Selecting Political Science Research Paper Topics: Professional Advice


Your political science research paper needs an amazing topic. Your instructor is letting you choose the topic. You cannot come up with an idea for your project. What do you do? You ask an expert, of courses. Here are a few ideas for creating a research paper topic and a few suggestions to get you started:

  1. Tip #1: Look at political blogs. One of the best sources of ideas for any current events writing project is a newsworthy blog. Fortunately, there are more blogs about politics than students could ever look at. Pick a big one that happens to be non-partisan and start looking at the headlines. Bloggers are more active than newspaper writers, so you are bound to see the latest controversial headlines.

  2. Tip #2: Go with what you know. If you know a particular candidate or issue and you want to explore it in depth, do it. Research papers are meant for you to learn, so why not learn more about something that already peaked your interest. Students who write about what interests them are more likely to succeed on the assignment.

  3. Tip #3: Dig through your textbook. The table of contents and the index are full of ideas for research papers. The ideas are usually general, but they can be great inspiration for more focused ideas. Not only will you get an idea for a research paper, but you will also get to know your textbook better.

  4. Tip #4: Talk to your instructor. Even if your instructor will not give you ideas for a research paper topic, you can always ask your instructor to help you narrow down your choices. If you go in with a few ideas, your instructor should be able to tell you what is manageable and what will be the best choice for you.

Topic Ideas:


  • Civil wars in developing countries

  • Terrorism and its effects on everyday life

  • Political conflicts in countries with resource scarcity

  • Political parties in different countries

  • Electoral systems in developing countries

  • Presidents vs. Parliaments

  • Political identities in different ethnicities

  • Social movements in different decades

  • Politics and gender: the growing role of women

  • Youth and politics: the growth of apathy

  • Balancing power

  • Politics in the ancient world

  • Politics in the Islamic World

  • Liberals and conservatives

  • What is anarchy and when does it work?

  • Communism after World War II

  • Politics in the inner city vs in rural areas

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