There are several ways to get ideas for your next research paper. One of the best ways is simply to find a topic that you are interested in or that is easy to find good information on and write an essay about that. Being interested in your topic can go a long way in helping make the research easier and writing the paper more enjoyable. Before getting started and jumping in head first on your writing, make sure you understand the assignment and know what the instructor is expecting. Research paper topics can come fro a variety of sources so you want to make sure you are thinking along the right lines and are going to give the instructor something he or she wants to read and is expecting to read.
The most common source of essay topics comes in the form of an assignment directly from the teacher. Often times students are given a general topic idea- write on such and such from our course studies. Review the notes, chapters, and general key points you have discussed in class so far and make sure your focus lines up with one of those topics. If you are having trouble thinking of a topic or just want to make sure you are on track, visit your professor during office hours and get some feedback from them.
Some professors pass out a list of topics which they consider to be acceptable topics to cover in class essays. This is a great resource and will often times give you enough idea to write every paper that is needed for the entire semester. If you are not given such a handout, consider asking for help from a campus librarian. Librarians will be able to review requirements for the essay and can help you think of ideas to wrote about and can also assist you with your research.
Another great resource that should be used is the campus tutoring center or writing lab. Most campuses have some sort of tutoring lab where students can go for help with a variety of subjects. English and writing are common areas students need help with so many colleges have theses services. Trained and highly skilled tutors can help you decipher an assignment, develop a topic, and they can even review your paper once it is written before you turn it in. An best of all, mot of these services are included with your tuition and therefore do not cost anything. Of course, you also have the option of hiring a private tutor if you can find one.