This guide will give you a brief overview of the different steps in the research process.
Research Question and Thesis Statement
Research is all about finding finding the answer to a question. Once you have chosen your research topic and completed some background research, you are ready to come up with your research question. Your research question will be the overall question you are going to answer in your essay.
For example, let's say you decided to write a paper on the Polar Ice Caps melting. While you were doing your background research, you decided you were interested in human involvement in the Polar Ice Caps melting. Your research question would become: How can humans stop the Polar Ice Caps from melting?
Next, you will transform your research question into a thesis statement, which is the answer to your research question. Your thesis statement will clearly show the position you will take in your paper and how you intend to argue that position.
For example, if your research question is How can humans stop the Polar Ice Caps from melting?, an answer to that question (and the position to take in a paper) might be: Humans can stop the Polar Ice Caps from melting by becoming more conscientious with their use of electricity.
It is common and normal for your research topic, question, or thesis to change over time, especially as you do more research and learn more about your topic. Remember, research is a process, and you can always go back an revisit steps when needed.