Choosing Topic For A Research Paper On The Death Penalty

The death penalty is highly discussed all around the world. The main aspect of the problem is its moral side: is there any crime worth being punished with death?

Writing a research paper would demand to state your personal position on the question. It is better to define it for yourself before you start.

Still, you’ve got time for that. No need to rush. Think about it while we explain the basic requirements for a research paper on the topic.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Death penalty research paper: a brief how-to

First of all, the structure… An essential part of any written work.

It consists of:

  • Outline.
    A table of contents, basically.
  • Introduction.
    The beginning of your text. Here you present your thesis, your statement, and explain your vision of the issue. You might also provide the reader with a brief history of the problem, definitions, etc. Anything that would grab the reader’s attention.
  • Main body.
    This is to present all your ideas and research work you’ve done. Remember to place the statements in a logical order and divide the text into paragraphs.
  • Conclusion.
    Here you sum up everything you’ve said before. Keep in mind that you don’t have to add any new ideas in this paragraph.
  • References.
    At the very end, you provide a list of resources and bibliography.

While researching the topic, find out about the death penalty procedure, legislation, countries, that practice it, what kinds of crimes are condemned with the death penalty, what are the terms and conditions, etc.

List of credible sources for inspiration

While there’s a need to know much on the topic, it’s obvious that you have to do a lot of research work. That is why you have to choose the best sources. So here are some ideas where you can take useful, reliable and up to date information:

  • Wikipedia. Only to get a general understanding, before digging deeper. Here you can find information on history, contemporary use, public opinion, etc. Pay attention to the references mentioned in the articles. They usually contain valuable resources.
  • DPIC (Death Penalty Information Center). Loads of data on capital punishment in the U.S.A. Moreover, they post news about condemnations, have execution database and state-by-state map.
  • CNN contains a pretty interesting article “Death Penalty Fast Facts”. It is constantly updated and provides curious statistics.
  • NCADP (National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty). The movement against capital punishment. Of course, you won’t find information in favour of such punishment on their website, but it is still very informative and has a lot of supporters.

How to choose a topic?

Capital punishment research paper may cover a vast variety of issues related to capital punishment. The main task here is to choose a narrow, specialized topic so that it would be interesting and won’t make you get lost in the number of facts.

If you face troubles composing a topic for your work, try this:

  • Brainstorm. Set an alarm clock for 5-10 minutes and concentrate on noting ideas for your topic.
  • Find the aspect of your most genuine interest.
  • Make sure that the issue you chose is well covered with decent materials.
  • Note keywords of your topic to be.
  • Experiment on phrasing.
  • Determine your topic as the main research question.

Didn’t help? Well, we’ve got some ideas for you. Check ‘em out below.

Death penalty research questions

As the issue is very multifaceted, it might get quite difficult to decide where to start.

Whichever topic you choose, it’s better to know general information on the case. Here are the most helpful stats!

  • 105 (54%) countries abolished capital punishment for all crimes.
  • 7 (4%) countries abolished the death penalty de facto and haven’t used it in practice for more than 14 years, but it is reserved for exceptional cases.
  • 55 (28%) countries use the death penalty in practice.
  • Most popular issues within the topic are death penalty and international human rights; racial aspect; methods of performing; religious aspect; humanness.

More statistics, visualized for your convenience:

Death penalty essay topics

Since there is a lot to examine within the issue of capital punishment, you would need to come up with a specific topic for your research paper.

Below are some prewritten death penalty research paper topics which may be of great help:

  • Can the death penalty be seen as an act of revenge, not as a punishment?
  • The death penalty is more human than life imprisonment.
  • The negative sides of the death penalty.
  • Does the death penalty have a positive effect on crime rates?
  • Can capital punishment save the funds that are spent on the imprisoned?
  • Is the death penalty equal to murder?
  • How should capital punishment be performed?
  • There’s always a chance to execute an innocent person. How to solve this problem?
  • Death penalty in the religious context.
  • Examine the legislation of the countries where capital punishment is practised.
  • The moral aspect of the death penalty.
  • Pros and cons of the death penalty.
  • Lifetime imprisonment is a better punishment for criminals.
  • Own attitude towards the death penalty.
  • It is better to keep ten criminals alive than to execute one innocent person.
  • Methods of performing capital punishment.
  • Evolution of the death penalty.
  • Analyze all the aspects of capital punishment in a selected country/state.
  • People who are considered to deserve capital punishment will never be rehabilitated in society.
  • How to deal with the chance of executing an innocent?
  • The effectiveness of the death penalty in preventing crimes.
  • Can capital punishment be seen as a violation of human rights?
  • Families of executed people: psychological context.
  • Capital punishment: an efficient means or a relic of history?
  • Death penalty as a method of intimidation in third-world countries.

To sum up, we’d say that a capital punishment research paper is indeed a tough but still thought-provoking assignment.

However, knowing the basics of writing such paper will surely ease your work.

Follow the instructions of your teacher, use hints and ideas from this article and be ready to do your best!


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