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It is now time to form a good research question that will guide your research and make your data collection focused and relevant to the problem at hand.The ‘so what’ test Your research needs to have a clear and recognizable purpose.“What are the experiences of women aged 40 to 60 who have developed early onset dementia?
” will require only some basic descriptive statistics to answer and should, at best, be a component of a larger argument.
Make it manageable Ensure that you can answer the question within your research timeframe and with the resources available to you. It might be tempting to put together a complex question that would require a large sample and elaborate methods to answer.
Or why does the film challenge our expectations about romantic comedies by focusing on high school cliques? is a romantic comedy criticizing the divisiveness created by high school cliques. You’re starting to take a stance by arguing that the film identifies “divisiveness” as a problem and it, but your readers will want to know how this plays out and why it’s important. If your argument lacks evidence, readers will think your thesis statement is an opinion or belief as opposed to an argument. To get started, you might experiment with some of these “mad libs.” They’re thinking exercises that will help propel you toward an arguable thesis.
If you can answer one of those questions (or others of your own), you’ll have a strong thesis. Right now, the thesis still sounds bland – not risky enough to be genuinely contentious. By examining __________________ [topic/approach], we can see _____________________[thesis—the claim that's surprising], which is important because ___________________________. Example: is merely entertaining, I believe its message is political.
Presumably you are working on a research topic that interests you.
You have done a great deal of literature searching and reading (or alternatively, you have observed a practical problem) and you identified a gap in knowledge (also known as a “knowledge gap”).A research essay cannot simply report on historical events or ideas, it must have a particular point. The evidence itself does not constitute an argument – it must be presented to the reader after they have been advised of the argument, or “charges” at hand. ” You may think about it in this way: a prosecuting attorney would not simply present a host of evidence to a jury without arguing a particular case.Also, asking about demographic characteristics and basic statistics is usually too narrow as well.For example, “What is the percentage of people who feel happy with their current life situation?You know you have formed a great question when the ‘so what’ test is not difficult to pass and you feel your study will make an academic or practical contribution.That said, you should also answer a research question you too find interesting and exciting.” However, you also do not want to make your question too narrow.If you can answer it with , it is probably too simple.Intelligent people would generally agree with this statement—so there’s no real “news” for your reader.You want your thesis to say something surprising and debatable. It challenges an obvious interpretation of the movie (that it just reinforces stereotypes), offering a new and more complex reading in its place.