Chapter 9: Towards the Well-Researched Paper

Questions to Ask

When you are exploring the ways in which research might fit into your work, it is often useful to ask yourself a series of pointed questions. These questions will prompt you to think of research as more than something that needs to be plugged in at the last minute; they will encourage you to think in terms of the research improving your argument and making it more complex.

You can come up with your own list of questions, but here are some that may help you on your way:

  1. What concepts am I discussing that may need to be defined? What might be some good (complex, specific) sources in which to find these definitions?
  2. What aspects of my thesis might be strengthened via the use of data and statistics?
  3. What aspects of my thesis might be strengthened via a focus on historical or factual information about the broader categories into which my primary example fits?
  4. What aspects of my thesis might benefit from the introduction of alternative perspectives (arguments that seem to contradict mine, arguments regarding related but distinct subject matter, etc.)?
  5. Where in my thesis would use of a scholarly concept be beneficial?