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Developing a Research Question or Thesis Statement. Objective: Students will be able to brainstorm potential topics to create a research question or thesis statement. . A good research question or thesis statement is essential when beginning research on a topic.

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developing a research question or thesis statement

Developing a Research Question or Thesis Statement

Objective: Students will be able to brainstorm potential topics to create a research question or thesis statement.

slide2

A good research question or thesis statement is essential when beginning research on a topic.

It provides direction and focus to keep you moving along the right path.

slide3

To create a good research question or thesis statement, you must explore the topic you have been assigned to research.

Try to discover how it relates to:

  • Your interests.
  • Things that pique your curiosity.
  • Something fascinating you read about recently.
slide4

To explore your topic you can use a brainstorming technique such as a graphic organizer.

Write down your topic of interest and then think about issues or aspects related to this topic.

slide5

Say you have been assigned to research an issue related to catastrophic events. To start your brainstorming put Earthquakes in the middle of your graphic organizer and then brainstorm ideas related to this topic.

slide6

Types

Earthquakes

Economic Impacts

Physical Impacts

Political Impacts

Social Impacts

slide7

You decide that you want to explore the area of your graphic organizer that focuses on Political Impacts, so you create a new map with Political Impacts in the middle.

slide8

Earthquakes

Redevelopment

International Response

Political Impacts

Lack of Adequate

Disaster Prevention

Discrimination

against

Poor

slide9

Looking at this map, you decide that you are most interested in International Response, so you create another organizer showing this aspect and continue brainstorming.

slide10

Earthquakes

Political Impacts

United States

International Response

Other Countries

slide11

Looking at this map, you decide to focus on international response and the United States.

To get more information, you do some background reading. Encyclopedias or websites are good places to look for this type of information.

slide12

You decide to try a search engine and you find a blog entry from the U.S. State Department talking about disaster relief in Haiti.

from this site you learn about some of the factors involved including
From this site, you learn about some of the factors involved including:
  • Airports/Airspace
  • Health Issues
  • Evacuation & Rescues
  • Food & Water
slide14

With this information, you decide that you want to focus on the United States and disaster relief.

You write your research question as:

What responsibility does the United States have in assisting other countries affected by catastrophic events?

slide15

Or you write your thesis statement as:

The United States is responsible for assisting other countries affected by catastrophic events, such as the earthquake in Haiti.

slide16

A good research question WILL NOT have a simple answer. It WILL require the use of many different sources to explore ideas related to the topic.

other thoughts on creating effective research questions
Other Thoughts on Creating Effective Research Questions
  • Avoid questions with yes or no answers.
    • Should the United States help other countries when disasters occur?
  • Avoid questions that are too broad.
    • How should the United States assist in disaster relief?
  • Avoid questions that are too narrow.
    • How much money per year is required for disaster relief worldwide?
flexibility
Flexibility

As you begin to find information on your research question, you may decide that you have to adjust your question or change it completely. This redefining is all part of the research process.

summing up
Summing Up
  • Use a graphic organizer to brainstorm different aspects of the topic you have been assigned to research.
  • Do a little reading to get some background information.
  • Create a focused research question.
  • Revise, if necessary, as you proceed with your research.