Research Writing SY2006

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Formulating research question(s)

Formulating research question(s), p 51, Keys for Writers: a Handbook, Ann Raimes, 2nd Edition, US: Houghton Mifflin (1999)

Once you have focused your topic so that it has an appropriate scope for your assignment, time frame, and length requirements, you need to formulate a research question(s). To do so, determine the most important questions that you want to ask and answer.

Consider for example these possible research questions developed from the broad subject area of bilingual education:

  • Should bilingual education be extended to monolingual children?
  • What teaching methods work best in bilingual classrooms?
  • For what reasons do people send (or not send) their children to bilingual schools?
  • Are children who are placed in bilingual programs more successful in later grades than those in English-only programs?

A research question will give you a sense of direction. Frequently as you do your research and take notes, you will have in mind a tentative response to your question.


Look at your topic, can you think of questions that you would like to answer in your research?

Post your research questions on your blog.


A Good Working Thesis

A Good Working Thesis, p. 16, Keys for Writers: a Handbook, Ann Raimes, 2nd Edition, US: Houghton Mifflin (1999)

  1. narrows your topic to a single main idea that you want to communicate
  2. asserts your position clearly and firmly in a sentence that makes a claim about a topic
  3. states not simply a fact but an opinion
  4. makes a generalization that can be supported by details, facts, and examples within the assigned limtations of time and space;
  5. stimulates the curiousity and interest in readers and prompts them to thing, "Why do you say that?" and read on.

A good thesis statement also may be one or more of the following:

  1. A strong, thought-provoking, or controversial statement
  • Bilingual education has not fulfilled its early promise.

2. A call to action

  • All inner-city schools should set up bilingual programs.

3. A question that will be answered in the essay

  • What can bilingual education accomplish for a child? It can lead to academic and personal development

4. A preview or reflections of the structure of the research

  • Bilingual education suffers from two main problems: a shortgae of trained teachers and lack of parental involvement.


Now, look at your topic, or if you have already written your thesis statement, look at it again and compare it with the guidelines above. Does it meet the guidelines? Should you edit it and make it better?


9/28 Identifying Library sources

Week 3
Identifying library sources, Unit 3 and Unit 6 (Assembling a working bibliography)
Lecture/Class activity
Analyzing card catalogue

Assignment for next week:

Making source cards with notes.
Sources must be based on your chosen topic

1] Use the format below when you prepare your source cards or bibliography cards. You could either use index cards or type your work on an A4 bond paper. I won't accept handwritten work.

Your Name

Student Number

Research Topic

Tentative Title

Name of author (s)
Title of work
Facts of Publications (Annotation stating why source may be useful)
Page(s) of information

[2] same as in [1]

For example:

[1] Pares, Bernard

The Fall of the Russian Monarchy
New York: Knopf, 1939

Chapter 5 deals with Rasputin's rise in Rusiian politics and the miniter's reactions to him. Chapter 13 is a description of Rasputin's murder by Yusupov and conspirators.


How many sources should you prepare? Minimum of 10 books/articles.

Can I use sources from the Internet? At this stage, NO. The point in this activity is for you to visit the library and see the resources that you could find and use for your research paper.

Internet resources will be discussed and covered in Week 6.


Those who still have not created your blogs, I am giving you until next week to do so. Those who have already created your blogs, please update every now and then. I will be checking them regularly.

Since we do not have quizzes, I will be using your blogs and our yahoogroup (plus class attendance, of course) for student evaluation purposes.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

choosing topics and narrowing them down

Hello all,
First, my congratulations go to all the students who have created their blogs. I'll be sharing your work with the whole class later this evening.
Second, we're going to discuss how to choose a topic for your research and narrowing it down to help you focus on a specific research topic. See Unit 2 for details.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

new blogs created [formerly] Re: research writing

Thank you Tammy. I've included your url on my blog at Please don't forget to join the research
Writing yahoogroup.

ªL©y¸a <> wrote:
Dear Aiden,
I have attached my url. I still haven't had any idea for my topic. I would like to talk about sexual but I don't know which way should I develop. I am still thinking.......maybe I'll find something else.....I hope.
Best regards,

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Creating a Blog

For my Research Writing Students at Wen Zao, school year 2005-2006, here's the link to the steps in creating your blog. Let me know if you're able to set it up and I'll link your blog to mine.