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  • Brainstorming
    Question Brainstorming Brainstorming can help you define a research question Take fifteen or twenty minutes and let your thoughts roam jot down the questions that come to mind even those that seem useless When you look over your list you may find one or two that appear more promising than others Remember not to edit your ideas during the brainstorming session Save your evaluation for later Previous Continue Introduction Tweet

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=507&guideid=25 (2015-10-15)
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  • Size Up The More Promising Questions
    have too wide a scope for the time constraints of a semester Here are some examples How is the climate of the earth changing Why does poverty exist What s going on in outer space Too narrow of a question will also cause problems Avoid restricting yourself to the point where finding relevant sources becomes difficult or impossible For example How did John F Kennedy s maternal grandfather influence the decisions he made during his first month as president If one or two sources will answer your question it may not be substantial enough to bother with either Your paper will be too thin a summary rather than a true research paper Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no or a few statistics In the end they just aren t interesting enough to pursue Are there more black students or white students in the freshman class this year The question doesn t have enough meat on the bone By focusing on something more specific regarding a significant issue you will find more and better information Your document will also be far more interesting to research and write Questions regarding issues that people take seriously and

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=508&guideid=25 (2015-10-15)
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  • Honing Your Question
    your question appropriate not too wide not too narrow Is it manageable within the time constraints allowed Will the answer fit the page and word requirements of the assignment Can you find sufficient and timely information in the library Will Internet Web and field research produce more source material Is your question simple enough to seek just one answer not several Is it specific enough that your audience will understand

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=509&guideid=25 (2015-10-15)
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  • Creating a Preliminary Thesis Statement
    statement that isn t necessarily conclusive but gets you thinking and started on building one that is a final statement around which your research can be focused Let s use an environmental question fueling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling debate circa 2006 to build a thesis statement Research Question What is the impact of China s rapidly expanding economy on global oil markets and how does it affect the argument against drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Formulate a preliminary answer add some supporting facts or observations in this case both as well as a preliminary conclusion as in the following Preliminary Thesis Statement The growth of China s rapidly expanding economy is radically changing the playing field in a global oil market dominated for decades by the United States and Japan Currently the second largest consumer of petroleum products in the world China may very well become the largest possibly importing as much as two thirds of its requirement by 2025 This may be due to the growing Chinese auto market It may also be due to an inability to meet established nuclear power plant construction targets Regardless the stakes are high The question of where enough energy to satisfy global needs is going to come from cannot be downplayed Despite the protests of environmental activists across the United States the increasing needs of China to sustain their growing economy by contracting with nations deemed hostile by the United States may very well change the tone of the debate about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge It may tilt away from environmentalist conservation positions toward those who favor exploration and production This preliminary thesis provides some direction for your inquiry In one short paragraph four things are accomplished A preliminary answer to the first

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=436&guideid=21 (2015-10-15)
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  • Reviewing the Preliminary Thesis Statement
    Contributors Citation Developing a Thesis Statement Reviewing the Preliminary Thesis Statement Reviewing the preliminary thesis is the second step In this example you ll notice that the preliminary statement is a little bit loose a little broad This is not unusual and it s okay It suggests too much information but at least there is something with which to work In the example the two part question has both a what and a how component The preliminary thesis briefly answers the what component makes a credible observation regarding why and then suggests a hypothetical answer to the how component So where did the why come from that wasn t part of the original question The interesting thing about questions is how often they lead to others The important thing to note here is that an answer to an unasked question is a good indicator that something needs to be revised And perhaps it s in the question itself Sometimes a research question needs revising before the preliminary thesis can be revised How about something like this Revised Research Question Why is the expanding Chinese economy exerting so much pressure on global oil markets and how will it affect the debate

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=437&guideid=21 (2015-10-15)
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  • Considering the Purpose and your Audience
    that the what component has been removed replaced by a fact and a rephrased question that incorporates the why component With a clearer purpose the interest of the audience will be much easier to hold In this case two groups with opposing views have been identified Each has a vested interest in what you have to say With a more purposeful question a more precise thesis can now be shaped Revised Preliminary Thesis Statement Currently the second largest consumer of petroleum products in the world China may very well become the largest possibly importing as much as two thirds of its requirement by 2025 This rapidly expanding demand for oil may be caused in part by their exploding automobile industry and in part by an inability to meet their nuclear power plant construction targets Regardless the stakes are high and oil resources are limited With increased global competition the demand will rapidly outpace current production capabilities in the oil producing nations Such increased competition is going to seriously impact the current debate between environmentalists and corporate America regarding drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge And in the end the environmentalists may not like the outcome You can see that

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=438&guideid=21 (2015-10-15)
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  • Considering the Scope of your Thesis
    Considering the Scope of your Thesis Converting your Preliminary to a Final Thesis Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Developing a Thesis Statement Considering the Scope of your Thesis Finally consider the scope of your statement There s still something a little bulky about the preliminary thesis It s time to hone it down narrow it to where the actual research won t be overwhelming Here s a possibility Further Revised Preliminary Thesis Statement China currently the second largest consumer of petroleum products in the world is poised to become the largest Projections indicate that it will be importing as much as two thirds of its nation s requirement by 2025 Regardless of the reasons for this and there are many global resources are limited as demand soars With production capabilities in the oil producing nations maxed at current levels and increased competition from China to secure enough oil to sustain their economic growth the current debate between environmentalists and corporate America over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is going to ratchet up a decibel or two And the environmentalists are going to be hard pressed to win the argument Previous Continue Introduction Tweet HELP

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=439&guideid=21 (2015-10-15)
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  • Converting your Preliminary to a Final Thesis
    happens Final Thesis Statement With production capabilities in the oil producing nations maxed at their current levels and increased competition from China to import that oil the current debate between environmentalists and corporate America over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is going to ratchet up a decibel or two And the environmentalists are going to be hard pressed to win the argument An Even Better Final Thesis Statement Environmentalists are likely to lose ground in the current debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as oil producing nations struggle to meet the increased demands of an emerging industrial China competing for limited supplies in the global oil market Okay There you have it a final thesis statement The preliminary statement has been honed down and tightened up And guess what The sentences that were set aside as well as all the others you have worked on during your revision aren t a waste They or any combination of them might make an excellent opening paragraph You may want to include some version of your original research question also It s a great way to get started Plausible Opening Paragraph China currently the second largest consumer of

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=440&guideid=21 (2015-10-15)
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