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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School: Brainstorming & Research Questions

This is the LibGuide for Ms. Kowalski-Rospierski's AP English class and and Mr. Cole's AP Debate class. See this page for links to library services and other information!

Writing a Research Question Infographic

1. Basic Brainstorming

SLO 1: Students will be able to construct a research topic and identify subtopics using the brainstorming process.

Before you can begin researching your topic you need to brainstorm some possible search terms. It is important to understand that topics may be referred to by different terms, such as "promote" for "market." Only by using different combinations of similar search terms will you find the most information about your topic.

2. Getting Background Information

SLO 2: Students will be able to recognize and select relevant keywords while reading background information on their topic.

After you identify your research topic and some keywords that describe it, find and read at least one article from one or more of the following sources: subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, or handbooks; or through databases like Opposing Viewpoints or Points of View Reference Center.

3. Developing Your Research Question

SLO 3: Students will be able to examine and discuss the qualities of a well-defined research question.

The key to writing a successful research paper is developing a workable and interesting research question and thesis. Once you've chosen a general topic, you will still need to devise a research question.

Where to Find General Information on a Topic

To get background information on a topic or to generate ideas for keywords, take a look at encyclopedias and other reference works.

Available From Florida Electronic Library (log-in is not required):

From FLA-PASS (email address and FLA-PASS password required):

From FAU Libraries (available to MDS High School students at any FAU campus library):