The Research Process: Forming the Research Question

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1. Choose a topic you find interesting (whenever possible).

2. Search for background information before you commit to a topic. Make sure enough information is available to write a good paper.

3. Look for sub-topics within your topic. Some original topics will be far too big to cover in one paper.

4. Expect to adjust and/or refocus your research question once you start researching. Be flexible and expect change. Its the nature of research!

5. Once you have your question, ask these questions: - Is the question easily and fully researchable? - What type of information do you need to answer it? - Where can you get that information?

Adapted from: Loyola University's Library Guide "The Research Question College Writing Seminar".


Example Research Questions

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Research Question Exercise