Remember to keep the purpose of your assignment in mind when thinking about the wording of your question.
In general however, a good research question requires you to analyse an issue or problem. How and Why questions are therefore more useful than What or describing questions. Other useful words you might use are; Critique; Argue, Examine and Evaluate.
Searches Require a Strategy
1. Define parameters:
2. Determine scope of research:
3. What types of articles: theoretical, review, commentary, empirically based, historical - blogs, websites, videos etc
4. Use databases!
5. Begin the search
6. Generate articles, begin notemaking and create a reference list
Developing a strong research question takes time and effort. It is reliant that you have logical and informed background information on your topic. You will need to keep coming back to the question and ask yourself is this feasible? Use the following example to draft your question.
This investigation + explores/reports on/seeks to understand + how/what/why + idea/problem/activity + for who + at where
Another approach is to apply Backward Design Principles to question drafting:
What is the answer/outcome/learning we want to get? How will we get there? What do I need to specifically ask to get to that answer (question parameters)?
Top tips and award-winning essays from HSC History Extension students - The State Library of New South Wales presents some frequently asked questions with expert teachers Jonathon Dallimore and Sally Johnstone. Links are also provided to award-winning essays, originally published in the History Teachers Association NSW quarterly journal, Teaching History.
JStor is a digital library of academic journals, books and primary sources. To gain access students must create an account. This database is particularly useful for senior students wanting to access academic journals for authoritative content.