Associate Level Material
As part of your research plan, you must first draft a research question for your research paper that will guide the rest of your writing. A research question, which is more specific and focused than a general topic, is the question that your research paper will be answering. For example, if your general area of interest is social security, a possible research question might ask “How can low-income families save more money if the United States had a reformed social security plan that includes personal retirement accounts?” As you develop a research question, keep in mind that you will need to research sources to support your topic. Do not pick a one-sided question that will limit your research. Instead, develop a research question that lends itself to further exploration and debate—a question for which you genuinely want to know the answer. Try to pick a research question that is neither too broad, which covers too much, or too narrow, which covers too little. It should be broad enough to be discussed in a short research paper. What is your general topic or area of interest?
| Drugs and their consequences
| What is it about your general topic of interest that interests you?
| The impact drugs have on people, family, and friends. I want to help them understand the dangers of drugs.
| What questions do you have about the topic that you would like to investigate? List them.
| How does drug abuse effect your family? How did you get involved in drugs? Do you feel like you are a threat to anyone when you are on drugs? Can you picture your life without drugs?
| Would any of the questions you listed about the topic make a good subject for a research paper? Pick or adapt one question about drugs and make it into a research question.
| What type of life would you wish for? Do you feel like it is possible to obtain a different lifestyle? How has drugs abuse affected your family and loved ones?
| Why do you think...
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