Questions to answer when writing a research paper

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Questions to answer when writing a research paper

Papers normally require that a student identify a broad area of research related to the course, focus the topic through some general background reading, identify a clear research question, marshal primary and secondary resources to answer the question, and present the argument in a clear and creative manner, with proper citations.

That is the theory, at least. But how do you go about doing it all?

Narrowing Down the Research Paper Question

This brief guide provides some answers. Teaching Yourself From the outset, keep in mind one important point: Writing a research paper is in part about learning how to teach yourself.

Long after you leave college, you will continue learning about the world and its vast complexities.

questions to answer when writing a research paper

There is no better way to hone the skills of life-long learning than by writing individual research papers. The process forces you to ask good questions, find the sources to answer them, present your answers to an audience, and defend your answers against detractors. Those are skills that you will use in any profession you might eventually pursue.

Thou shalt do some background reading, think hard, and speak with the professor in order to identify a topic. At the beginning of a course, you will probably not know enough about the major scholarly topics that are of most importance in the field, the topics that are most well-covered in the secondary literature or the topics that have already had the life beaten out of them by successive generations of writers.

questions to answer when writing a research paper

You should begin by doing some general reading in the field. If nothing else, begin with the Encyclopaedia Britannica, a wonderful but sadly neglected resource. Read a few books or articles on topics you find of interest. Follow up the suggested reading on the course syllabus or the footnotes or bibliographies of the texts you are reading for the course.

Suggested Readings

After that, speak with the professor about some of your general ideas and the possible research directions you are thinking about pursuing. And you should do all this as early in the course as possible. Thou shalt have a clear research question.

Why did a particular political or social event turn out as it did and not some other way? Why does a particular pattern exist in social life?

Why does a specific aspect of politics work as it does? How has a social or political phenomenon changed from one period to another? The question can be general or particular. Why have some countries been more successful in the transition from Communism than others?

Why did the Labour Party win the last British general election? How have conceptions of race changed in the US since the s? How do different electoral systems affect the behavior of political parties?

How to Write a Research Question | Guides

The point is that you should attempt to identify either: Research questions that do not require an argument are just bad questions. Thou shalt do real research.How to Write a Research Paper Writing a research paper is in part about learning how to teach yourself.

Long after you leave college, you will continue learning about the world and its vast complexities. The process forces you to ask good questions, find the sources to answer them, present your answers to an audience, and defend your.

Generally speaking, who, what, where, why, and how are irrelevant questions when writing about literature. B.

Even people who write well sometimes have difficulty writing.5/5. Writing a Good Research Question. Identify the process for writing meaningful research questions. so broad that research methodology would be very difficult and the question is too broad to be discussed in a typical research paper.

More focused. Research questions help writers focus their research by providing a path through the research and writing process. The specificity of a well-developed research question helps writers avoid the “all-about” paper and work toward supporting a specific, arguable thesis.

Choose an answer and hit 'next'. - ensure that you understand the most important information about writing effective research questions the lesson entitled Writing Research Questions. Research Questions and Hypotheses - This book chapter takes an in-depth look at the principles used to design and write research questions and hypotheses for qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research and describes the differences in approaches based upon the type of research.

Academic and Professional Writing: Writing a Research Paper