Ap Research Paper Examples

College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) program can improve your academic performance and earn you college credits while in high school. If you participate in the AP Capstone program, you’ll have to conduct research in the second course, AP Research. To succeed, you’ll need to use your academic research skills to select your AP research topics.

Selecting a topic can be the most critical part of your research project, and it can also be the most difficult. To make it easier for you, we’ve provided some of the best examples of AP research topics as well as AP research questions.

What Makes a Strong AP Research Topic?

A strong AP research topic is well-defined. Because it will form the basis of your research, it should be clear enough that your target audience will be able to understand your project. It should also address a real-world issue relevant in the 21st century.

Tips for Choosing an AP Research Topic

  • Choose what interests you. Don’t just go with what’s popular or what you think will get you the highest score. Make sure the topic you select is one you clearly understand and will be able to continue even when the research process becomes difficult.
  • Make sure you understand the course requirements. Repeatedly refer to your assignment as you come up with a project idea. This will ensure that you have a clear grasp of what is expected of you.
  • Consider the timeframe of your research process. A lot goes into the research process, so make sure you start looking for a topic as soon as possible. It may not seem this way at the beginning, but the course will go by quickly.
  • Consider your research sources. Select a topic with a wide range of sources that you can draw from to build credible and valid evidence-based arguments.
  • Consult your AP advisor. Whenever you have any questions about the research process, don’t be afraid to turn to your advisor for clarification. If you find it too difficult to narrow down a topic, you can also ask for help from other students.

What’s the Difference Between a Research Topic and a Research Question?

A research topic is the main idea for a research project. For instance, voting apathy is a general topic from which you can derive various history research paper topics such as “voter apathy among young people.”

A research question, on the other hand, is a question that your research seeks to answer. It is more specific than your research topic. It answers the how, what, and the why of your research. For example, for the research topic above, one research question could be “What are the effects of voter apathy among young people on civic participation?”

How to Create Strong AP Research Questions

A strong AP research question should be clear and precise. In other words, the question you are posing should be focused on a specific area and the language should be simple enough that the reader doesn’t require any further explanation of what you are trying to say. However, it should not be so narrow that it can be answered with a simple yes or no.

Top 10 AP Research Paper Topics

1. 3D-Printed Prosthetics for Amputees

In recent years, the field of 3D printing has made great strides, especially in the medical field. From prosthetics to 3D-printed skin for burn victims, scientists have figured out ways to help those who have physical challenges. If selected as a research topic, this would be an interesting way to discuss the future of rehabilitation and assistive devices.

2. The Pros and Cons of Subsidized Housing in the US

Subsidized housing is a housing policy aimed at giving low-income families access to affordable housing. This real-world issue has become quite a controversial topic. However, it is a great topic for your school project, especially if it has already been discussed in your AP Seminar course as one of the seminar topics.

3. Impact of Ocean Conservation on Climate Change

Global warming and climate change have become important topics all over the world. From a discussion of renewable energy to a study of the increase in wildfires, there are many approaches that you can take. Ocean conservation has become an important strategy in fighting climate change and would therefore be a perfect topic for an AP research paper.

4. The Role of Art Education in 21st Century Curricula

The importance of art in education has often been taken for granted. In recent decades, however, emphasis on STEM fields has raised questions about the role of art education and other humanities disciplines in modern education. Your research could focus on the benefits of art education for STEM students.

5. Food Waste Solutions in the US

According to the USDA, food waste accounts for 30 to 40 percent of the total food supply. This shows that food waste is a major environmental and economic problem. This is one of many real-world topics that would allow you to take an interdisciplinary approach, combining social sciences and environmental sciences, for instance.

6. Impact of Genetically Modified Organisms on the Environment

A genetically modified organism is a plant, animal, or other organism whose DNA has been artificially altered through bioengineering. There are many interesting albeit complex issues that can arise in research into the potential impact of GMOs on the environment.

7. Factors Contributing to Wealth Inequality in the US

Wealth inequality refers to the dissimilarities in the distribution of assets among people or groups of people. This research topic can be narrowed to focus on whether increasing minimum wages can decrease wealth inequality or on strategies for reducing the number of homeless children.

8. The Future of the Automotive Industry

Global car sales are expected to grow in the coming years. As the automotive industry is changing, this topic would be a great way to discover what these changes look like and how they will affect the industry. Selecting this for your project proposal would be a good way to build on what you learned in your AP Physics C: Mechanics class.

9. The Relationship Between Cyber Security and Ecommerce

Ecommerce is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the economy. However, as more people and businesses move to online transactions, there is growing concern about cyber security threats. A first step if you choose this topic would be to familiarize yourself with cyber security terminology.

10. Youth Voting and Civic Participation Patterns

This is an interesting research topic through which you can discuss the relationship between voting and civic participation in young people, the influence of social media on voting patterns, and whether voting trends are affected by the socioeconomic conditions of a particular youth group. One common research question is whether the voting age should be changed.

Other Examples of AP Research Topics & Questions

AP Research Topics

  • Effects of stress on the human body
  • The fall of the Roman Empire
  • The rise of cryptocurrency and its effect on the banking industry
  • The relationship between social media and bullying in schools
  • Homeschooling versus traditional schooling

AP Research Questions

  • How does emotional stress manifest physically in the human body?
  • What political developments led to the fall of Rome?
  • How has cryptocurrency affected the banking industry in the 21st century?
  • How has social media influenced the rise of cyberbullying?
  • What are the effects of texting on grammar skills?

Choosing the Right AP Research Topic

As we have seen above, there are many AP research topics to choose from for your research assignment. The research paper is your primary performance task in the AP Research course, so you should take care to select a strong topic.

Completing the College Board’s AP Capstone is a significant academic achievement that will put your academic writing skills and research abilities to the test. Choosing the right AP research topic is therefore paramount in helping you build your college profile, especially if you want to get into an Ivy League School.

AP Research Topics FAQ