English Composition 2Topic & Research Question

Learning Goal: I’m working on a english discussion question and need a reference to help me learn.

Select a topic for your research paper and create an appropriate research question. Your topic should be related to your area of work or your field of study. It needs to be a topic on which you can take a stance and convince an audience of your viewpoint. You will be using your topic for a research paper, a workplace proposal, and a presentation, so be sure that it fits the format of all three.

After you’ve determined your topic and question, draft a thesis statement for your research paper that states both the topic you’ve selected and what question you will be attempting to answer.


It is usually better to choose a topic that is currently relevant in contemporary discourse in your academic field or major. A Google search via the ‘News’ search option can often reveal contemporary hot-button issues that are both widely discussed and have multiple defined sides to them. At the same time, it is important to remember that not all sources are scholarly. You need to choose an appropriate academic topic, and you need to vet your sources to make sure they are credible and professional.

Your topic should neither be too broad nor too narrow. Sometimes students become overly ambitious and try to take on ‘history of the world’ topics which are much too broad. On the other hand, some students choose a topic that may be too narrow and cannot be adequately treated in the word allotment. Finally, some topics may be so recent that they do not have a sufficient body of scholarly research to support them. Refer back to the following lessons for further guidance:

After you have chosen a topic, you should upload a word document that contains your thesis as well as an explanation of your topic. See these lessons for further instructions:

Formatting & Sources

Please write your thesis and cite your sources following MLA format. Please make use of the following resources to conduct your research:

  • JSTOR – A digital library containing thousands of primary sources and journals for research purposes. You can sign up for a free account that you can use to access up to 6 articles per month.
  • Google Scholar – A free resource you can use to access peer-reviewed journals and other scholarly resources.

If you’re unsure about how to use MLA format to cite your sources, please see the following lesson:

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