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ENG 115: Accelerated Composition


This page is focused on helping you go from the beginning steps of getting your assignment to the finished project. From the moment you receive your assignment, your mind is awash in what to write about, how to develop a research question, where to look to find resources to help you complete it, and much more. Everyone has had these feelings when they get their first research paper in college. Do not worry - we are here to help calm your nerves and get you started on producing a solid paper over a topic that you choose. So, let's get started...


Topic Selection

Before you can develop a research question, you will have to identify a topic that you are going to devote your time to. Sometimes, this topic is provided to you by an instructor, but more often than not, the instructor will give you the independence to select a topic on your own. If that happens, make sure that you pick a topic that meets the following criteria:

  • Is broad enough for you to find sources to answer your question
  • Is focused enough that you are not overwhelmed by information
  • Is interesting to you

By finding a topic that fits these criteria, you are well on your way to identifying a research question that will guide your process.

Developing a research question

Getting started with a research project is always a daunting task. First, you have to decide on a topic and then decide what your research question will be. While a topic may come to mind almost immediately, what a lot of students struggle with is finding a question within their topic that can be researchable. Without a good, well-developed research question, you will struggle from the beginning of your project and will never be able to get on track.