Discussion Questions: Describe two strengths and two weaknesses you’ve discovered about homeland security in your previous studies. Your strengths and weaknesses will set the foundation for your original research paper topic selection, so give it rigorous thought as you develop your week 1 discussion. In your final paragraph create a draft research question and draft thesis statement about an issue of significant interest to you – perhaps based on the strengths and weaknesses you provide. This draft research question and thesis statement will serve to initiate your efforts in your original research paper. This will be a great assistance for next week’s written assignment. The draft research question and thesis statement can be revised later as needed.
Formulate A Research Question?
Once you have found a topic, how do you formulate a research question? A good research question must be clear, focused, concise, complex and arguable. These elements are essential because the question provides the “path” for searching for information that will lead to an eventual conclusion.
Follow these steps to develop a research question:
Choose an interesting topic or one that serves you, as discussed above, and draft some preliminary questions.
Next, do some preliminary reading to see if the question has already been answered, if there is sufficient information on the topic, or if another more pertinent question is raised from what you read in academic journals and books about your topic question.
Refine your question and submit it to the “so what” test. Will the answer to it make a contribution to knowledge in that issue area? Will the answer advance your own depth of knowledge?
Once you have drafted a question, you should test it against these criteria:
Is your research question clear? With so much information on most topics, it is important that your question is focused and clear, not overly wordy or complicated.
Is your question complex enough that there is not a simple “yes” or “no” answer to it?
Is your question researchable? Are you able to find information in peer-reviewed academic journals and books about your topic?