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Starting Your Research Series

About Research Question


By completing this module, you will be able to

  • identify key research question criteria.
  • identify strengths and weaknesses of research questions using research question criteria.
  • recognize the value of 4Ws and pre-searching for research question development.  

Let's get started!

Topics vs. Research Questions

A research question is a question you ask yourself about a topic of interest. The research question provides focus for your investigation. 

For example, a general topic of interest may be the availability of affordable housing.

However, your research question may be "What policies are most effective in providing affordable housing to Californians? "

You will notice that your research question is more focused than your topic. This will provide you direction during your research process.

graphic with questions marks

image from Geralt @Pixabay

Now it’s time for an introduction to important research question criteria. Click the Next button to continue.