Research Question and Thesis Worksheet

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n this course, you will write a persuasive essay on a topic that interests you. Each week, you will be introduced to a specific component of the final persuasive essay. This 5-part, step-by-step approach will guide you through the essay writing process using a structured method. In this first assignment, you will select a topic and research question, begin your research, and write a thesis statement. Follow the steps below to complete this assignment.

1. Review the essay topics and research questions below and select one as the focus of your persuasive essay. Keep in mind the goal of this paper is to create an argument that will persuade someone to adopt your perspective or point of view on the issue. 

  • Animal Rights: Do animals deserve rights? What are 3 reasons you support or oppose this position?
  • Artificial Intelligence: Is artificial intelligence helpful or hurtful to our economy? What are 3 reasons you hold this viewpoint?
  • Climate Change: What argument might you make about climate change? What are 3 ways to support this argument?
  • Fake News: What are ways to protect ourselves from fake news? What are 3 ways to solve the problem?
  • Technology: Does technology advance or threaten our democracy? What are 3 reasons why you take that stance?
  • Parenting: Is corporal punishment an appropriate discipline for children? What are 3 reasons why that you agree or disagree with corporal punishment?

Note: If none of the topics above appeal to you, you may select a different topic for your argument and write your own research question. You must obtain instructor approval if you choose this option. Review the following guidelines for selecting a different topic and locating sources:

  • Access the Opposing Viewpoints in Context database via the Week 1 University Library page. This database includes hundreds of possible topics and identifies statistics, alternative viewpoints, articles, and videos from various points of view.
  • Browse issues or perform a search on a topic you have in mind.
  • Review sources related to your topic and take note of any sources that could be used to support your argument.

2. Begin preliminary research for articles related to your essay topic. Read the article associated to your topic on the Week 1 University Library page, or conduct a search for other sources using a database or the general search box on the University Library home page. While you are not required to use the sources you find this week in your final paper due in Week 5, you will have to reference material from 3 separate University Library sources, including at least 1 that is peer-reviewed.

3. Complete the Research Question and Thesis Worksheet.

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