How to Choose an APA Research Paper Topic

Homeschool high school paper writing? Here’s how to Choose an APA Research Paper Topic.

How to Choose an APA Research Paper Topic

How to Choose an APA Research Paper Topic

Homeschool high schoolers should write a research paper each year in high school. The length will vary by year and level of rigor your teen is aiming for (our writing guides give guidelines to help with this).

The big question the teens usually ask me is: What on earth am I going to write about?

APA Style Research Paper Writing Guide
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With APA the answer can be fun…or at least useful! APA papers are information-gathering papers rather than papers that defend a thesis (as in MLA papers). There is no thesis in an APA paper- simply a topic with as much information on that topic as is possible (within the page-number limits of the paper)! How cool is that!

APA papers simply present a topic in an unbiased manner. You see? APA papers are not supposed to present opinions, only information. This gives your homeschool high schooler lots of choices. 7Sisters APA Research Paper Writing Guide will help!

How to choose an APA research paper topic? Pick one of these 3 areas:

A random area of interest:

I’ve read homeschool high school papers on dog breeds, history of automobile making, histories of various wars, biographies of famous authors, fashion design, history of church music, etc, etc.

A career exploration topic:

Many of my homeschool high school advisees have used their APA research paper to explore a career they are interested in. I’ve read papers on professional dance, veterinarian, musician, internal medicine, philosophy, filmmaking, photography, teaching, personal training and more). These type papers are terrific because the teen can take responsibility for understanding if a career choice is viable. Will there be reasonable income, what is the job market projected to look like in 10 years? They can include interviews with professionals. They will read lots of valuable information.

A leveling-up activity for a core class:

If your homeschool high schooler is aiming for an advanced or honors credit but using a college-prep textbook, he will need to log extra hours to get that high-powered credit for the transcript. One way to get some hours is to choose a topic that enhances the core course AND log hours in research and writing the paper. (I’ve read papers on Civil War battles or biographies of various presidents for leveling up of American History credits; in-depth papers on bacteria, birds, DNA, and large cats for leveling up of biology credit; and biographies of famous poets, playwrights, and novelists for leveling up Language Arts.)

An APA research paper can be fun for your homeschool high schooler because it allows him to learn so much about a true interest area!

I wrote’s APA Research Paper Writing Guide to help homeschool high schoolers get through the process and maybe even enjoy it. For more than a decade, homeschoolers have been enjoying this step-by-step, no-busywork guide through the entire APA research paper writing process. It takes paper-writing teens all the way from topic choice to rubric self-scoring. Download your copy today! (Click here for an excerpt from APA Research Paper Writing Guide.)

MLA research paper writing guide
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As you know, there are several formats for research papers. Need some help choosing MLA? APA? Chicago? Here’s help! For MLA research papers, see our MLA Research Paper Writing Guide.


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How to Choose an APA Research Paper Topic

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

2 Replies to “How to Choose an APA Research Paper Topic”

  1. What if a sister died? would you change the website? what if I dont have a home? what if I live in a school? what if my Mom’s car got impounded. These are essays I like to write in midmarch, the just put me in a junebuggy-esque mood. Regardless, goodnight and good morning!

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