Essentially, a research paper is an argument supported by evidence. As you begin your research, you want to think of a broad question that will encourage you to think deeply about your topic.
- Use the Blooms Taxonomy to help you create a broad question. Depending on your specific assignment, focus on the key words, actions, and questions stems from Analysis (green), Synthesis (purple), and Evaluation (blue) to create your broad research question.
- Begin your research using short reference articles from encyclopedias and databases to learn background information.
- As you continue researching, narrow your broad question into a more refined question by fine-tuning your question with one (or more) of the following question stems: Who? To What Extent? When? Where?
- Make sure you can find reliable sources to support your research. Use the databases and scholarly websites. If you can not find these sources, you will need to rewrite/rephrase your question. Remember, completed essays should show evidence of: critical thinking, evidence gathering, and synthesis of ideas from a variety of sources
The example below illustrates how to narrow your topic from a broad question into a strong research question. If you need help or have a question, please see Ms. Glassman or Ms. Lively in the library.