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Research Help

This guide will help you at all stages of the research process, from choosing a topic to citing your sources.

Thesis Statements and Research Questions

A thesis statement makes an assertion or argument about a topic, and then shares how the topic will be explored in the rest of paper. 

  • Used for argumentative essays, persuasive essays, and many other types of college research papers 

A research question identifies what overarching, central question will be answered in the paper. 

  • Used for literature reviews, research articles, studies, and other research papers 

Brainstorming and Concept Maps

How do you move from a general topic to a specific thesis statement or research question? 

Concept maps are great brainstorming tools for thinking about your topic and related concepts. They can also be great starting points for generating keywords that you will need when searching in the library databases. 

To make a concept map for your topic: 

  1. Start with the main topic in the center. 

  1. Add related concepts in bubbles, using lines to connect them to each other and to the main topic. 

Tools for Concept Mapping

Other Resources and Tips