postdoc Norhan Bayomi are now extending this work to incorporate AI into the process, in collaboration with MIT Professor John Fernández and graduate student Tyler Kim. The HPI team includes Professor Gerard de Melo; HPI School of Entrepreneurship Director Frank Pawlitschek; and doctoral student Michael Mansfeld.

“The startup ecosystem is characterized by uncertainty and volatility compounded by growing uncertainties in climate and planetary systems,” Grönfeldt says. “Therefore, there is an urgent need for a robust model that can objectively predict startup success and guide design for the Anthropocene.”

While startup-success forecasting is gaining popularity, it currently focuses on aiding venture capitalists in selecting companies to fund, rather than guiding the startups in the design of their products, services and business plans.

“The coupling of climate and environmental priorities with startup agendas requires deeper analytics for effective enterprise design,” Grönfeldt says. The project aims to explore whether AI-augmented decision-support systems can enhance startup-success forecasting.

“We're trying to develop a machine learning approach that will give a forecasting of probability of success based on a number of parameters, including the type of business model proposed, how the team came together, the team members’ backgrounds and skill sets, the market and industry sector they're working in and the problem-solution fit,” says Bayomi, who works with Fernández in the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative. The two are co-founders of the startup Lamarr.AI, which employs robotics and AI to help reduce the carbon dioxide impact of the built environment.

The team is studying “how company founders make decisions across four key areas, starting from the opportunity recognition, how they are selecting the team members, how they are selecting the business model, identifying the most automatic strategy, all the way through the product market fit to gain an understanding of the key governing parameters in each of these areas,” explains Bayomi.

The team is “also developing a large language model that will guide the selection of the business model by using large datasets from different companies in Germany and the U.S. We train the model based on the specific industry sector, such as a technology solution or a data solution, to find what would be the most suitable business model that would increase the success probability of a company,” she says.

The project falls under several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including economic growth, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action.

Furthering the goals of the HPI-MIT Joint Research Program

These three diverse projects all advance the mission of the HPI-MIT collaboration. MIT MAD aims to use design to transform learning, catalyze innovation, and empower society by inspiring people from all disciplines to interweave design into problem-solving. HPI uses digital engineering concentrated on the development and research of user-oriented innovations for all areas of life.

Interdisciplinary teams with members from both institutions are encouraged to develop and submit proposals for ambitious, sustainable projects that use design strategically to generate measurable, impactful solutions to the world’s problems.

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  • Americans Remain Critical of China

Many see China as increasingly influential and consider limiting its power a top priority

Table of contents.

  • Unfavorable views of China prevail
  • China’s role in the world
  • China’s territorial disputes
  • Americans lack confidence in Xi Jinping
  • Americans increasingly see China as an enemy
  • Limiting China’s power and influence
  • China’s economic influence on the U.S.
  • Acknowledgments
  • The American Trends Panel survey methodology

topic for or research

Pew Research Center conducted this study to understand Americans’ opinions of China, its role in the world and its impact on the U.S. economy. For this analysis, we surveyed 3,600 U.S. adults from April 1 to April 7, 2024. Everyone who took part in this survey is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATP’s methodology .

Here are the questions used for this analysis, along with responses, and its methodology .

A line chart showing American opinions of China between 2005 and 2024 where 81% of Americans hold an unfavorable view of China in 2024.

For the fifth year in a row, about eight-in-ten Americans report an unfavorable view of China, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Today, 81% of U.S. adults see the country unfavorably, including 43% who hold a very unfavorable opinion. Chinese President Xi Jinping receives similarly negative ratings.

Still, many Americans agree that China’s influence in the world has been getting stronger in recent years (71%). This sense is accompanied by concern about how China interacts with other nations: 61% of Americans are at least somewhat concerned about China’s territorial disputes with neighboring countries. (For more U.S. views of China’s role in the world, go to Chapter 1 .)

When it comes to China’s relationship with the United States, few see China as a partner (6%) and most Americans instead label it a competitor (50%) or an enemy (42%) of the U.S. They are likewise critical of China’s impact on the U.S. economy, describing its influence as large and negative. Roughly half of Americans think limiting China’s power and influence should be a top U.S. foreign policy priority, and another 42% think this should be given some priority. (For more assessments of China’s relationship with the U.S., go to Chapter 2 .)

A bar chart showing that the shares of conservative Republicans with a very unfavorable opinion of China, who consider China an enemy of the U.S., and who think China’s influence in the world has been getting stronger in recent years are especially high.

According to the Center survey, which was conducted April 1-7, 2024, among 3,600 U.S. adults, Republicans are more wary of China than Democrats are.

Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are about twice as likely as Democrats and Democratic leaners to hold a very unfavorable view of China and to consider China an enemy of the U.S. They are also more likely to say that China has recently become more influential.

Republicans also have wider ideological differences within their party, and conservative Republicans stand out on many measures :

  • Conservative Republicans are 25 percentage points more likely than moderate and liberal Republicans to express a very unfavorable view of China (68% vs. 43%). There is no difference between liberal Democrats and moderate and conservative Democrats on this question.
  • Conservative Republicans are also 31 points more likely than moderate and liberal Republicans to see China as an enemy of the U.S. No ideological difference is present among Democrats.
  • While 83% of conservative Republicans say China’s influence in the world has been getting stronger in recent years, 68% of moderate and liberal Republicans say the same. The latter is similar to the shares of moderate and conservative Democrats (67%) and liberal Democrats (69%) who hold this view.

A bar chart showing that the shares of older Americans Republicans with a very unfavorable opinion of China, who consider China an enemy of the U.S., and who think China’s influence in the world has been getting stronger in recent years are particularly high.

Older Americans are generally more critical of China. A 61% majority of adults ages 65 and older have a very unfavorable view of China, compared with 27% of adults under 30. Adults ages 65 and older are also more than twice as likely as those ages 18 to 29 to see China as an enemy of the U.S. For their part, younger adults are more likely than older ones to label China as a competitor and as a partner.

Older Americans also perceive more growth in China’s international influence. Roughly three-quarters of adults ages 65 and older say China’s influence has been getting stronger in recent years, while about two-thirds of adults under 30 say the same.

Americans with a sour view of the U.S. economy have more critical opinions of China. Those who say the current U.S. economic situation is bad are more likely to hold an unfavorable opinion of China and to say China has a great deal or fair amount of negative influence on the U.S. economy. They are also more likely to see China as an enemy when compared with those who see the economy positively.

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Congress voted against funding a cure for cancer just to block a win for Biden

Some republicans, refusing to give president joe biden a 'win,' voted against the renewal of funding for cancer research. vote for those who do not politicize americans' health..

I’m afraid I have some bad news.

As a hospital doctor , I’ve gotten pretty good at delivering bad news. Still, it never gets any easier. It certainly was not easy the day I told my 53-year-old patient, a devoted father of two, that his stomach pains were not from gallstones as everyone had assumed. Whenever a doctor says “bad news,” our minds often jump to that terrible “C”-word we fear: cancer. Unfortunately for my patient, I diagnosed him with a deadly form of cancer: cholangiocarcinoma . Over the next year, I would watch him deteriorate as he was readmitted with complication after complication.

Cancer affects everyone in some way, shape or form. Whether personally or through a family member or friend, the stress and heartbreak of a cancer diagnosis is immeasurable. Which is why I was so surprised when I read that Congress would not be renewing investments in the “Cancer Moonshot” initiative dedicated to curing cancer.

While there are many different forms of cancer and likely as many different research endeavors to treat them, the Moonshot program was the largest, organized effort by the U.S. government to find cures. Formed in 2016 by then-Vice President Joe Biden, after his own son was killed by brain cancer, the program has enjoyed bipartisan support and praise.

What if I can't find a doctor? Physician shortage will change how Americans receive care.

Initially funded in 2016 at $1.8 billion for seven years , with the aim to reduce cancer deaths by half by 2047, the program has made strides in expanding access to cancer detection screenings, especially to veterans, increased support for programs aimed at preventing cancer in the first place and provided funding to groundbreaking cancer cure research.

Biden's Cancer Moonshot initiative is Congress' latest partisan casualty

However, with the ever-present dysfunction of Congress, maybe predictably, the program has been stalled. Some Republicans, refusing to give Biden a “win,” voted against the renewal of funding .

Even though this would be a win for all Americans – and humanity – it apparently did not outweigh the politics of making a Democrat look good. This is the definition of party over country.

I'm a doctor. So is my mother. When she got cancer, I realized how little that mattered.

Republicans have stated budget cuts need to be made with an ever-growing debt. But where was this attitude when tax cuts for the wealthy were on the table in 2017? They don’t have to look at patients in the eye and break the devastating news that they have cancer. They don’t have to treat cancers that block intestines or drown a patient’s lungs in fluid.

Cancer claims more than 600,000 American lives a year. In economic terms, it has been estimated that the annual financial burden of cancer care in this country is about $200 billion .

If throwing some government money at this will expedite a cure, then it’s still a bargain.

I cared for my patient with cholangiocarcinoma through crises of pain, bowel obstructions, chemotherapy, kidney injury and, unfortunately, when he could no longer continue the fight of his cancer, his death. Besides the nurses and doctors supporting him, our patient had his family by his side.

Until recently, one could have argued that the government was also on his side, but Republicans and those who voted against funding the Moonshot Cancer initiative have made it clear that he, and other cancer patients like him, are not their priority.

But we, as voters, need to keep our priorities straight and focus on the health of our fellow Americans. Keep in mind who voted against the Moonshot Cancer initiative in the upcoming elections. Keep in mind those who continually vote against scientific progress, against funding for cancer research, against pandemic vaccines roll-outs or even against climate change, which is not just an existential crisis in the future but today exacerbates chronic health conditions such as asthma.

Keep this in mind and vote for those who do not politicize Americans’ health. Otherwise, the country’s prognosis is bad news for all of us.

Dr. Thomas K. Lew is an assistant clinical professor of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and an attending physician of Hospital Medicine at Stanford Health Care Tri-Valley. All expressed opinions are his own. Follow him on X: @ThomasLewMD

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90% of Pennsylvania Voters 50+ Are Committed to Voting in November

Kate Bridges, AARP Research

Pennsylvania voters 50 and older are the most committed age group for voting in the 2024 election and appear to be on track to be deciders in the upcoming federal and state elections, according to new AARP research.

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With key races in Pennsylvania showing close numbers, candidates have an opportunity to win the support of these voters over the coming months by addressing their top issues.

While immigration and rising prices are top issues for voters in Pennsylvania, more than two-thirds of voters 50-plus say Social Security, Medicare, policies that help people remain in their homes as they age, utility costs, and prescription drug prices, are all extremely or very important issues they will consider when deciding how to vote.

Moreover, Pennsylvania voters 50-plus say they would be more likely to vote for candidates who commit to protecting Social Security and supporting family caregivers.

  Methodology

AARP commissioned the bipartisan polling team of Fabrizio Ward & Impact Research to conduct a survey of voters in Pennsylvania. The firms interviewed 1,398 likely Pennsylvania voters, which includes a statewide representative sample of 600 likely voters, with an oversample of 470 likely voters 50-plus and an additional oversample of 328 Black likely voters 50-plus, between April 24–30, 2024. The interviews were conducted via landline, cellphone, and SMS to web.

For more information, please contact Kate Bridges at [email protected] . For media inquiries, please contact External Relations at [email protected] .

Suggested Citation:

Bridges, Kate. Pennsylvania Voter Survey, April 2024 . Washington, DC: AARP Research, May 2024. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00813.001

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Research team develops AI to perform chemical synthesis

by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

An AI leap into chemical synthesis

Chemistry, with its intricate processes and vast potential for innovation, has always been a challenge for automation. Traditional computational tools, despite their advanced capabilities, often remain underutilized due to their complexity and the specialized knowledge required to operate them.

Now, researchers with the group of Philippe Schwaller at EPFL have developed ChemCrow, an AI that integrates 18 expertly designed tools, enabling it to navigate and perform tasks within chemical research with unprecedented efficiency. Their research is published in Nature Machine Intelligence .

"You might wonder why a crow?" asks Schwaller. "Because crows are known to use tools well."

ChemCrow was developed by Ph.D. students Andres Bran and Oliver Schilter (EPFL, NCCR Catalysis) in collaboration with Sam Cox and Professor Andrew White at FutureHouse and University of Rochester.

ChemCrow is based on a large language model (LLMs), such as GPT-4, enhanced by LangChain for tool integration, to autonomously perform chemical synthesis tasks. The scientists augmented the language model with a suite of specialized software tools already used in chemistry, including WebSearch for internet-based information retrieval, LitSearch for scientific literature extraction, and various molecular and reaction tools for chemical analysis .

By integrating ChemCrow with these tools, the researchers enabled it to autonomously plan and execute chemical syntheses, such as creating an insect repellent and various organocatalysts, and even assist in discovering new chromophores, substances fundamental to dye and pigment industries.

What sets ChemCrow apart is its ability to adapt and apply a structured reasoning process to chemical tasks.

"The system is analogous to a human expert with access to a calculator and databases that not only improve the expert's efficiency, but also make them more factual—in the case of ChemCrow, reducing hallucinations," explains Andres Camilo Marulanda Bran, the study's first author.

ChemCrow receives a prompt from the user, plans ahead how to solve the task, selects the relevant tools, and iteratively refines its strategy based on the outcome(s) of each step. This methodical approach ensures that ChemCrow doesn't only work off theory, but is also grounded in practical application for real-world interaction with laboratory environments.

By democratizing access to complex chemical knowledge and processes, ChemCrow lowers the barrier to entry for non-experts while augmenting the toolkit available to veteran chemists. This can accelerate research and development in pharmaceuticals, materials science , and beyond, making the process more efficient and safer.

Journal information: Nature Machine Intelligence

Provided by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

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