Formal Research Paper Topics

Writing a Research Paper

Summary:

This handout provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.

Contributors: Jack Raymond Baker, Allen Brizee, Ashley Velázquez
Last Edited: 2018-02-14 03:36:12

The Research Paper

There will come a time in most students' careers when they are assigned a research paper. Such an assignment often creates a great deal of unneeded anxiety in the student, which may result in procrastination and a feeling of confusion and inadequacy. This anxiety frequently stems from the fact that many students are unfamiliar and inexperienced with this genre of writing. Never fear—inexperience and unfamiliarity are situations you can change through practice! Writing a research paper is an essential aspect of academics and should not be avoided on account of one's anxiety. In fact, the process of writing a research paper can be one of the more rewarding experiences one may encounter in academics. What is more, many students will continue to do research throughout their careers, which is one of the reasons this topic is so important.

Becoming an experienced researcher and writer in any field or discipline takes a great deal of practice. There are few individuals for whom this process comes naturally. Remember, even the most seasoned academic veterans have had to learn how to write a research paper at some point in their career. Therefore, with diligence, organization, practice, a willingness to learn (and to make mistakes!), and, perhaps most important of all, patience, students will find that they can achieve great things through their research and writing.

This handout will include the following sections related to the process of writing a research paper:

  • Genre- This section will provide an overview for understanding the difference between an analytical and argumentative research paper.
  • Choosing a Topic- This section will guide the student through the process of choosing topics, whether the topic be one that is assigned or one that the student chooses himself.
  • Identifying an Audience- This section will help the student understand the often times confusing topic of audience by offering some basic guidelines for the process.
  • Where Do I Begin- This section concludes the handout by offering several links to resources at Purdue, and also provides an overview of the final stages of writing a research paper.

A 10-page paper will not seem such a great deal of work if you have a broad and interesting topic to explore throughout it. Business is rich in such topics. Here are several examples:

  • Workplace diversity.
  • Examine the policies used by companies to promote diversity in the workplace. Assess the positive effects from their implementation (e. g. increased productivity, job satisfaction, and loyalty) and possible problems. Discuss whether governmental regulation of workplace diversity does more good or bad.

  • Pay-performance link.
  • Review the theoretical basis of performance-based pay. Discuss main methods of linking employee payments to their performance. Find out which of these practices are most efficient today and why.

  • Business ethics.
  • Identify primary ethics concerns in a specific industry and the means companies can use to address them. Alternatively, you may compare business ethics laws in different countries, or investigate the reasons that corporate ethics policies do not work and offer ways for improvement.

  • Public-private partnerships.
  • Explore the history of partnerships between the government and private companies in your state. Identify the main advantages and disadvantages of this form of collaboration for both parties and for the public. Suggest the ways to make public partnerships more transparent and efficient.

  • Small business strategy.
  • Discuss the specific challenges of managing a small enterprise. Identify the features that all successful small companies share and suggest a course of action for a small business founder that can increase the likelihood of success.

  • Franchising.
  • Provide a brief overview of the history and main forms of franchising. Compare and contrast buying a franchise and launching a startup as two ways to start your own business. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and conclude which one can work better in which cases.

  • Business deregulation.
  • Investigate the arguments for and against business deregulation in your state and decide which side is right. Another way is to compare and contrast business regulation policies in two countries and find out which effects governmental regulations has on their economies.

  • Management techniques.
  • Discuss a popular management technique, such as “management by walking around.” Explore its theoretical basis, history of implementation, beneficial and adverse effects. You may also compare two management techniques side by side.

  • Business leadership training.
  • Begin with a brief overview of the business leadership concept and schools. Choose the leadership training approach that you consider to be the most efficient. Explain your choice.

  • Word-of-mouth in the digital age.
  • Discuss the use of such a powerful marketing instrument as “word-of-mouth” is in the digital era. Point out the key opportunities and challenges for companies.

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