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Selecting a Research Topic

Formulate a thesis statement or research question

The research goal and purpose can be expressed in either of two ways: as a thesis statement or as a research question.

Thesis Statement

  • Write your topic as a thesis statement. Your thesis statement will be one or two sentences that state precisely what is to be answered, proven, or what you will inform your readers about your topic.
  • The development of a thesis assumes there is sufficient evidence to support the thesis statement.

For example, a thesis statement could be: Music benefits both society and the individual in a number of practical ways.

Research Question

You will often begin with a couple of words, develop a more focused interest in an aspect of something relating to these words, then begin to have questions about the topic.

For example:

  • Ideas = music effects
  • Research Question = In what ways does music affect people?
  • Focused Research Question = What positive effects does music have on young children?

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Thesis Generators

These web tools can be used to help you formulate your Thesis Statement:

ElectraGuide: Thesis Builder  

McGarvey Online: Thesis Statement Creator