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Locating and Using Agricultural Resources: Creating a Research Question

This guide is to help locate agricultural resources, including databases, datasets, and historical archival material, reports, publications, and data.

Research Questions

Ask a question of interest.

By asking a research question, you are keeping an open mind about what the research may reveal.  See if your question is TRUE for these five criteria.  If so, then your research question is probably workable. 

  1. It cannot simply be answered with a yes/no. 
  2. It has a problem associated with it.
  3. It has social significance.
  4. There is reliable evidence available to address it.
  5. It has appropriate scope.

Together: You will have to do some preliminary research to really discover if all of these statements are TRUE for your proposed research question.

thought bubble question

Try it Out


Look at each research question below.  Can you answer TRUE for statements #1-3?  Do you think you could answer TRUE for #4-5 even though we haven't done any research yet?


Research Question A: Are there health risks for teens who only eat convenience foods (fast food)?

Research Question B: Do genetically modified foods endanger the health of those who consume them?


Research Question C: Should aluminum bats be banned from high school baseball and teen leagues?

Research Question D: What are the most effective ways to reduce racial profiling in police departments?

Research Question E: Should the United States government make it more difficult for individuals to buy a gun if they have a documented mental illness?

Research Question F: Do higher education admission requirements discriminate against immigrant students?