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Writing a Research Question: Home

A good research question doesn’t have a clear yes or no answer.

It should be open ended. For example, the research question "Does Google collect information about your search habits?" is not a good research question because it has a yes or no answer. A better, more open-ended research question would be "How does Google’s collection of search data affect personal privacy?" A good research question is relatively narrow and focused. You can’t address everything in one paper. For example, the research question "How does the media influence politics in the United States?" is not a good research question because it is too broad. A better, more focused research question would be "How did the spread of news on social media affect the 2016 presidential election?" A good research question often focuses on "how" or "why". For example, the research question "Are video games popular with elementary school children" is not a good research because it doesn’t focus on how or why. A better research question would be "How might video games influence the learning process in elementary school?" A good research question avoids biased assumptions and predetermined outcomes. For example, the research question "How do minimum wage laws hurt the economy" is not a good research question because it contains biased assumptions. A better research question would be "How do minimum wage laws influence the economy?"

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