One of the most challenging aspects of your research paper assignment often will be the process of getting from an interesting topic to a viable research question. There are several ways you might go about doing this:
By comparing two or more works or ideas:
Pythagoras believed that a perfect fifth in music corresponds to the color yellow, but Newton, through his experiments in optics, argued that a perfect fifth corresponds to orange. Why and how did Newton relate music and color? Are there any fields of study today that continue to explore this relationship?
By examining trends:
In the sixteenth century, a total of six works on the topic of alchemy were published in the English language. Between 1600 and 1650, there were a total of 14. In the second half of the seventeenth century, though, nearly 100 different works on alchemy were published. How can we explain this sudden upsurge?
By exploring a controversy or an area where the experts vehemently disagree:
Is Faust a scientist?
Is Thomas Kuhn's paradigm accurate for explaining the history of science?