Top recommended books for research papers by field of study

Heading to a local library is a great start to finding the perfect book for your research.

Heading to a local library is a great start to finding the perfect book for your research.

As you settle back into your course work after midterms, you should begin thinking of research topics for final term papers. Here are some suggestions for top recommended books in various college majors. Some are classic books in the field of study, some are required reading and some are suggestions for popular titles. Everyone has their favorite books in their field, but here are some more to add to your library. Don’t forget to visit Questia’s library resource pages for suggestions for each category.

English & Literature

The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communication, by Amy Einsohn. A basic text for beginners and professionals alike that offers information and advice for copyeditors. Rules for punctuation, spelling, capitalization, numbers, abbreviations and more are presented.

The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White. An old book that has never gone out of style, it is the definitive text on writing English clearly and properly.

Check out Questia’s Communication and Literature sections.


The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, by Emile Durkheim. A look at the source of human social identity, the book discusses the essential and permanent aspect of humanity, how men and women relate to one another, and the sources of our beliefs.

Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert. An introduction to behavioral economics by a Harvard psychologist reveals what people value, how they make decisions, why they avoid satisfaction to please others, and how they create illusions of happiness.

Check out Questia’s Sociology & Anthropology section.

Art & Architecture

Anatomy: A Complete Guide for Artists, by Joseph Sheppard. This book offers a guide to understanding the human form and knowledge of composition and light.

Translations from Drawing to Building, by Robin Evans. A collection of essays from the famous architect discussing not only geometry and representation of architecture but also society’s role in the evolution of building types.

Check out Questia’s Art & Architecture section.


The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey. For young adults starting out in the business world, this book offers personal and professional development tips. “His advice — about prioritization, empathy, self-renewal, and other topics — is both insightful and practical,” noted John Coleman in “11 Books Every Young Leader Must Read,” October 11, 2012 in the Harvard Business Review blog.

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less, by Richard Koch. A look at how the 80/20 distribution of wealth and income applies to the modern world, and how investors and business owners can identify and exploit the profitable 20 percent.

Check out Questia’s Economics & Business section.


The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher, by Rosemary and Harry Wong. The best-selling book that guides teachers through structuring and organizing a classroom for success. Practical and inspiring. “It has countless valuable messages, particularly in the area of classroom management,” said John J. Grady, principal of Fairgrounds Junior High School, Nashua, NH, in “Principals Recommend Best Professional Books,” on

Learning to Love Math: Teaching Strategies That Change Student Attitudes and Get Results, by Judy Willis, M.D. The book offers strategies for inspiring students to develop a love of mathematics. 

Check out Questia’s Education section. 


The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, & Power, by Daniel Yergin. The Pulitzer Prize winning book explains how the twentieth century was built on oil. Wars, economies, businesses, nations, wealth and power were all created by obtaining and controlling oil.

A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson. A humorous yet profound look at human understanding of the whole world offers insight from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization through the works of archaeologists, mathematicians, historians and others.

Check out Questia’s History section.


The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. “Get this book early on in your academic career and keep it on hand to consult as you write research papers, literature reviews, lab reports and other writing assignments,” suggested Kendra Cherry in “Psychology Books for Students.

The Interpretation of Dreams, by Sigmund Freud. The classic text by the father of modern psychology introduced the world to the unconscious and the structure of the id, ego, and superego.

Check out Questia’s Psychology section.


On the Origin of the Species, by Charles Darwin. Yup, a classic, but also a valuable guide through the origins of humanity. 

Connections, by James Burke. The book examines the ideas, inventions, and coincidences that have resulted in today’s technological advancements, such as the production line, television, plastic, and the computer.

Check out Questia’s Science & Technology section.

Extra credit

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach. One of my favorite books, this short, classic story shows how anyone, no matter how small or inconsequential, can follow his heart, stand out from the crowd, embrace optimism, teach others, and learn in the process.

Share your top recommended books that can help in researching term paper topics in the comments!

5 replies
  1. kanthi manel says:

    my research area is demography. social and economic security of urban migrant poor people is my topic. I want to find some books which are related to urbanization and migration with social and economic security. As well as relevant research articles
    Best regards

  2. Damon says:

    I would like boring books, you know. So self-improvement, sociology, psychology are off limits in my research. Anything that has some sort of implication about myself usually leads me away from thinking rationally. I was hoping to find a “boring book” under your science heading, but instead I find Darwin’s Origin of Species. You know how loaded that work is. The way that you’re recommending Darwin’s thesis along with books like “Stumbling on Happiness” self-improvement, psychology, business and sociology, you might as well say, “hey, this as book about social-Darwinism”. I suppose the heading, “Science” is very vague. So Darwin’s thesis works well. But if the heading was “Biology” or something like that, I hope you wouldn’t refer to Darwin.

    Anyway, Boring Books please.

  3. Eulith Campbell says:

    I would like information on Invisible man. I have to write ten pages my topics are black nationalism and Visibility / invisibility as a reading of racial identity. Do you have books to recommend


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.