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 lesson plan. 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
Pros

  • 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
Cons

  • None