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The Research Question

Refining Your Topic

Refining Your Topic

Once you have a narrowed topic idea, you will want to begin to refine it into a question that can be successfully researched. Often you will be going back and re-working your Research Question, based on the information you find and the direction you take!  Remember--decide on what is the most interesting aspect for you!

Recursive Questioning

The Research Question

The Research Question

(well-spent 1:56)

What Makes a Good Research Question?

Question mark

What makes a good Research Question?

It is Critical, not Simple

Critical question.....

  • leads to more questions
  • provokes discussion
  • comes from a critical or careful reading of the text or understanding of a topic
  • addresses wider issues

Simple question....... 

  • can be answered with a "yes" or "no"
  • can contain the answers within the question
  • can be answered by a fact, or a series of facts
  • can easily be found by "Googling"

image photo : What if question

Re-valuate your question

Re-evaluate your Question if:

  • You can answer it too easily . . .
    • by looking it up
    • by summarizing a source
    • if the answer seems self-evident because the evidence overwhelmingly favors one answer
  • You cannot find enough good evidence and authoritative sources to support an answer because . . .
    • no relevant facts exist
    • not enough research exists to be considered
    • the question is based on preference
  • You have too much information . . .
    • your topic is too broad