Research paper topics: Writing a research paper on emerging technologies

Just when you think you know every tech gadget on the market, something new is bound to appear on store shelves. (Courtesy of Phil Campbell)

Just when you think you know every tech gadget on the market, something new is bound to appear on store shelves. (Courtesy of Phil Campbell)

Are you puzzled about writing a research paper? Do you need to come up with good research paper topics?  Whether it’s education, law, health or business, the future will include emerging technologies that you can write about in your next paper. Even if it isn’t the technology itself, there are wider implications to the uses of technology. Questions of privacy and the control of information are just a couple of examples that show how technology impacts every profession.

Research paper topics

Just how many research paper topics could relate to technology? To get a good overview you might want to check out Questia, the Internet’s largest online library of full-text books and articles. Within the category of science and technology, you’ll find subcategories that include:

  • education technology
  • computers and the Internet
  • computer crimes
  • assistive technology

If you don’t want to write about the technology itself, maybe you’ll be more interested in writing about how new technologies are changing society and culture. One effect of technology is a loss of privacy. Another concern is how the use of social media has made people more vulnerable to criminals.

In his book, The Anti-Social Network: Cyberstalking Victimization among College StudentsBradford W. Reyns explained how social media technology has expanded the reach of stalkers.

According to Reyns, “There is no federal cyberstalking law per se, but certain federal laws such as 18 U.S.C. 875(c) (which prohibits threatening communication), 47 U.S.C. 223 (which proscribes the use of telecommunication devices to harass, threaten, annoy or abuse someone anonymously), and the amended Violence Against Women Act (1994, 2005) all prohibit cyberstalking at the federal level.”

Current information on technology topics

Technology is a moving target. No sooner do you understand a new technology than it is replaced by a new and improved version. You’ll find current information and commentary on the shifting sands of the technology landscape in the many blogs maintained by tech experts.

One of the most popular tech blogs is Mashable.com. Here you will find information, commentary, and reviews of new products along with fun facts and videos. For example, a review of Mashable’s home page as of November 14, 2013, shows stories about:

  • NASA’s map of typhoon Haiyan as viewed from space
  • the growing number of government requests for information from Google
  • changes to Dropbox services

Just for fun, Mashable stories also include a comparison of Xbox One to PS4, an NBA rendition of Jingle Bells, and 11 Forgotten McDonald’s Menu Items. Now we know why the site is called Mashable. It is a true mashup of topics and stories. Be sure to check out their column titled First to Know, which posts updates relating to technology news.

Other popular technology blogs include:

  • GigaOm
  • Gizmodo
  • Apple Weblog

You may discover that these blogs are so informative that you’ll want to bookmark them or subscribe to their feed.

Deep tech

Perhaps a career in information technology (IT) is in your future. Be sure to check out professional organizations such as CompTIA, the IT industry association.

In a November 12, 2013, post for the CompTIA.org blog titled “5 GHz Spectrum Band Offers Immense Possibilities for SMBs,” Matthew Starr discussed how the government may decide to increase the available band spectrum for unlicensed use.

Why would this be a hot topic? According to Starr, “The 5 GHz band of spectrum is currently home to a large portion of the nation’s Wi-Fi traffic, but there isn’t enough spectrum available to meet our growing need for Wi-Fi. More and more often, we’re encountering Wi-Fi congestion at airports and coffee shops, and sometimes even at home when we have multiple devices on the same network.”

Technology Resources

Other technology-related resources to consider include:

The Economist: Blogs include computer technology where you’ll find discussion of technology topics, such as the glitch with the new healthcare website and explanations of tech topics such as computer security.

Webopedia: Don’t know your Zimbu from your kitkat? Find definitions of technology terms here.

TechCrunch: The latest news and information on technology and tech company startups.

Engadget: Presents daily coverage of new gadgets and consumer electronics.

TheNextWeb: Covers news, business and culture related to technology.

MIT Technology Review: Follows technology from the lab into homes and the workplace. Articles include business reports, photo essays and reviews.

Edudemic: Contains resources related to education technology.

Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2): Presents information about the growth and use of technology in the healthcare industry.

What technology topic interests you the most? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Be sure to check out the research tools and tutorials on Questia to help you write your next research paper.

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