What is the purpose of a research question?
|a.||It is supposed to narrow down and direct your thinking while you look for sources and while you think about your inquiry. Sometimes, if you ask the same question in a slightly different way, it can lead to entirely different results. So putting your question into words gives your research focus and purpose.|
|b.||It is supposed to show demonstrate open-mindedness, humility and trustworthiness to your audience. Without stating your research question, academic writing sounds too arrogant, argumentative, aggressive and untrustworthy.|
|c.||You could potentially do a good research paper without ever asking a research question, so a research question has no essential purpose in academic research. It’s just a formality.|
|d.||The research question only serves a purpose in the beginning of your research process. Once you kick off your research process with some kind of a question, there’s no reason to revisit or revise your research question–no real reason to think about your research question again, since your research can wind up going in an entirely different direction. The research question just forces you to get started. It doesn’t necessarily influence where you wind up.|
In “Connecting the Parts,” from They Say/I Say, the authors suggest that it may be helpful to think of all your sentences as having arms that reach backwards towards previous sentences and forward to upcoming sentences. Why and what are they talking about?
Name at least four writing moves that you would do in academic writing that are not required (or are less common) in popular magazines or online writing, blogs, or in the news. Why are these four writing moves done in academic writing but not in writing for a popular audience? (Be specific, name four things, and explain each one.)
You will be asked to write research questions in future classes for research papers. So reflect in this answer on your experiences this summer or in previous classes on formulating a research question. How did your research question start and where did you end up with your research question, and what lessons (if any) can you take away from your experience of formulating a research question this semester (or what was reaffirmed for you that you already knew)? If your initial question was inadequate, why, how did you know, and how did you revise it? If you could not force yourself to write your research topic as a question at first, what was required to enable you to finally articulate a research question? (Be specific. Do a TEA paragraph, with topic sentence and specifics from your research process as evidence, and explanation and analysis.)
1. The authors of They Say/I Say argue that you should go as far as you possibly can in explaining why your thesis or point matters, even if you think it’s obvious.
1. It is against the rules to repeat words from one sentence to the next.
1. In the chapter “So What? Who Cares?” from They Say/I Say, the authors say that so long as you have a clear, specific thesis, you do not have to explain to readers why that thesis matters.