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Writing 10 (Silbaugh): Topics > Research Question

Reading & Composition

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 Focus A: health risks and fast food

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

Research Focus B: gun ownership and mental health

  • Research Question B: Should U.S. legislators tighten restrictions on gun ownership for those with a documented mental illness?

Research Focus C: cell phones in society

  • Research Question C:  How beneficial or problematic is cell phone use for our society?

Research Interests

Click on the link below to open our Google spreadsheet with your research areas.

WRI 10 Research Areas