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Research Process

A general guide through the process of writing a researched paper or putting together a project that involves background research.

Generating Ideas for Your Paper

Ideas for generating a topic and thesis statement:

  • Consider various facets of a topic or controversy. What are the ethical, religious, legal, technological, medical, scientific, economic, cultural, social, geographic, demographic, and political dimensions to the topic you're considering?
  • Consider the 5 "W"s: Who, What, When, Where, Why or How? Which aspects are most interesting to you?
  • Generate open-ended questions that you could explore:
    • What are the causes, effects, or solutions?
    • What are the main ideas I want to explore?
    • What specific issues am I trying to describe?
    • What argument am I trying to make or prove?
    • What specific aspects do I wish to investigate?
    • What academic disciplines are involved in doing research on these issues?
  • Focus on identifying proper nouns, nouns or noun phrases, and action verbs in the assignment description.