Research Questions and Subquestions Research Questions Over arching umbrella questions that address your topic



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Research Questions and Subquestions

Research Questions

  • Over arching umbrella questions that address your topic.
  • Include KEY TERMS that you can use to help you research your topic.
  • Generally, research questions are questions you do not know the answer to. The idea is you are using your research to gain new knowledge.

Research Questions Cont’d

  • Research Questions should be Well Grounded.
  • Well Grounded means that they are searchable questions, that include Key Terms, you can enter into a search engine that will help guide your research.
  • Well Grounded are not too narrow, too broad, nor too challenging.

Example of a Good Research Question

Problem Questions

  • Too Narrow:
  • Does Sweden have a nationalized health care system?
  • When did D-Day begin during WWII?
  • These questions have a “Yes” or “No” answer, or can be answered by a one word answer.
  • Too Broad: What is the history of Christianity?
  • This question cannot be covered in the scope of an essay.
  • Too Challenging: Why is hip hop dancing so raunchy?
  • This question is too opinionated and is based upon people’s feeling rather than research.

Subquestions

  • Subquestions are narrower questions that answer research questions.
  • Example:
  • Research Question: What are the health benefits of physical education in elementary, middle school, and high school in public education?
  • Subquestions:
  • What are the standards for physical education in Washington State?
  • Is there a difference between the amount time devoted to physical education in elementary, middle school, or high school?
  • Does physical education emphasize a certain type of exercise?

Your task…

  • Develop a research question that answers a broad question on your topic.
  • Create three subquestions that will help you answer your research question.
  • Use your research question and subquestions to guide your research.



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