Often choosing a topic is the hardest part of a research paper. The best thing you can do for yourself is to choose a topic that you're interested in- because who wants to write a five page paper that isn't interesting?
After looking at your textbook (Sociology, a Down to Earth Approach), I was able to come up with some very broad social issues that you could use as topics for your research paper.
|Juvenile Delinquency||Disenfranchisement||Mass Incarceration||Religion|
|Social Mobility||Drug Abuse & Addiction||Discrimination||Equal Pay|
|Racial Stereotypes||Prejudice & Racism||Gender Equity||Civil Rights|
The topic on this page are very broad. You couldn't write a 5 page paper on discrimination- you will need to go from the larger social issue (discrimination) to a solvable social problem (workplace discrimination against African American women).
Use the drop-down menu to go to Social Issue to Social Problem to learn how to narrow your topic.
Opposing Viewpoints is a database that provides several issues that are currently being debated nationally. Keep in mind, the issues you find here will need to be narrowed to a problem with a specific solution.