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ENGL 101: Composition I: Your Topic

Background Research

Background Research: searching and reading a variety of information about your general topic in order to decide where you want to focus your research.

Video courtesy of North Carolina State University Libraries:

libnscu (2014, May 1). Picking your topic is research [video file].  Retrieved from:

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Thesis Statement/ Research Question

The research question is a sentence that helps you define what exactly you are trying to answer with your paper.

  • Should be debatable
  • Should be specific to what you will cover in your paper


Has media violence contributed to the increase in mass shootings?

What are the legal arguments against the legalization of marijuana?

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