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English 121 - Writing Research Papers

Topic vs. Research Question

A research topic is a subject that you are interested in investigating. For instance, Bees is a Topic.

research question drives your investigation. It is something that you want to know about your topic; something you will explore and try to answer. For example, "How do bees work together as a community?" is a research question. 

Using the 5Ws to Develop a Research Question

Concept Mapping Your Topic

Concept mapping can be a great way to brainstorm ideas and make connections between them. The following worksheets can be helpful to you in this process. But first, check out this tutorial on how use concept mapping to generate a great list of questions: https://uclalibrary.github.io/research-tips/questions/.

Sources to Help You Explore Your Topics Related to Contemporary or Controversial Issues