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Shapiro Library

Getting Started with Research at Shapiro Library

This guide discusses understanding information sources, formulating a topic and search phrase, where and how to search the library for information, how to evaluate sources, how to cite sources, and more.

Developing a Research Question


When you need to develop a research question, you want to ask yourself: what do you want to know about a topic? Additionally, you'll want to determine:

  • WHO you are researching,
  • WHAT you are researching,
  • WHEN your research topic takes place,
  • WHERE your research topic takes place, and
  • WHY you are researching this topic.

Try these steps to formulate a research question:

  1. Start with your topic (e.g. texting and driving)
  2. Focus your topic (Ask: who, what, when, where why?)
  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 (e.g. How many car accidents are caused in the U.S. per year by drivers who are texting?

Check out these links and the video below for more information:

Have Questions? Browse all our FAQs or ask a librarian by chat, email at ask@snhu.libanswers.com, or by phone (844.684.0456)!