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 question is a brief question that helps direct your efforts to collect, critically read, and evaluate your sources. Going from choosing a particular issue to writing a research question involves five steps:

  1. considering your readers' needs and interests,
  2. reflecting on your role as a writer,
  3. generating potential research questions,
  4. selecting a preliminary research question, and
  5. refining that question.

In this guide, you'll learn how to go through these steps to develop a research question. To begin, follow the links below: