...if it's a research paper.
As this is the fall semester, Social Sciences 3 and the required research paper in the class are on everyone's mind (everyone, at least, who's taking the class). Soc 3 is Modern Theories of State and Society, so the research paper must relate to something relevant to the modern day. This is quite broad, however, so most need not worry about lack of paper topics. The hard part, indeed, is narrowing the topic down so you don't wind up reading every book in the library.
There are many interesting papers going on in my class right now. Someone's researching discriminatory drug laws; another, the movie Paris is Burning; someone on modern irony; another on the development of Chicago. Taking the opportunity to pursue my interests, I chose to focus on the history of schisms in the Quaker religion in America in the 19th century. It's an interesting topic, but sometimes difficult to find sources on, as obviously it's not a very mainstream religion. But through a series of checkpoints in the class (we had to have sources on a certain date, an outline on another, a rough draft on another) I've been mostly able to keep up with it. The minimum length is twelve double-spaced pages, complete with citations.
The thing is, the research paper is NOT as hard as it seems. It is basically reading a lot of sources and then incorporating them into a coherent narrative. There isn't much original thought required, just a lot of synthesis and patience to sift through many books, articles, and other information to get what you want. And that's really what the research paper is for - giving you the tools to do scholarly research whenever it may be required (grad school, anyone?). I've certainly learned a great deal more about research resources than I'd ever imagined. And I'm definitely excited for my paper topic. I just can't wait until it's done!