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The Research Process

Developing Your Research Question

When you have decided on your general topic, and understand it better, you can formulate your research question.What question are you trying to answer with your research? What is the purpose of your paper?

This question should be specific as possible. It might be helpful to focus on one aspect of the topic.

For example:

If your topic is the impact of social media on teenagers you might look at research questions such as:

How does the use of social media affect teens' sleep patterns?

or

Has social media had a negative impact on teenagers' social skills?

 

If your topic is food security in Qatar you might look at research questions such as:

How has the blockade impacted food security in Qatar?

or

Can Qatar achieve food sustainability in a desert climate?

Developing your Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement - which will be the focus of your research and writing - can be looked at as the answer to your research question. It sums up the main point or idea of your paper.

A good thesis statement should be:

  1. Short / Concise - no more than one or two sentences long.
  2. Clear - making the main point of your paper obvious to anyone who is reading it
  3. Focused - if your thesis statement is too broad, you may not be able to effectively cover all aspects of the issue in your assignment
  4. Original - in your own words (not a quotation)
  5. Statement, not Opinion - Avoid starting your thesis statement with words like "I think..." or "I believe".

 

For example:

If your research question is "How does the use of social media affect teens' sleep patterns?", your thesis statement might be:

The use of social media is negatively affecting teenagers' sleeping patterns.

 

If your research question is "How has the blockade impacted food security in Qatar?" your thesis statement might be:

In response to the blockade imposed by other Gulf countries in 2017, Qatar has developed innovative strategies to achieve food security.

References

Seminole State College Library. (2018). Develop a thesis statement. Research Foundations [LibGuide]. Retrieved from https://libguides.seminolestate.edu/researchfoundations/thesisstatement

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2013). Writing tips: Thesis statements. Writers workshop: Writer resources. Retrieved from http://www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/writers/tips/thesis/