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The Research Process

A guide to start you on your research journey!

How to Develop a Research Question

As you generate ideas for your topic, you will also want to be thinking of research questions. The development of a research question will eventually lead to the creation of your thesis statement and will steer the direction of your research and paper as a whole.

Strategies for Developing a Research Question:

  • Write down what you know and don't know about your topic.
  • Based on the information you wrote down, are there any specific questions you have?
  • Stay away from yes or no questions.
  • Ask questions like why? how? what if? should? so what? Why is this topic important?

Research Questions should be:

  • focused.
  • have potential answers that are arguable.
  • complex.
  • concise.

Research Question vs. Thesis

Your research question drives the direction of your inquiry. It may affect the types of sources that you will look for, or provide you with keywords to use in your search. Ultimately your the research question leads to the thesis. 

Your thesis is the position you will argue in your paper. It is a conclusion you draw based on your research and will then prove using the evidence you have collected.