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Research Help: Creating a Research Question

This guide will help aid you through the research process.

Choosing a Topic

Sometimes the most difficult part of the research process is choosing a topic.  Here are some tips for selecting a research question that you will enjoy learning about and will ultimately lead to a good grade.

  • Read through your assignment.  Professors design an assignment outline for a reason.  Make sure your topic can and will adhere to their requirements and guidelines.
  • Choose a topic you are interested in.  If you don't like what you're researching, chances are you won't learn a whole lot or enjoy the process.  And really, what's the point of that?  
  • Browse resources that relate to your course work.  Look through a newspaper, magazine, or database for current events or hot topics.  Browsing can spark a lot of great ideas and can help you refine your topic.
  • Ask for help!  There is nothing wrong with asking your professor or a librarian to help you brainstorm ideas.

 

Developing your Research Question

Below is worksheet which will help illustrate how a research question develops from a broad topic to a focused question.  This could be a helpful resource for you during the process of creating your research question.