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INRW 0302 | Integrated Reading and Writing

Research Paper

Once you have chosen your topic, the next step is to begin collecting information you can use to support your writing. Your instructor will tell you how many sources you are required to use for each essay. Here are a few steps you can take that will make this research process easier.

  • Know something about your topic. This sounds like a no-brainer but it will help in several ways - it can help you choose search terms (unique words for the topic) that can be used for searching, it will also help you evaluate the reliability of the information you find with your search.
  • Narrow down your topic. A broad topic is always more difficult to research than a specific one. A search like  "global warming" will get you thousands of search results, so you will spend a lot of time wading through those results to find what you need. A search like "global warming" and solutions will find fewer results and they will be more specific to your topic.
  • Investigate different resources. You will miss out on lots of information if you limit yourself to using resources you can find online - whether databases or internet. The older your topic is, the more useful you will find books for your research. Books are generally more thoroughly researched and will give you more in-depth information than articles found in databases.
  • Check your sources with your instructor. If you are not sure if the sources you are using are acceptable, contact your instructor during their office hours and ask that they take a look at what you have found thus far. If you are heading down the wrong road this can save you many hours of redoing your research!
  • Ask a Librarian! Each San Jac Library has professional researchers (librarians) available in-person and online to help students with the research process. They can help you focus your research, sometimes suggest keywords to use for your topic, and guide you to the best resources available.

Most instructors have some topics that they will not allow you to research for your persuasive papers, therefore you will not find abortion, gun control, animal experimentation and capital punishment on this list of topics. Please check with your instructor to make sure that your chosen topic is suitable for your persuasive paper.

Suggested Topics:

Abstinence Education  •  ADHD •  Adoption from Foreign Countries  • Adult Children & Independence  • Advocacy Groups  •  Affirmative Action  • Afghanistan  • Agricultural Subsidies  •  AIDS / HIV  • AIDS Drugs in Africa •  Airline Subsidies  •  Alcohol Abuse & Youth  •  Allergies in Schools  • Alternative Energy Exploration •  Alternative Medicine  •  Amazon Deforestation  •  Arab-Israeli Conflict  • Arctic Drilling • Armenian Genocide  •  Artificial Insemination  •  Arts & Culture  • Arts & Music in Public Schools • Arts Funding  •  Assisted Suicide  •  Atheism  •  Athletes & Drugs •  Autism • Banning Books  • Bans, Trans Fat •  Behavior Drugs & Children •  Big Bang Theory  • Big Box Retailers  • Bilingual Education  • Biological & Chemical Weapons  • Blogging  • Blood Diamonds  • Body Image & the Media  • Boomerang Children  • Border Walls • Bottled Water • Bullying in Schools • Burning of the Flag • Campaign Finance • Canadian Pharmaceuticals • Capitalism vs. Socialism • Carbon Offsetting • Celebrity Activism • Cell Phone Bans • Cell Phones in School • Censoring Student Newspapers • Censorship • Censorship & Democracy • Chemical & Biological Weapons • Child Labor • Chinese Exports • Christianity in the U.S. • Church & State, Separation of • Circumcision • Citizens' Rights • Civil Disobedience • Cleanup of Toxic Dump Sites • Climate Change • Cloning • Coal-Burning Power Plants • Colleges & Early Decision • Complementary Medicine • Condom Distribution • Conscientious Objectors • Conspiracy Theories • Contaminated Food • Corporal Punishment • Cosmetic Surgery • Creationism • Crime & Punishment • Cuba • Cyberbullying • Darfur • Daylight Saving Time • Decline of Newspapers • Decline of Reading • Deforestation in the Amazon • Developing Markets • Discipline of Children • Distance Learning • DNA Profiling • Domestic Violence • Draft vs. Volunteer Army • Dress Codes • Drilling in the Arctic • Drug Policy • Drug Testing for Sports • Drug Testing in Schools • Dual Credit • Early Admission • Earth & Environment • Eco-friendly Consumerism • Economic Aid • Economic Stimulus Package • Education Standards • Electoral College • Electoral Reform • Electronic Surveillance • Electronic Voting • Embryonic Stem Cells • Emergency Contraception • Emerging Economies • Eminent Domain • Endangered Species • Enemy Combatants • Energy & Conservation • English as National Language • Euthanasia • Evolution • Evolution in the Classroom • Executive Pay • Factory Farming • Faith-Based Initiatives • Farm Subsidies • FDA Approvals & Regulations • Federal Identification Cards • FEMA • Female Priests • Feminism • Flag Burning • Flood Insurance • Food Contamination • Food, Organic • Foreign Language Graduation Requirements • Foreign Military Bases • Foreign Policy • Forensic Genetics •Foster Children Programs •Free College Tuition •Free Internet •Free Speech •Free Trade •Fuel Efficiency •Funding for the Arts •Gambling, Legal •Gangs •Gay & Lesbian Adoption •Gay Marriage •Gays in the Military •Gender Equality •Genetic Fingerprinting •Genetic Screening •Genetically Modified Foods •Global Democracy •Global Economy •Global Warming •Globalization •GMOs •God •Government Access to Records •Government Funding •Government Funding & Sports Facilities •Government Protest •Green Consumerism •Green Jobs •Greenhouse Effect •Health Classes •Health Insurance •Helicopter Parents •Highway Carpools • Highway Tolls •HIV/AIDS Status & Privacy •Holistic Medicine •Home Schooling • Homeland Security & Civil Liberties •Homelessness •Honey Bee Population • Housing Developments & Water Shortages •HPV Vaccine •Human Cloning •Human Rights •Hunting •Identity Theft •Illiteracy •Immigration •Immigration Restrictions •Immunizations •Impeachment •Imported Product Safety •Importing Drugs from Canada •Income Tax vs. Sales Tax •Industrial Agriculture •Infrastructure •Insecticide Spraying •Intellectual Property Rights •Intelligent Design •International Adoption •Internet •Internet Censorship •Invasive Species •Iraq •Iraq War •Ireland, Northern •Irish Republican Army •Israel & the Palestinians •Junk Food in Schools •Jury Duty •Juvenile Offenders •Labor Unions •Laptops in Schools •Legalization of Marijuana •Legalized Gambling •Library Records •Literacy •Lobbying Reform •Mandatory Drug Testing •Marine Resources •Media & Body Image •Media & Communications •Media Bias •Media Consolidation • Medical Insurance •Medicare •Medicine & Ethics •Mexican Border Security Policy •Military Service •Minimum Drinking Age •Minimum Wage Increases •Missile Defense •Mortgage Crisis •Multiculturalism •Music & Arts in Public Schools •Music Censorship •Music Downloading •NASA •National Identification Cards •Native American Casinos •Native American Rights •NATO •Natural Theology •Needle Exchange Programs •No Child Left Behind •No-Fault Car Insurance •Noise Pollution •Nonnative Species •Nonviolence  • North Korea •Northern Ireland •Nuclear Power •Nuclear Proliferation •Nuclear Weapons •Obesity •Obesity & Health Insurance •Ocean Policy •Oil in the Arctic • Online Degree Programs •Ordination of Gay Clergy •Organic Food •Outsourcing •Overfishing • Overpopulation •Ozone Layer •Pacifism •Pakistan •Palestine •Parental Consent •Parents on College Campus • Parole System •Patriot Act •Pedophilia, Penalties for •Performance Enhancing Drugs • Pharmaceuticals Advertising •Pharmacies & Controversial Drugs •Physical Education •Pirates • Plastic Surgery •Pledge of Allegiance •Political Parties •Polygamy •Population Growth •Pornography Laws • Power Plants, Coal-Burning •Prayer in Schools •Preemptive Strikes •Preventable Disease & Vaccine Supply •Prisoner Rights •Prisoners of War •Privatization of Education •Prostitution •Protest, Government •Public Health Assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa •Public Transportation •Quality of Life • Race & Culture •Racial Profiling •Raising the Minimum Wage •Reading, Decline of •Religion •Renewable Energy •Reparations for Slavery •Restitution to Native Americans •RFIDs •Right of Property •Rights of Convicted Felons •Safety of Imported Products •Salary Cap •Sales Tax vs. Income Tax •Same Sex Marriage •School Choice •School Prayer •School Uniforms •School Violence •Schools & Education • Sentencing for Juvenile Offenders •Separation of Church & State •Sex Education •Sex Offender Laws • Sex Workers • Single-Parent vs. Nuclear Families • Smallpox Vaccinations • Smoking • Social Integration • Social Networking Sites • Social Security • Sports • Sports Discrimination & Women • Sports Facilities & Government Funding • Standardized Testing • Stem Cell Research • Steroids • Strip Mining • Subsidizing HIV/AIDS Drugs • Substance Abuse • Surrogate Mothers • Sustainable Development • Tasers • Tax Cuts • Tax Reform • Taxes • Teachers' Rights • Term Limits • Third World Relief • Title IX • Tort Reform • Torture • Toxic Cleanup • Trans Fat Bans • Transportation, Public • U.S. Constitution • U.S. Withdrawal From Post-WWII Bases • Underage Drinking • Unions • United Nations • Universal Health Care • Uranium Enrichment • Vaccine Supply • Vaccines & Health Hazards • Vegetarianism • Vending Machines • Veterans • Video Games • Vietnam • Violence in Schools • Violence in the Media • Violent Protest • Virtual Worlds & MMORPGs • Vivisection • Volunteer Army vs. Draft • Volunteering & Public Service • Voting & Elections • Voting Machines • Voting Rights for Felons • Vouchers, School • Wage Standards • War & Peace • War in Afghanistan • War on Terror • War Profiteering • War Protests & Free Speech • Water, Bottled • Welfare • Wikipedia • Wind Power • Wiretaps • Women Priests • Women's Issues • Women's Rights • Wrongful Convictions & DNA • Year-Round School • Zero Tolerance| Central Library: 281-476-1850 | Generation Park Campus: 281-998-6150 x8133 | North Library: 281-459-7116 | South Library: 281-998-6150 ext. 3306