Evaluate Your Own Research Question

Evaluate the Quality of Your Research Question and the Ease with Which You Should Be Able to Answer It.

Ask yourself:

  1. Does the question deal with a topic or isue that interests me enough to spark my own thoughts and opinions?
  2. Is the question easily and fully researchable?
  3. What type of information do I need to answer the research question?
    For example, to answer the research question, "What impact has deregulation had on commercial airline safety?," will require certain types of information:
    • Statistics on airline crashes before and after
    • Statistics on other safety problems before and after
    • Information about maintenance practices before and after
    • Information about government safety requirements before and after
  4. Is the scope of this information reasonable (e.g., can I really research 30 online writing programs developed over a span of 10 years?)
  5. Given the type and scope of the information that I need, is my question too broad, too narrow or okay?
  6. What sources will be able to provide the information I need to answer my research question (journals, books, Internet, government documents, people)?
  7. Can I access these sources?
  8. Given my answers to the above questions, do I have a good-quality research question that I actually will be able to answer by doing research?

Contact your course tutor if you're not sure whether your research question fulfills the assignment.

Questions or feedback about ESC's Online Writing Center? Contact us at Learning.Support@esc.edu.