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Wineberg - English 101 - Fall 2023: Research Question

What to do When First Given an Assignment

So, you see your professor posted directions for your next research paper. You’re very overwhelmed with all the information that’s in front of you that you don’t even know where to begin. Well, fear no more! 

  • Read the assignment two, or three times and determine what information is the most important
  • Highlight that information
  • Break the assignment into steps based off of that highlighted information
  • Write the steps out in order from first to last

Here are the steps I created in order to prepare to write my research article:

1. Collect sources

2. Report findings

3. Draw conclusions 

3. Offer a persuasive argument

4. Follow template

5. Create a works cited page using MLA format

Picking a Topic

There are a few important things to keep in mind when deciding what topic to write about:

  • I know it seems obvious, but you want to make sure your topic meets the assignment guidelines. If you are unsure, ask your professor. They are the ones giving you the grade! 
  • Your topic should be clear and focused enough to allow you to develop an argument (not too broad and not too narrow). 
  • You also want to make sure that there is a substantial amount already published on the topic. For research papers you need to back up your points with well, research! You want to have plenty of options to choose from.
  • If you have somewhat of a choice, research a topic that is of interest to you. Research is a long, tedious, and honestly sometimes boring process. You want to make the process as less painful for yourself as possible. 

Suggestions for Focusing Your Research Question

Ask yourself:

  • Who - African American women
  • What - Accessibility to birth control and/or feminine products and/or feminine services
  • Where - United States
  • When - Last 5-10 years
  • Why - Everyone deserves no matter their race

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