Evaluate Your Own Research Question
Evaluate the quality of your research question and the ease with which you should be able to answer it.
- Does the question deal with a topic or issue that interests me enough to spark my own thoughts and opinions?
- Is the question easily and fully researchable?
- 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
- Is the scope of this information reasonable (e.g., can I really research 30 online writing programs developed over a span of 10 years?)
- Given the type and scope of the information that I need, is my question too broad, too narrow, or okay?
- What sources will be able to provide the information I need to answer my research question (journals, books, Internet, government documents, people)?
- Can I access these sources?
- 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 mentor if you're not sure whether your research question fulfills the assignment.