Skip to Main Content

HIS 100 - Perspectives in History

Developing a Research Question

The FAQ What is a research question and how do I develop one? provides great information on the process of forming and developing your research question:

A research question is the question that is answered by your research. So when you are developing one, you want to ask yourself: What do you want to know about a topic? When doing research, you want to address your topic as a question for which there are no immediate answers.

For example:

Topic: video games and violence

Research Question: Does playing violent video games lead to juvenile violence?

Try these steps to formulate a research question:

  1. Start by identifying your topic (e.g. texting and driving).
  2. Focus your topic by asking your self: who? what? when? why? where? (e.g. texting and driving and accidents).
  3. Formulate a question to ask about your topic (e.g. How many car accidents are caused by drivers who are texting?)
  4. Narrow your question further if possible again by asking your self: who? what? when? why? where? (e.g. How many car accidents are caused in the U.S. per year by drivers who are texting?).

Developing a Research Question Flowchart

Further Help

To access help with citation and more, visit Academic Support via modules in Brightspace: