Discussion board 3.1: narrowing your topic

The activity/questions are adapted from a library tutorial at the University of Arizona. 

If you created a question with just the broad topic, you might have asked, “Should we raise the minimum wage?” However, this topic can be discussed through many lens. Are you considering the ethical reasons why people should make a living wage, or are you considering the larger financial benefits to the overall economy? Will you discuss the benefits for working teenagers, working parents, or single millennials? Will this affect healthcare, education, or the costs of living? If you go into your paper preparing to argue why we should or shouldn’t raise the minimum wage, your paper will lack a clear focus and be all over the place. Therefore, you need to narrow your topic.

 Once you have completed your pyramid, you can create a more focused research question that will allow you to present a more precise argument. Now our research question is no longer “Should we raise the minimum wage?” Instead, we might ask, “Will raising the minimum wage improve the lives of single mothers and their children in urban US cities?”

Keep track of your process when you complete the pyramid activity and then post your results for this discussion board.

As always, please respond to two of your peers. Comment on their process and their final research question. Did they narrow it enough? It is interesting and relevant? And finally, do you think this will make a good argumentative research paper?

Peers responses:

1.Katherine Rodgers: Cussing

So, I want to argue about if cuss words are really necessary to use in everyday life. So I will show what I narrowed downs:

Feelings

Expressions

Language

Social

Are cuss words really necessary in everyday life?

2.Adriana Ravelo: Grouping by ability

From “401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing”:

181. What Do You Think of Grouping Students by Ability in Schools?

PYRAMID:

Broad topic: Grouping in schools by abilities

Population: students K-12

Location: United States schools

Point of view: Educational

Time: Long term

RESEARCH QUESTION:

“Are children with lower performance abilities in math and language affected by being grouped in low level classes?”

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