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Research Questions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Research Questions. Another Extremely Exciting Powerpoint byYour Professor. Now… What is a Research Question?. A research question, also known as a scholarly/academic inquiry, is a question that guides your research. Seems obvious, right?

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Research Questions


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research questions

Research Questions

Another Extremely Exciting PowerpointbyYour Professor

now what is a research question
Now… What is a Research Question?
  • A research question, also known as a scholarly/academic inquiry, is a question that guides your research. Seems obvious, right?
  • The research question is NOT a thesis/central claim or a topic. It is quite literally a question.
what makes a good research question
What Makes a Good Research Question?
  • A good research question should encourage focused research and analysis. It should be:
    • Clear
    • Concise
    • Complex
    • Invite analysis
  • Note that you will probably have one main research question and several smaller ones.
what s a good research question look like
What’s a Good Research Question Look Like?

The next three slides are some great examples from George Mason University’s Writing Center:

  • Unclear: Why are social networking sites harmful?
  • Clear: How are online users experiencing or addressing privacy issues on such social networking sites as MySpace and Facebook?
what s a good research question look like cont
What’s a Good Research Question Look Like? (cont.)
  • Unfocused:What is the effect on the environment from global warming?
  • Focused:How is glacial melting affecting penguins in Antarctica?
what s a good research question look like cont1
What’s a Good Research Question Look Like? (cont.)
  • Too simple:How are doctors addressing diabetes in the U.S.?
  • Appropriately Complex:What are common traits of those suffering from diabetes in America, and how can these commonalities be used to aid the medical community in prevention of the disease?
a pointer
A Pointer
  • It’s ok to start broad, but don’t leave the broad question as your research question. Use it as a jumping off point. You can ask the 5 Ws to get a more specific question.
      • Who?
      • What?
      • When?
      • Where?
      • Why? (my personal favorite)
      • And sometimes the H… How?
brainstorming
Brainstorming
  • Great research questions don’t just happen by magic, they take planning and careful thought.
  • Think about what interests you and how that can be turned into an inquiry the requires discipline-specific research! You’re going to be stuck with this topic for more than a month.
  • Personally, I like to use visuals when I brainstorm. Here’s something you might like:
  • http://padlet.com/
researching the research question
Researching the Research Question

Now that I’ve got this great question, I need to start thinking about what kind of research I need to do.

don t just think about how to prove it
Don’t Just Think About How to Prove It
  • Students often simply ask, “where can I find research that says exactly what I’m saying to show that I’m right?”
  • Think of what helps you think about your topic, lends new insights, or says things in ways you couldn’t possibly say it.
  • Think of what your reader needs to know more about or what your reader will expect to come from an expert opinion.
example1
Example
  • I want to write a paper that asks, “Are fluffy cats better pets than smooth-haired ones?” (awesome example, I know). I might look up:
    • The breeding path that led to fluffy cat breeds vs. smooth-haired cat breeds
    • How we assess what makes a good pet– if it’s, let’s say cuteness, I might further venture into what our culture considers “cute”
    • I might interview fluffy cat and smooth-haired cat owners
    • I might even refine my question… better pets for whom? The elderly? Americans? The First Family?
don t be this girl
Don’t Be This Girl
  • If you bracket the racy outfit for a minute, this video is a great example of what NOT to do when performing research.
  • Her research question is “Do dogs even have brains?”
  • She is not interested in considering opposition. She is focused on “proving” her hypothesis, despite new evidence. She lets her bias lead her.
  • Her subquestions and subclaims have no actual relevance to the topic– Does life exist on other planets? How does that have to do with dog brains? It doesn’t.