#OscarsSoWhite and diversity as your research topic

For the second year in a row, all of the actors in the 2016 Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress categories are white. In 2015, the hashtagged phrase #OscarsSoWhite made the rounds on Twitter, protesting the lack of diversity in the Academy Awards. When the situation repeated itself in 2016, noted Hollywood voices including Spike Lee, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith announced their intentions to boycott the Oscars to make a statement.

Find out more on how the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag came to life. (Credit: Ivan Bandura)

Find out more on how the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag came to life. (Credit: Ivan Bandura)

The Academy was quick to react, and has released a number of changes dedicated to increasing the diversity of the Academy—and thus, they hope, its award winners—by 2020. If you are looking for a research paper topic in your courses on film studies, African American studies, or civil rights, consider taking a look at the changes being made by the Academy—and weighing in on whether or not this is enough. Read more

Chi-Raq adapts Lysistrata to critique gun violence as your research topic

Combining Ancient Greek comedy with modern gang warfare isn’t an obvious choice. But for Spike Lee, Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata offered an opportunity to show the violence raging in modern Chicago, where gun violence has become so extreme that a Chicago rapper, King Louie, coined the portmanteau Chiraq to describe it.

Learn more about the Lysistrata and Chi-Raq connection. (Credit: Twitter)

Learn more about the Lysistrata and Chi-Raq connection. (Credit: Twitter)

With Teyonah Parris as Lysistrata, the movie, most of it in verse and rap, gives members of the Chicago community impacted by gun violence (several of whom were cast in the film) a chance to take a stand against the war raging in their neighborhoods. If you are looking for a good research paper topic on gun violence, film adaptation, or for your classics course, consider looking at the themes of the Chi-Raq movie. Read more

Fraudulent research papers in scientific journals

I know how daunting it is to scour research databases and libraries looking for good research articles in business or scientific journals from which to write your term paper.

Don't be fooled by fraudulent journals when conducting research. (Credit: FoxNews.com)

Don’t be fooled by fraudulent journals when conducting research. (Credit: FoxNews.com)

I always consulted the research librarian who seemed to know just what I was looking for. To add to the stress is the increasing prevalence of fraudulent articles. Here are some famous cases of fraud and how to detect fraudulent research. Read more

5 most viewed Questia blog posts of 2015

Another year has gone by so we thought now is a good time to stroll down memory lane and share with you our most viewed blog posts of 2015.

Check out our list of the 5 most viewed blog posts. You might see one you haven’t viewed before! Read more

Research topic: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Time Person of the Year

Despite the horrendously unflattering portrait of Angela Merkel on the cover of the magazine, the German Chancellor deserved being named Time Person of the Year for 2015.

Learn more about German Chancellor Angela Merkel for your research paper. (Credit: Confused Sandals)

Learn more about German Chancellor Angela Merkel for your research paper. (Credit: Confused Sandals)

Some interesting research paper topics on Angela Merkel, called the most powerful woman in the world, include her achievements and the small number of women chosen by Time magazine for the honor. Read more

Research topic: Discuss animation in the Peanuts Movie

Good grief! Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang have returned to the animated screen in the new Blue Sky Studios Peanuts Movie. But unlike their annual holiday appearances in films like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Blue Sky Studios features them in a whole new way: 3d. Using this modern animation style rather than the 2d animation more nostalgic fans find familiar, Blue Sky Studios hopes to introduce the Peanuts characters to a new generation.

Learn more about how animation was used in the Peanuts Movie. (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Learn more about how animation was used in the Peanuts Movie. (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

But has it worked? Or have nostalgic viewers held back from embracing the new format? If you are considering a research paper topic for your animation or history of comics class, take a look at The Peanuts Movie. Read more

Investigative journalism as your communications research topic

The Spotlight movie explores The Boston Globe’s Spotlight journalism team’s uncovering of the sexual abuse of Catholic priests in the Boston diocese from conception, through investigative reporting to publication. The movie specifically highlights the methods used by the journalists to uncover a very carefully hidden secret.

Learn more about investigative journalism. (Credit: Joyce's Choices)

Learn more about investigative journalism. (Credit: Joyce’s Choices)

Topics for research papers for your journalism or communications class could talk about the role of investigative journalism in reporting important news. Read more

How much truth in “based on a true story?”: Using the Everest movie as a research paper topic

“That only happens in the movies,” people say, lending to the idea that films aren’t the most credible sources, even those that are based on a true story. But is it possible for a feature film’s primary responsibility to be to present the true facts, to tell a good story, or to do both? In the Everest movie, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, and Keira Knightly, among other A-list actors, director Baltasar Kormákur worked to incorporate a large degree of authenticity into the story of Beck Weathers and others who, in 1996, were on Mount Everest on its deadliest day up to that point.

How much of the Everest movie is based on a true story? (Credit: Icy Tales)

How much of the Everest movie is based on a true story? (Credit: Icy Tales)

Weathers’s book Left for Dead was one of the major sources for the film, which, according to critics, is high on cinematography and realism–possibly at the expense of the plot. For your next research paper topic in film studies, consider looking at the balance of plot vs. realism in the man vs. nature film, Everest. Read more

Media studies research topic: Michael Moore and documentary films

It has been six years since Michael Moore released his last documentary film, Capitalism: A Love Story.

Learn more about Michael Moore's latest documentary film. (Credit: Listal.com)

Learn more about Michael Moore’s latest documentary film. (Credit: Listal.com)

His latest effort, Where to Invade Next, was unveiled during the Toronto International Film Festival and poses a range of interesting research paper topics. Read more

Why proper grammar ranks high among job skills

On September 7, 2015, at a One Direction concert, singer Harry Styles proved that he is more than a rock star. Noticing a poster being held by a sixteen-year-old fan, the singer asked that the poster be brought to him. He then took a marker and corrected the spelling and grammar, autographed the item and returned it to the teen who tweeted her appreciation.

One Direction's Harry Styles corrected a fan's grammar during a concert. (Credit: BBC.co.uk)

One Direction’s Harry Styles corrected a fan’s grammar during a concert. (Credit: BBC.co.uk)

It’s a good idea to develop good communication skills as part of our repertoire of job skills. Knowing how to write and use proper spelling, punctuation and grammar can make a big difference in your career success. Let’s look at how to improve your writing skills. Read more