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 could low-income families save more money if the United States had a reformed Social Security plan that included 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 you genuinely want to know the answer to. Try to pick a research question that is not too broad (covering too much) or too narrow (covering too little). It should be broad enough to be discussed in a short research paper.
|What is your general topic or area of interest? |Hate Crimes |
|What is it about your general topic of interest that interests |When is a hate crime consider a hate crime? |
|you? |What kind of characteristics have protected status under federal |
| |hate crime laws? |
| |What have states and cities done to raise awareness about and |
| |provide remedies for the commission of hate crimes? |
|What questions do you have about the topic that you would like to|What is a hate crime?