Choose a topic that interests you, fits the theme of your course, and that isn't too broad or too narrow. Keep the length of your assigned research paper in mind as you select your topic.
Topics that are too broad have hundreds of books and articles written about them.
Example: Drug abuse
Topics that are too narrow have nothing or only one or two articles written about them.
Example: The effect of drug abuse on the athletic performance of 18-year-old hockey players in Argentina
Keep in mind that your topic isn't set in stone. As you read background information and search for sources, you can use what you learn to better define and focus your topic.
Watch this short video to learn how to narrow or broaden your topic:
Source: “Picking Your Topic IS Research!” by North Carolina State University Libraries, licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US License.