Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Library Reopening Dashboard
Get the latest information on the status of library services and space.
 Ask a Question

Writing 10 (Ayik): Developing Successful Research Questions

College Reading & Composition

What Makes a Good Research Topic Handout

Part of being a researcher is identifying a research question.  One of your goals will be to articulate a research question that is an appropriate scope (not too broad or narrow), is arguable (not a yes / no question), and that has social significance (stands up under the who cares question). 

The following handout includes research questions for discussion.

Keys for Writers - Additional Resource

Keys for Writers (Raimes and Miller-Cochran) include useful information to consider as you form an arguable claim (thesis).  Avoid the following since they are not debatable. 

  • "a neutral statement, which gives no hint of the writer's position"
  • "an announcement of the paper's broad subject"
  • "a fact, which is not arguable"
  • "a truism (statement that is obviously true)"
  • "a personal or religious conviction that cannot be logically debated"
  • "an opinion based only on your feelings"
  • "a sweeping generalization" (Section 4C, pg. 52)

The book also provides examples and key points (pg. 53) for a good working thesis.

 

Topic Selection (NCSU Libraries)