Developing A Good Research Question
1. Think about a topic
- Brainstorming a list of things you want to learn more about is a good way to start
- Consider personal experience and opinions- how might these influence how you handle certain topics?
2. Get some background on your topic so you understand the sub-topics
- Remember- you want something that has been written about before
- Try a mind map or brainstorm your topic's subtopics
- Google, Wikipedia, and Encyclopedias can help you at this stage
3. Form a question
- You want it to be something that is focused, but still relevant to a wide range of people
- Having a question that you're interested in helps
- Questions that start with "How" or "Why" usually could have a few different answers, so those are good bets
By today you should have a question that is
Searching: Not sure where to start?
Today's Assignment (Due Wednesday)
Today you will leave after you have your topic approved by your Inquiry instructor or the librarian. Your assignment for Wednesday is to find three resources that you might use to write your paper.
Aliens -Too broad, not a question
Did my uncle really get abducted that night back in '97? - Too specific, unlikely to be answered
Are alien abductions real? -Too broad, unlikely to be answered in 3 pages (But getting closer!)
Did cavemen get abducted? Maybe too specific, but getting closer. Let's read wikipedia or another source for background information on human reports of aliens.
How have reports of alien sightings changed over time?- Bingo. While not perfect, this question is specific, managable,interesting (to me!) and of potential interest to scholars.