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Research Process

This guide will help you through the process of research, including picking a topic, focusing you topic, finding keywords, searching library resources, evaluating sources, and citing sources.

Developing a Research Question

Developing a good research question is a skill you will build through your academic career. You do not want a question that is so broad, you will not have enough time to research and write about it. An example of this is choosing to write a paper on "climate change". Will your research be on

  • The causes to climate change?
  • Solutions to climate change?
  • The cost of the solutions of climate change?
  • What people can do in their own homes to combat climate change?
  • How climate change affects different populations? 

These are a lot of sub-topics to tackle in a 7-10 page paper. 

You also do not want a research question that could easily be looked up, or is answered by a single yes or no. An example of this is choosing to write a paper about the consumer price index. Up-to-date information about the consumer price index can be found here:

A research question should involve analysis. This means you do not want to report on available information, but you want to analyze a single issue in order to lead to a conclusion.

So, your new research question could be:

How will climate change in the United States affect the consumer price index?

For more information about developing a good research question, take a look at this presentation: