#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

Iowa caucus and beyond for your research paper

For those who don’t spend their lives glued to C-SPAN, U.S. elections can be a crazy, confusing thing. Even if you do understand how the Iowa caucus and other presidential primaries play a part in getting someone elected president, the 2016 presidential election so far has been wilder than most.

Learn more about the Iowa caucus here. (Credit: The Des Moines Register)

Learn more about the Iowa caucus here. (Credit: The Des Moines Register)

There are multiple research paper topics to explore in Presidential politics, from understanding how our election process works to ways it could be improved. Read more

Migration crisis: Discuss how European governments are handling it in your research paper

The migration crisis hit a symbolic milestone in December 2015—according to the International Organization for Migration, European governments have accepted 1 million Syrian refugees and others from the Middle East and Africa.

Learn more about the recent migration crisis. (Credit: Reuters/Scanpix)

Learn more about the recent migration crisis. (Credit: Reuters/Scanpix)

The reasons these displaced people are fleeing—war, persecution and poverty—offer many topics for a research paper, as does how the European governments have handled the migrants’ desire to be granted asylum. Read more

Research paper topics: The China landslide and natural disasters

A landslide toppled 33 buildings in the city of Shenzhen, China, just before noon on Sunday, December 20, 2015. Landslides are a deadly natural disaster, and while it’s possible to predict them using modern technology, in practice, the damage is almost impossible to fully avoid.

Rescuers search for survivors of the China landslide. (Credit: Color China Photo/AP)

Rescuers search for survivors of the China landslide. (Credit: Color China Photo/AP)

If you are looking for research paper topics for your environmental studies or disaster management courses, consider looking at the China landslide, comparing the deadliest landslides, or looking into the technologies that might be used to predict them. Read more

Research paper topic: Trumbo movie illuminates Hollywood blacklist

We may think that today our biggest threat is from terrorism yet the film, Trumbo reminds us of a time in U.S. history when our fears were focused on Communism. The Trumbo movie stars Bryan Cranston as the famed writer who landed on the Hollywood blacklist for his political views.

Find out how Trumbo exemplifies Communism here. (Credit: orlandosentinel.com)

Find out how Trumbo exemplifies Communism here. (Credit: orlandosentinel.com)

Helen Mirren co-stars as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper who helped fuel the “Red Scare” that took over the nation during the 1950s. If you’re interested in the subject of censorship in America and the dangers of political oppression, consider investigating Trumbo and the Hollywood blacklist for your next research paper. Read more

Mother Teresa becoming a saint as your research topic

The Catholic Church appears to have Mother Teresa on the fast track to becoming a saint. The nun known around the world for her work with the poor in India died in 1997, and the latest reports indicate that Pope Francis signed a decree that recognizes a miracle linked to her.

Learn more about Mother Teresa here. (Credit: olphscv.org)

Learn more about Mother Teresa here. (Credit: olphscv.org)

That would make the second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa, a necessary hurdle for canonization. The history of how the Catholic Church has granted sainthood, as well as Mother Teresa’s legacy, are just some ideas to pursue in a research paper. 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: Are home-grown hate groups our largest domestic terrorism threat?

On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 14 people were killed in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA. The news came hardly a week after the shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility on Friday, November 27, 2015. Were these acts of domestic terrorism?

Find out more on the topic of domestic terrorism. (Credit: CREDO)

Find out more on the topic of domestic terrorism. (Credit: CREDO)

The Planned Parenthood incident has prompted criticism of political rhetoric that may fuel home-grown hate groups and inflame individuals who are mentally unbalanced. It’s a question that deserves exploration in your next research paper. Read more

Examine landmark Supreme Court cases for your research paper

On Friday, November 13, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear legal arguments on a challenge to a Texas law pertaining to abortion. This will be the first major abortion case before the court since it upheld a federal ban on late-term abortions in 2007.

Learn more about Supreme Court cases. (Credit: uss-america)

Learn more about Supreme Court cases. (Credit: uss-america)

When asked to name landmark Supreme Court cases, most people think of Roe v. Wade, which established the legality of abortions. But there are many cases that have shaped the legal environment in the U.S. and they would make for an exciting research paper project. Read more

Discover how to win a presidential election for your research paper

The U.S. presidential election won’t happen until November 2016 and yet the campaign is already in full swing. Since it’s hard to avoid hearing news about it you may have decided to make the election the focus of your next research paper. To get a start on the topic, check out the new film, Our Brand Is Crisis, starring Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton.

Learn more on the topic of the upcoming presidential election. (Credit: PSU.edu)

Learn more on the topic of the upcoming presidential election. (Credit: PSU.edu)

It’s a political satire of a Bolivian presidential campaign that is fueled by competing American campaign strategists. While the story is fiction, it may spark your interest in learning more about the rough and tumble process of winning an election. Read more