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Social Sciences Guide to Research

Evaluating 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?

Developing your Research Question

1. Pick a topic


2. Narrow the topic

     ⇒     ⇒   

3. List some questions

     ⇒    ⇒     ⇒    

4. Pick a question

    ⇒     ⇒     ⇒     ⇒

5. Focus the question

Search vs. Research

What is the difference between search and research? Watch the video to find out! (2:36)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

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

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