Worksheet: Evaluate Your Own Research Question
Ask the following 8 questions to 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? E.g., The research question, "What impact has deregulation had on commercial airline safety?," will obviously 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 have the type of information that I need to answer the research question (journals, books, Internet resources, 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?