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20 unexpected academic topics for research papers


The world of research is cluttered with boring predictable safe research. It can be seductive in its own way to approach a topic with almost full knowledge of what to expect and how it will be received by the public. This safety comes at a price however. The research will never make headlines or change the way the world works.

Rather than stick to the status quo in academia, a select few researchers chose to make their own way and research topics that are someone unusual. Here are 20 unexpected academic topics for the bolder researchers among us:

  1. Can lucid dreaming be used to treat anxiety and or depression?
  2. Does processed sugar adversely affect immunity?
  3. Can sex addiction be ameliorated by scheduled doses of pornography as treatment?
  4. What benign addictions can serve as suitable replacements for more malignant addictions?
  5. Should human animal hybrids be humanely cloned to provide donor organs to people unlikely to qualify for human organs?
  6. Should alien species be contacted if proven to exist?
  7. Should recycling facilities be forced to prove their efficiency before being allowed to resume operation?
  8. Should unhealthy foods be made illegal in the same manner as drugs?
  9. How much can a fetus learn?
  10. How can modern slavery be completely eradicated?
  11. Are livestock animals aware of their fate?
  12. Should children be allowed to pursue careers in the entertainment industry before age sixteen?
  13. Should whales and other creatures with approximate human intelligence be allowed to be kept in captivity for entertainment?
  14. How do historical records from China differ from those put together by western academics?
  15. How valid is the theory that all of existence is an illusion?
  16. Does the sense of being stared at hint at additional extra sensory powers?
  17. Is lucid dreaming observable in non human animals?
  18. Is it more beneficial psychologically to have a wide but shallow network of friends or to have few friendships of great depth?
  19. How does the belief in supernatural phenomena influence the incidence of mental illness?
  20. Do rituals lead to greater connectivity in society?

These topics may not seem bold to all of us, they may even be too tame in some quarters. The subjectivity which clouds our analyses in all situation means that anything can be risque if you chose your audience well. The best way to approach your research is therefore to ignore the labels put forth by others and research what you think will change the world for the better.

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