Developing a good research question
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Developing a good research question. Adapted from O'Farrell, Finbar . Approach your assessment the IB Way: Extended Essay. pg. 13. What does a Good research question Look like?. Should be an INTERESTING and ENGAGING question

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Developing a good research question

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Developing a good research question

Developing a good research question

Adapted from O'Farrell, Finbar. Approach your assessment the IB Way: Extended Essay. pg. 13


What does a good research question look like

What does a Good research question Look like?

  • Should be an INTERESTING and ENGAGING question

  • Should be NARROW enough to be addressed within the 4,000 word limit of the EE

  • Should be FOCUSED

  • Should lend itself to SYSTEMATIC INVESTIGATION*

    *An investigation which takes into account all known aspects of a problem, and produces a result with no 'loopholes‘. (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_Systematic_Investigation)


Step 1

Step 1

Decide on a subject in which to write the essay (usually one of your IB subjects)

  • Check the list of available subjects (HSMC)

  • Read the IB's criteria for your subject (IB EE Guide in HSMC/blog)

  • Read an exemplar essay in your subject (HSMC)


Step 2

Step 2

Decide on a topic within this subject

  • Revisit some of the exemplars. Are there any that piqued your interest that you’d like to continue or re-investigate?


Step 3

Step 3

Explore some possible research questions relating to this topic

  • This means you will need to do some research!

  • Consider questions that begin with account for, how, to what extent, or why.


Step 4

Step 4

Discuss your possible research questions with a teacher

  • Discuss the research you've done, your ideas, and the requirements for your subject.

  • Remember that teachers are often busy, so make sure you ask politely and consider their schedules


Step 5

Step 5

Decide on the most suitable research question

  • At the end of the day, this will be YOUR work. Make sure you are satisfied with your research question and that it will keep you interested for the whole research and writing process.

  • Be open to changes. Often your research question will go through an evolution as you begin your research.


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