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 6: Refine Your Preliminary Research Question through Searches

Megan's next step was to test her research question by conducting preliminary searches (on an online library catalog, a database, or the Web) using words and phrases found in or related to her research question. She first tried Google, and got nearly one million results from a search for the keywords reducing risk getting diabetes. Megan then decided to search for different types of diabetes to reduce the number of hits.

If you find too many responses when you conduct your preliminary searches, consider revising your question so that it focuses more narrowly on your issue. For a list of databases that may help you focus your question, visit the Disciplines and Professions page in the Research Room Links.