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.
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.
It provides direction and focus to keep you moving along the right path.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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?
The United States is responsible for assisting other countries affected by catastrophic events, such as the earthquake in Haiti.
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.
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.