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Spreadsheet - Research Questions
Strategies for Narrowing Your Research Question
Most scholarly research examines fairly narrow topics and looks at relationships between concepts. For example, cell phones is a pretty broad topic, but looking at the impact of cell phone manufacturing on the environment might be a more manageable topic.
There are many ways to narrow a topic that is too broad by asking one or more W questions. Let's use cell phones as an example:
- cell phones and disposal (what)
- cell phones and toxicity (what)
- cell phones and interpersonal relationships (what)
- cell phones and India (where)
- cell phones and corporations (who)
- cell phones and teenagers (who) and distracted driving (what)
- cell phones and precious metals (what) and Rwanda (where)
Use W questions, to develop a research question on the topic of cell phones:
Research Question: How can precious metals in cell phones be recycled more effectively?
For Discussion: Why is this a successful or unsuccessful research question? Is it an improvement on this previous question? How beneficial or problematic is cell phone use for our society?
Finding Background Information in Library Databases
Congressional Quarterly (CQ) Researcher
CQ Researcher offer in-depth, unbiased coverage of a pressing political or social issue. cover topics in health, international affairs, education, public policy, the environment, technology, and the U.S. economy.
Provides access to a collection of reference books including encyclopedias, dictionaries, measurement conversions and more.
Opposing Viewpoints (Gale)
Covers contemporary social issues and provides articles, primary source documents, court-case overviews, statistical data, images, and podcasts that help students explore issues from multiple perspectives.
Cell Phone E-Waste
Fairphone/Closing The Loop