Depending on your assignment, you may be asked to formulate your topic as a research question or as a thesis statement.
At the college level, research papers require more than a simple gathering of information and opinions. You need to ask questions: why, where, how, what if. What question would you like to answer with your research?
By phrasing your topic as a question, your paper becomes more focused. Your research question makes you reflect further on the topic than what you already know.
The thesis statement answers your research question. It’s a claim you make based on the research you’ve done. The goal of the paper is to provide evidence to support that claim. What do you want your audience to learn?
Video: Choosing a Topic and Thesis
Posted with permission of the Reeves Memorial Library, Seton Hill University.