Turn Your Topic into a Research Question

Dig into your topic to find the question

Once you've narrowed your topic to something workable, you need to restate it as a question.  A question requires an answer, and research is all about the search for answers. 

Here's an example:

Broad Topic: global warming
Focused Topic: global warming and world health
Possible Research Questions: How will changes in the world climate increase health risks for people worldwide?

What should the U.S. government do to prepare for an increase in climate-related diseases?

What is the role of the World Health Organization in response to increasing diseases?


Once you have a research question, break it into even smaller questions:

How will changes in the world climate increase health risks for people worldwide?
What climate changes are expected?
What diseases are most sensitive to climate change?
What areas of the world are most at risk?
What statistics are there to prove that health risks are increasing?
... and so forth

 

You can see that research is basically a quest to find answers to the questions you are asking!

Here is the same activity as above, using the "sticky note" technique:

the image shows using sticky notes to organize the the same information as presented in the text of the page.

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