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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)