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Before You Begin Your Research, Develope a Research Question
Once you have your topic, create a research question? In case you are wondering why...
It can help you focus your research, and your writing
- Choose a topic of interest to you
- Think about the many things related to your topic
- Now list several possible questions
- Choose one to pursue
- Make this one question more, but not too, specific
- Think focused, clear and complex; again, a concept map can be helpful
How to Develope a Good Research Topic (YouTube, August 20, 2013)
Know if Your Topic is Too Narrorw or Too Broad
- How is COVID-19 treated?
- Will tablet computing replace the need for laptops?
- How much has the popularity of Harry Potter improved the reading scores of second graders in Virginia?
- At what point in time will the need for nurses in pediatric wards outpace the graduation rates from nursing schools?
- In what ways have online communities changed the nature of support systems available for people with Attention Deficit Disorder?
- How has mountaintop removal mining in western Kentucky impacted the migratory habits of the local bird population?
Evaluating the Information that You Find
When you encounter any kind of source, consider:
- Authority - Who is the author? What is their point of view?
- Purpose - Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?
- Publication & format - Where was it published? In what medium?
- Relevance - How is it relevant to your research? What is its scope?
- Date of publication - When was it written? Has it been updated?
- Documentation - Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?
Prepare Your Thesis Statement
What is a thesis statement?
- A thesis statement comes at the beginning of your paper.
- It is a statement that answers your research question.
- The statement is supported throughout your paper with examples and evidence.
What makes a good thesis statement?
- It takes a position, or advances an opinion.
- It is specific, not too broad, but not too narrow.
- It is an arguable statement; there is room for discussion or disagreement.
- It provides focus and generates interest in the reader.
Taking a Position -
Poor (doesn't take a position):
- I'm going to write about the high rate of suicide and depression in transgender adolescents.
Improved (takes a position):
- The standard story of binary gender in our society creates a hostile environment for gender variant adolescents, as demonstrated by high rates of depression and suicide.
Poor (very general):
- Europe is a great place to visit.
Improved (more specific):
- World travel is an important element to a well-rounded college education.
Poor (not much here to argue with):
- Exercise is good for the elderly.
Improved (specific position that can be argued):
- Exercise, combined with antidepressants, is more effective in reducing depression in older adults given the prevalence of treatment-resistant depression in late life.
Thesis Statement Generator
(BPP University Referencing & Plagiarism, October 11, 2017)
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