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English Composition 1001

Research made easy.

Developing a Research Question

Find an Interesting and Substantive Research Question

The following databases will provide background information to help you discover a topic for research.These are just starting points and other resources will be necessary to further investigate your argument or point of analysis.

Turn Your Topic Into a Research Question

What do you want to know about your topic? Turn it into a question. Asking a specific question will help you to:

  • focus your search;
  • determine which sources are useful;
  • find information to establish your argument or point of analysis.


Topic: the effects of childhood poverty in Cincinnati
Question:How does poverty and a child's neighborhood affect his/her opportunities in adult life?

The databases in the box above, for example, Opposing Viewpoints in Context and CQ Researcher, may provide examples of questions or statements in the articles - you may need to look inside the article, not just at the title.

Complete this concept map with the primary topic in the center and secondary concepts in the smaller bubbles; identify like terms (synonyms) for each secondary concept. (See the example below).

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