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Research: Developing a Research Topic & Thesis Statement

Thesis Statement


1. A short statement, usually one sentence, that summerizes the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, etc. and is develped, supported, and explained in the text by means of examples and evidence. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015

Steps to Developing a Research Topic

When developing your topic

1)      Choose one that you have an interest in knowing more about or even feel strongly about.

2)      Do background research to see if it is a good topic. One you can write a research paper easily

         or do you need to tweak it.

3)      Now do your serious research and see if your topic is working for you.

4)      Then create your thesis statement.

Narrowing or Broading a Topic

When a topic is too broad:

Your research topic is too broad if any of the following is true:

1)      There will be many books and internet sources on the topic. So many you could not cover it all

           in a paper of 5-7 pages.

2)      You can describe the research topic in a word or two.

3)      If the thesis statement is too hard to write


As you look through general research information (encyclopedia, website, book, etc.) about your topic look for the who, what, where and when of your topic. For an example see the document Narrowing a Topic Example above the graphic.  Use the document above the graphic for a template for "Narrowing a Topic" by filling in the spaces. Look at the video again to help you.


When a topic is to narrow:

1)      When you find very little information on the topic

2)      It is so recent that there are not any studies or articles on the topic written by experts.

3)      It takes a long time to explain.


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