You have an assignment to write an essay or research paper and you need an idea. It can be hard to come up with ideas that ring your bell and inspire you to write your best paper. We can help.
Whether you are a woman or want to write about women, the topics available number in the gazillions. We've listed 10 ideas to get you started. Choose one of ours, or let our 10 inspire your brain to come up with your own.
The ideas that get your blood flowing are the ones that speak to you. Those are the ones you'll write better papers about, because you care. Choose a topic you care about, and you'll get a better grade.
International Women's Day is March 8! How will you observe it? Consider writing about your favorite passion.
1. Is a Woman's Hair a Sign of Power?
Hair is a gigantic topic. It can be flip (the topic, not the hair; well, okay, the hair, too) or serious to the point of sacred. Did you know that in the Sikh religion hair is sacred? Followers of Sikhism are forbidden to cut any hair on their bodies. Contrast that with the obsession many Western women have with every single hair on their bodies.
Either way, hair is a big deal. I once edited a book for a woman who was irate when the publisher used a graphic on the cover and throughout the book that showed a woman with no hair. She said, "Her hair represents her power."
- Hair in the Sikh religion
- Samson and Delilah and the power of hair
- Losing hair during chemotherapy
2. Are Women Who Carry Guns Safer?
A woman at my dental office recently shared with me that she won shooting awards when she was a Marine, and recently completed a class on carrying concealed weapons. My jaw nearly dropped. I would never have guessed.
More and more women are carrying guns, and they know how to use them.
This is a great topic regardless of the side you find yourself on. In fact, you might even change your stance after you research the issue. Wouldn't that make a powerful paper?
- The guns women choose to carry
- Women sharpshooters
- Are women who carry guns safer?
3. Are Women Hypocritical About Cheating?
Cheating, no matter which direction it's facing, is big in pop culture. It's a favored conflict in movies, music, novels, video games and on TV. It's everywhere.
Sometimes, as in the book, The Bridges of Madison County, it's romaniticized.
Is this hypocritical? We love stories in which cheating plays a part, and are willing to shrug off cheating when we believe it results in true love, but when it happens to your best friend, the gloves come out.
- Is cheating romanticized in Bridges of Madison County?
- Do women cheat almost as often as men?
- The psychology of cheating in popular culture
4. Are Taller Women More Successful?
Back in the 80s, Pepsi was criticized for something called Pepsi Pretty. In order to rise to the top of management at Pepsi, the critics said, you'd better be tall and pretty, whether you were a woman or a man. Looking the part was more important than knowing the job.
They say the same is true in politics. Tall people win elections. Tall men get the girl. Tall women get the job, sometimes instead of a shorter man.
Do your research. Find examples. Get permission to use photos. This would make a great PowerPoint presentation for a speech. You could even involve the class by having them play a game in which they have to choose teams. Were the tall people chosen first?
5. Are Women Who Ride Motorcycles Biker Babes?
Blow this stereotype wide open by finding women who ride and interviewing them. Harley White did this for Marvelous! Magazine, and the assignment completely changed her own view of women who ride. One woman, Carrie Bristoll-Groll, owns her own engineering company. She has flowers tattooed on her left arm, and she's gorgeous.
- Breaking the stereotype of women who ride motorcycles
- Motorcycle clothing and safety gear designed just for women
- Motorcycle clubs for women
Disclosure: Deb Peterson publishes Marvelous!
6. Are Radical Mastectomies Really Necessary?
This is a hotbed, I'll say that right up front, and surgery choices have everything to do with diagnosis. I am not offering medical advice here. I am simply suggesting that breast cancer surgeries are evolving, and women have more choices today than they did five years ago. Do they know that?
I interviewed a woman recently who chose a surgical method that involved lifting her skin and nipples, removing the breast tissue, and inserting implants. Obviously, more steps are involved, but the point is, she looked natural immediately following her surgery, and was thrilled.
- What surgical choices does a woman with breast cancer have today
- Are women rushing to remove their breasts?
- The value of cosmetic surgery following breast removal
7. Are Women Too Embarrassed to Seek Solutions for Incontinence?
Topics that are taboo can make really great research papers. Have the courage to write about a topic that concerns a lot more women than you might think, and might actually help a few women find solutions.
As women age, many of them have trouble with urinary incontinence. When they sneeze or laugh really hard, they wee. It smells. It's embarrassing. It means you have to take a change of clothes with you everywhere you go.
What are their options?
Some women who get checked out, discover the problem is associated with something else and is easily solved. Some need surgery. Sometimes medication helps. Some women just want to know about products to help them hide the problem.
Be bold. Choose a taboo.
8. Are Women-Owned Wineries Different From Those Owned by Men?
Margie Roelands, who grew up in a wine-making family, practiced making her own blends at the kitchen table at a fairly early age. She kept suggesting to the men in charge of the business that they bottle her blends. The answer was always no.
Today, Raimondo Family Winery belongs to Margie, and Margie has joined the still small, but growing, number of women winemakers.
And, she bottles her own blends, painstakingly developed over many years.
- Why women are finally making wine
- Do women make different wines than men? (Design their own blends, like Margie?)
- How are women-owned wineries different from those owned by men, if they are?
9. Did You Know that Heart Disease Is the No. 1 Killer of Women?
When we think about diseases that kill women, breast cancer is probably the first one we think of. But the truth is, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. At womenheart.org, they state that "1 in two women will die of heart disease or stroke, compared with one in 25 women who will die of breast cancer."
Choose this topic and you'll not only educate yourself and your teacher, I'm guessing you'll be passionate about the topic to spread the word to every woman you know.
That's a powerful paper.
Where to research:
10. How Accurately Are Women Portrayed in the Media?
This, of course, is a tireless topic and one that has plagued women for decades. How are women portrayed in the media?
Today, news casters often look like they're headed for a cocktail party. Magazine covers depict women who are tiny and flawless. Who looks like that?
This is a broad topic. Choose one aspect that hollers your name and go for it.
- Does the way women are portrayed in the media affect teen girls?
- Are there still good movie roles for women actors?
- What happens to female broadcasters when they reach 50? 40?
- The Journey Toward Marvelous