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Research Help Guide: Developing a Research Question

Developing a Research Question (Video)

From Kentucky State University (Closed Captioned)

Getting Research Help

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Visit the Research Help Desk on the main floor of the Library for help.

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Workshops are scheduled throughout the term.

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How-to guides and videos on writing, research and citation 

Quick Summary: Your Research Question


1. Examine your course outline and your course readings for a topic

2. Frame your topic as a problem - your research will address this problem

3. This is not your final thesis – you can revise your argument as you research


How to Create a Research Question

At this early stage, you want to develop a question or problem to guide your research, reading and, writing.

It is unnecessary to generate a definitive thesis statement or argument at this point, as your ideas will evolve.!!


Finding Interesting Ideas

  • Review course readings and classroom or tutorial discussions.

  • Skim your notes from course readings and lectures for issues, topics or approaches

  • Examine your course syllabus for course goals and context that may provide some ideas


Driving Questions

  • Develop some driving questions (or problems) to guide your research.

  • Begin by considering course themes or issues relevant to your assignment.

  • Examine these and then pay attention to questions that come to mind.


Example of a Research Question:

In using the topics of poverty and childhood obesity, here are a few driving questions to consider:

  • Are city-run programs successful at reducing the risk of childhood obesity?

  • What is being done at the federal, provincial or city level to reduce childhood obesity?

  • Why is poverty and childhood obesity linked