The first step in writing a great research paper is to come up with a great topic to work on. A great topic is usually one that is original, pushes the field of study, and is interesting to both you and the reader. In the field of earth science, numerous areas meet these criteria. Our expert writers have created a list of custom earth science topics suitable for students from middle school to college. We also define a research paper and include a sample outline you can use as a template.
Table of Contents
- What is a Research Paper?
- Sample Research Paper Outline
- 8th Grade Earth Science Topics
- Great Earth Science Regents Topics
- Earth Science Topics For High School
- Earth Science Topics For College
- Earth And Space Science Topics For Young Students
- Environmental Science Research Topics
- Interesting Earth Science Topics
- Controversial Earth Science Topics List
What is a Research Paper?
Whether you are a native English speaker, ESL or ENL, many students may struggle to understand what a research paper should look like.
A professor will want to see a well-thought and well-structured assignment that deals with a topic that has been thoroughly researched using reputable sources to back an original argument.
In many cases, you will be limited by time, so it is reasonable to say that a professor will keep this in mind when considering how much work you were able to put in. Still, you should spend several days looking for trustworthy resources and should explore your topic as thoroughly as possible given all the information that is available to you.
Sample Research Paper Outline
The best research papers follow a specific format that includes three major sections: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Usually, there are three body paragraphs, but this depends on each assignment. You can find great templates online or in assignment writing guides. A good outline will help you write your assignment fast because it allows you to structure your arguments. Here is a simple sample outline for a five-paragraph research paper:
- Background Information
- Argument 1
- Topic Sentence
- Your Thoughts/Opinion
- Example or Evidence
- Transition Sentence
- Argument 2
- Topic Sentence
- Your Thoughts/Opinion
- Example or Evidence
- Transition Sentence
- Argument 3
- Topic Sentence
- Your Thoughts/Opinion
- Example or Evidence
- Transition Sentence
8th Grade Earth Science Topics
Earth Science is a highly popular subject in middle school, specifically in the 8th grade. A lot of students taking this subject are often just learning how to write a research paper. The following earth science research paper topics are a great place to start:
- Classification systems are based on the use of what?
- What are the basic principles of tectonic zoning of continents?
- What are the long-term effects of deforestation?
- How can oil pipelines harm the Earth’s geology?
- What are the biggest challenges Earth Scientists face today?
- How do underwater volcanoes affect the ocean tides?
- What does cosmic geography give to humanity?
- What can we learn about land formation from groundwater moving patterns?
- Is climate change a global environmental issue?
- How are mountains and valleys formed?
- How do volcanoes affect the Earth’s atmosphere and climate?
- How did deserts influence human migration patterns?
- How does habitat fragmentation affect the development of species?
- What role do mountain ranges have on valley winds?
- What impact do greenhouse gases have on the Earth’s agriculture?
- How do scientists use meteorology and climatology to predict changes in weather?
- What is the connection between earthquakes and tsunamis?
- The grouping of objects or events with similar characteristics is called what?
- What impact has acid rain had on the natural world?
- What impact does the continued use of fossil fuels have on the Earth?
- How do underwater earthquakes affect ocean tides?
- What does the internal composition of the Earth tell us about its formation?
- What are the foundational characteristics of geotectonic theories?
- How can meteorology be used to predict natural weather disasters?
- How much damage has human development done to the natural world?
- What is our basic understanding of the structure of the Earth’s crust?
Great Earth Science Regents Topics
We searched numerous academic resources to find the latest issues that are likely to make their way into the Earth Science Regents Exam for the upcoming year. You can prepare for the exam by studying the questions below:
- Which factor has the most effect on the weathering of a rock?
- Using a ruler to measure the length of a stick is an example of what?
- How much does ozone have in affecting the way we perceive color?
- What impact would a change in the Earth’s tilt have on the climate?
- What would a second impact event do to the Earth’s atmosphere?
- How are latitude and longitude lines drawn on a globe of the Earth?
- What are the highest and lowest points on Earth’s land?
- Why do stars appear to move through the night sky at a rate of 15 degrees per hour?
- What are the two most abundant elements by mass found in the Earth’s crust?
- Can volcanic activity lead to earthquakes in other areas?
- When did the Chicxulub Crater impact event occur?
- What piece of evidence provides proof that Earth has a spherical shape?
- What threats does global warming have on life on Earth?
- Is the Earth’s tilt constant or does it change according to our orbit around the sun?
- How are seasons impacted by the Earth’s tilt?
- How do distant planets affect the Earth’s oceans?
- What percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water?
- Why can we see only one side of the moon no matter where we are?
- What causes the tilt of the Earth on its axis?
- A measurement is best defined as what?
- Which element do the Earth’s troposphere and hydrosphere contain the most amounts of?
- What climatic conditions would produce very slight changes to weathering?
- Which atmospheric layer contains the greatest concentration of ozone?
- What changes in climate would have the greatest impact on chemical weathering?
- Scientists use classification systems to do what?
- What is the best evidence that erosion has occurred?
- Which layer of rock is the most resistant to weathering?
- What are the best examples of physical weathering?
Earth Science Topics For High School
As students become more familiar with the process of writing a good research paper, they will be required to deal with more difficult topics that require them to do more research at the library where they have access to academic journals and books. The following ideas are great for high school students ready to do some in-depth research:
- What are the causes of landslides in dry regions?
- What do plate tectonics theories tell us about the Earth’s formation?
- How do solid wastes affect the quality of underground water?
- How effective are today’s earthquake detection systems?
- How can schools better conserve energy to help the environment?
- What are the effects of ocean water transformation in the mid-Atlantic?
- What role does climate change play in causing large-scale droughts?
- What are the major causes of metamorphism?
- What impact do humans have on coastal erosion in high-population areas?
- What is the continental drift theory and what does it tell us about plant migration?
- How have ocean floors affected marine geology in the past?
- What is the origin of earth science as a necessary science?
- Should there be rules restricting where houses can be built?
- How much of our carbon footprint have we been able to reduce in 20 years?
- How does seismic refraction occur in ocean earthquakes?
- What are the long-term effects that the melting of glaciers on the Earth?
- What is the difference between internal and external earth processes?
- What methods do physical geologists use to interpret the Earth’s history?
- Why are some areas more prone to annual flooding than others?
- What makes the geological structure of the Alps different from other ranges?
- What are the causes and effects of ocean earthquakes?
- What are the different types of volcanic eruptions?
- What are the major causes and effects of coastal erosion?
- What role do current politicians have in slowing climate change?
- What do rock formations tell us about the Earth’s history and life?
- What can we do better to predict tsunamis in the Pacific?
- What role do forests play in the preservation of wildlife?
- What would the loss of tropical forests do to the world’s climate?
Earth Science Topics For College
The following earth science essay topics are great for students that have more than a passing interest in this field but are thinking about pursuing a profession in it. All these ideas require in-depth research and several weeks of hard work to complete a project:
- How are indigenous rocks formed in harsh weather areas?
- How does one apply accurate dating techniques in physical geology?
- What human factors threaten the Earth’s ecological geology the most?
- What are the potential dangers of deep-sea mining for ocean life?
- How do the Earth’s limited resources provide a threat to future generations?
- What are the core fundamentals of environmental science in the 21st century?
- How have human activities on land use contributed to waterlogging?
- How will the Earth’s limited food supply impact wildlife?
- What can we learn from analyzing contaminant dispersal through erosion?
- What role did microorganisms play in the development of the Earth?
- What impact has remote sensing had on the way we gather geographic information?
- What have we been able to learn about climate change because of natural disasters?
- How much land should we designate as green spaces around streams?
- What are the negative impacts that renewable energy technologies have on animal migration?
- What is the essence of a general geologic map and a topographic map?
- Why are some mountains dormant while others experience volcanic activity?
- How can a better understanding of earth science lead to better awareness of the environment?
- What are the dangers posed by the Ring of Fire chain of volcanoes?
- How impactful has environmental justice been to stop corporate pollution?
- How can bioremediation be used to help decrease soil pollution?
- How are large ocean freighters negatively impacting ocean life?
- How is physical geology relevant in understanding societal issues?
- What is being done to replenish the natural resources we have depleted?
- How do rising temperatures increase the risk of wildfires?
- What can the United States do to make renewable energy more rewarding?
- What has deep-sea exploration told us about how the continents formed?
Earth And Space Science Topics For Young Students
If you are interested in exploring the interconnections between the land, ocean, atmosphere, and the life on our planet, then the following topics will be great for a project. There is a lot of background information that can be found online, but you must focus most of your time conducting in-depth research looking for trustworthy academic or government resources:
- What can we learn from shock wave data to study the Earth’s geological history?
- How do global atmospheric movements influence local high and low pressures?
- How did Earth’s atmosphere form perfectly to support life?
- How have carbon emissions affected ultraviolet waves that enter Earth?
- How does Earth’s atmosphere protect us from the sun’s radiation?
- Is Earth a one-of-a-kind planet or can others like it exist elsewhere?
- What caused ocean levels to fall hundreds of thousands of years ago?
- How does the size of the sun affect the gravitational pull on the Earth?
- How do the sun and the moon influence the ocean tides differently throughout the year?
- What is the process of rock formation through erosion as it relates to the atmosphere?
- What is the exact relationship between the climate and the weather?
- What role do oceans play in forming weather systems such as hurricanes?
- What can we learn about the Earth’s formation by studying the surface of Mars?
- What is the connection between water flow and Earth’s landscapes?
- How are global and regional climate changes impacted by the Earth’s population?
- What would our planet look like if ocean levels had not fallen?
- How does the moon’s phase affect weather patterns on Earth?
- How much influence do the outer planets have on our climate?
- Has the radiation that enters the Earth changed in the last century?
- What can a trip to Mars reveal about Earth’s history?
- Are cold liquids on the planet denser than warm liquids?
- How does the sun provide energy to drive convection within the atmosphere?
- How does the sun’s gravitational pull impact the Earth’s topography?
- What impact does the moon have on geological aspects of the Earth’s surface?
Environmental Science Research Topics
This area of earth science brings together the fields of biology, ecology, oceanography, geology and more. It is a fast-growing field with a lot of opportunities for people to explore unchartered areas. These earth science research topics cover a variety of issues concerning our environment:
- How can we make groundwater more suitable for domestic consumption?
- What effects does water pollution have on human health?
- How has the melting of Artic led to a greater risk of wildlife species in the area?
- What is the impact of dumpsites on the quality of groundwater?
- How does water pollution affect freshwater fish in our lakes and streams?
- How can green energy impact the ecology of the planet?
- How have humans affected the Earth’s environment in the last 50 years?
- How effective has the EPA been to ensure the quality of drinking water?
- Hoes does the shifting of continents affect the Earth’s environment?
- What are the biggest challenges of keeping freshwater from pollution?
- What can we learn moving forward about our impact on the environment?
- What measures can mitigate the diverse impact of coal mining?
- Is the Industrial Revolution one of the causes of the environment’s demise?
- What impact did the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters have on the planet?
- What makes Antarctic ice and its unique biosphere so important?
- How does pollution impact the Earth’s biodiversity?
- What does it mean when scientists say we are heading toward the sixth extension?
- What are the main causes of groundwater contamination?
- To what extent can we really implement sustainable consumption?
- What impact would a little ice age have on the planet?
- What type of environmental changes can we expect to see in the next century?
- Are acid rains solely connected to industrial pollution?
- Are the world’s leading nations doing enough to protect the environment?
- What makes endemic wildlife so unique?
Interesting Earth Science Topics
Here are some more interesting earth and life science topics. They cover several areas and are designed for students that have learned the fundamentals of conducting good background research using both online and print resources:
- How does climate change affect dry-land and forest vegetation?
- What would happen to the weather if the Earth’s rotational speed were to change?
- What do we know about life on Earth and if it could survive on another planet?
- What does climate change to the atmospheric composition around the world?
- What is the struggle between internal and external forces in shaping the surface of the Earth?
- Where are the Earth’s larges magma chambers posing the greatest threat?
- How does the moon affect the Earth’s days, months, and years?
- Why should humans take a greater interest in protecting endangered species?
- What was the sequence of events from the continental drift to the 5 separate continents?
- What would the extinction of honeybees mean for the Earth’s agriculture?
- What do we know about predicting the eruptions of the Earth’s active volcanoes?
- What are the differences between Wegener’s plate tectonic theory and those of today’s scientists?
- How do solar eclipses and lunar eclipses affect the Earth’s oceans differently?
- Would replanting trees counter the negative effects of deforestation?
- Is it possible to reinforce the ozone layer and what impact would it have?
- How can we effectively predict natural disasters with enough time to evacuate cities?
- What are the different ways that the Earth’s surface has changed?
- Is deep-sea mining safe for our oceans and their ecosystems?
- What would happen if glaciers continued to melt at this rate for the next 50 years?
- How does the shifting of continents affect the earth’s geology?
- Has the rate of shifting continents changed in the last two centuries?
- How do the Earth’s rotation and its orbit affect the days, months, and years?
- How were the largest mountains on Earth formed?
- What kinds of geological changes can we expect to see in the next century?
- Should humans interfere with the extinction process on the planet?
- How are volcano eruptions and earthquakes related to plate tectonics?
Controversial Earth Science Topics List
Finally, this last set of topics cover some controversial areas in the field of earth science. These topics are sure to grab the attention of your readers and will spark a lot of debate:
- Are the leading nations of the world doing enough to protect us from catastrophic events?
- Is climate change just a hoax created by environmentalists?
- Should earth scientists work with religious groups to teach environmental care?
- Should large corporations receive taxpayer incentives for going green?
- How do growing cities in need of population solutions harm the environment?
- Why do some scientists believe we are now in an interglacial stage?
- What are the possible directions evolution can take in the next 10,000 years?
- Should modernized countries hold others accountable for levels of pollution?
- Do companies purposely dump toxic waste to avoid paying fines?
- Should apartment developers invest more to make their buildings green?
- Should CEOs be held accountable for environmental violations?
- Why are scientists in disagreement about the dinosaur cause of extinction?
- Should pro sports teams be fined for leaving a large carbon footprint at events?
- Should there be stricter hunting regulations to protect wildlife?
- Should we tax large corporations to protect the environment even if it means they will downsize?
- Is it more important to build homes for the homeless or preserve natural spaces?
- Should cities raise taxes to pay for natural overpasses to protect wildlife?
- What should the United States do if it runs out of water?
- Why can’t scientists agree about the age of the Earth?
- Are recycling businesses ethical in their practices or just want profit?
- Is global warming just a part of the Earth’s normal cycle?
- Is the melting of the glacial ice and the snowpack a sign that the Pleistocene period is over?
- What has earth science shown us about creationism versus evolution?
- Should the U.S. use fracking to extract natural gas?
- Should G20 countries lose their status if they do not emission goals?
- What would be an appropriate punishment for countries that pollute the most?
- Is it unethical to raid foreign natural resources if it means saving one’s nation?
- Should the government make corporations pay penalties for the pollution they caused in the last 100 years?
- What would happen to thousands of workers if oil companies went out of business?
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What is the best topic in Earth science?
Some of the best topics in earth science are how dryland and forest vegetation respond to climate change, what would happen to the weather and life on Earth if the rate at which the earth rotated changed, and the possibility of alien life forms.
What are the 4 main branches of Earth science?
The four main branches of earth science study are:
What are the 9 big ideas of earth science?
The nine big ideas of earth science are:
- Earth scientists use testable ideas and repeatable observations to explain the planet more clearly.
- Earth is about 4.6 billion years old.
- Earth is an intricate system of interacting water, rock, air, and life.
- Earth is continuously changing.
- Earth is a water planet.
- Life changes on a dynamic earth and constantly modifies the earth.
- Humans need the earth for resources.
- Humans alter the earth negatively.
- Humans can be affected by natural hazards.