Answered By: Woodruff Library Reference Last Updated: Nov 30, 2018 Views: 19726
Answered By: Woodruff Library Reference
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2018 Views: 19726
Usually researchers start out with a broad topic then narrow down to a question. Here are some strategies for generating a good research question.
- Think about what questions you have or that currently exist about your topic. For example, when researching the local food culture, you could ask "Why do people buy local?"
- "What specific food items are people more likely to buy local and why?"
- "What are the economic aspects of buying local? Is it cheaper?
- "Do people in all socio-economic strata have access to local food?"
- Think about the 5 W’s –who, what, when, where, and why– to help you brainstorm different ways you might narrow your question to be more specific.
- Do some background reading to help you find a great research question. Reference sources may provide a new angle on your topic and identify an interesting question. If you are focusing on a particular academic discipline, like psychology, education, or business, then it is worth taking time to do background reading in subject-specific encyclopedias and reference sources in your field. You can find them in our Reference Sources databases.
- Some good reference sources are:
- Credo Reference Unlimited
- Oxford Handbooks Online
- Gale Virtual Reference Library
- AccessScience Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (Covers all major scientific disciplines)
- CQ Researcher (Provides comprehensive background on current issues--legislative activity, historical background, current developments, and a bibliography for further research)
- Create a concept map of your topic that consists of all of the possible aspects and angles of your topic. See this great video on concept mapping: