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SOCIAL SCIENCES 1SS3 - Inquiry in the Social Sciences: This Is(n't) America

Evaluate Your Research Question

When deciding your research question think about:

  • What type of information do I need to answer this question?
  • What sources have the information that I am looking for?
  • Where can I find these source and can I access them?

A Quick Guide to Developing a Research Question

1. Pick a topic

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        2. Narrow the topic

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                3. List some questions

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                        4. Pick a question

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                                 5. Focus the question

Research as Inquiry

When choosing a research question consider:

  • Are you interested?
  • Is it relevant?
  • Is it important?


Gather background research on a topic of your choice.

Frame it: 

  • What is the discussion on your topic?
  • What do you already know?
  • What needs to be explored further?


  • Is the question too broad or narrow?
  • Can it be answered?


Choosing an Essay Topic

This video describes how to come up with a research topic, or research question, for an essay. (2:32)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

Choosing Keywords

This video explains how to choose keywords for database searching when doing research. (2:43)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

infographic depicting the process of choosing keywords

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