Developing a Question

Step 1. Consider Your Readers

Step 2. Select a Role

Step 3. Generate Questions

Step 4. Select a Question

Step 5. Refine by Narrowing

Step 6. Refine by Searching


How to Develop a Research Question : A Research Guide by Mike Palmquist

Step 4: Select a Preliminary Research Question

Megan's Preliminary Research Question

What is diabetes and how can it be avoided?

After she reviewed the information from the first three steps, Megan selected the research question on the right. As you can see, her preliminary research question is a combination of two questions she generated in Step 3. Megan chose this question because it best fulfilled her purposes as a writer (to write an informative article about an issue affecting the health of Americans), the needs and interests of her readers, and the role she adopted (reporter).

Note: If you are combining questions, be sure that the scope of your question is not too broad.

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