Lesson Plan

How to Find a Research Question

There are so many fascinating topics and concepts to learn about in the world. But where do you start? Begin formulating questions for an argumentative research paper with a guided practice activity. After coming up with three questions individually, small groups discuss the list of compiled questions from the class and narrow the list down to their preferred questions.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • If your class has an online component, have learners post their proposed questions before class to shorten discussion time
  • Narrow questions to a few fields of interest, either based on themes from your curriculum or topics of student interest, to avoid a wide range of questions
Classroom Considerations
  • Based on Kate L. Turabian's Student's Guide to Writing College Papers, which is required for the lesson; pupils should have finished the first chapter before beginning the lesson
  • More scaffolding may be necessary for younger or struggling readers
  • The first of a 19-part unit on research and argumentative writing
  • Aligned to Common Core standards for argumentative and research writing
  • Provides reference handouts for learners that include tips for choosing effective research questions
  • Offers two sets of instructions for discussion versus paper topics
  • None