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Unformatted text preview: identifying them and narrowing them down is usually the ﬁrst step of starting
a research prOJect, especially in an academic context. DEVELOPING A RESEARCH QUESTION For many students, choosing a subject to research is incredibly difﬁcult. The
best way to start is by thinking about issues that matter to you.\X/riters tend
to do their best work when writing about things in which they have a per-
sonal investment. Even if you’re conducting research in a course
with a topic that has been assigned, think about how you might approach the topic from an angle that matters to you or brings in your own unique point of view.
AnOther challenge that many students face is narrowing down a solid research question once they’ve selected an issue of
interest. If a research question is too broad, then it may not be feasible to respond to it adequately in the scope of your research
assignment. If it’s too narrow, though, it might not be research-
able; in Other words, you might n0t be able to ﬁnd enough sources to support a solid position on the issue.
As you work on drafting a research question, keep these ﬁve criteria in mind: ANDREA TSUﬂUMl 1 1. Personal Investment Is this an issue 3ou care about? 2 Debatable SUbieCt Might reasonable people looking 9‘ ewdcncc about ““3
issue come to different conclusions? . . ‘ ort a
3. Researchabie Issue Is there adequate PUthhed emdencc to supp
position on this issue? ...
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- Spring '08