Formulating a Research Question
Save yourself search time by broadening or narrowing your searches
Researching can be a lot of fun. A good solid start makes all the differences between a grueling process and exciting interesting searches.
The most important way to make your research fun is to choose the right topic. Choose something you’ll find interesting, something you’ll enjoy.
If a topic makes you want to find out more about it, your research will take on a life of its own, and take you on a ride full of exciting discoveries.
The philosophy of humanism
Florence: Location and trade
The Medici family
Dante (author of the classic “Divine Comedy”)
Leonardo da Vinci (artist)
Machiavelli (author of “The Prince”)
Johannes Gutenberg and the revolutionary printing press
Queen Isabella I (Spanish queen)
Queen Elizabeth I (English queen)
Christopher Columbus (explorer)
Galileo Galilei (scientist)
Marco Polo (explorer)
Chose one of the following products to show your learning about your topic of choice:
Children’s picture book
Piece of art
Chart / graphic organizer
Ask the following 8 questions to evaluate the quality of your research question and the ease with which you should be able to answer it:
- Does the question deal with a topic or issue that interests me enough to spark thoughts and increased learning?
- Is the question easily and fully researchable?
- What type of information do I need to answer the research question? e.g., The research question, "What impact have 9/11 regulations had on commercial airline safety?," will obviously require certain types of information:
- statistics on airline crashes before and after
- statistics on other safety problems before and after
- information about security practices before and after
- information about government safety requirements before and after
- Is the scope of this information reasonable e.g. Is there too much or enough information?
- Given the type and scope of the information that I need, is my question too broad, too narrow, or okay?
- What sources will have the type of information that I need to answer the research question (journals, books, Internet resources, government documents, people)?
- Can I access these sources?
- Given my answers to the above questions, do I have a good quality research question that I actually will be able to answer by doing research?
Find out what makes a good research question here.