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My professor asked me to place both a research question and a thesis in my research paper. He said the thesis should answer the research question, which I understand, but usually my professors want me to put one or the other at the end of the introduction, not both. Where am I supposed to put them? Am I supposed to change the research question to a statement like a hypothesis?

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  • What field are you in?
    – Ben
    Commented Feb 23 at 3:17
  • Does that Question not more likely belong somewhere such as SE Academia? Commented Mar 2 at 22:58

2 Answers 2

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Your introduction should frame the course of your paper, which is written to answer a particular research question. Your thesis statement is your stance or answer to that question.

Let me illustrate this with an example I just made up:

"...and so, there is no general consensus among philosophers concerning the solution to Schmidt's Banana Paradox. The field is split down the middle: many hold Quintessential Bananaism to be true, and an equal number are vigorous proponents of Apathetic Bananaism.

"However, it can be said that Quintessential Bananaism is the only logical solution to Schmidt's Paradox. This is for three reasons..."

See how I posed both a question and answer? My research question ("What is the solution to this problem?") is clearly stated, as is my thesis ("The only logical solution is this.") When I write papers, this is usually what I aim to do. I start with a hook, introduce the topic, come to the issue and pose a solution. I can then spend the rest of my paper going over the issue in greater depth and giving support to my argumentation.

Ultimately, don't be afraid to ask your professor for clarification. I don't know what type of research paper you're writing, but in general this format should work: Hook, introduce, question, answer...and copious elaboration.

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As I understand the term, a thesis statement summarizes your expected outcome at the end of the introduction, right after the research question.

The structure of your introduction would look something like this:

  1. Introduction
  • What are you interested in?
  • Why is this relevant?
  • What is the current state of the research on this question?
  • What is the research question that you derive from both your interest and the state of the research?
  • What do you think will be the answer to that question? ← your thesis statement
  1. The rest of your paper ...

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