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ENGL 1020: English Composition 1020

This guide will help you devise a search strategy from a research question, find resources, and get through that big paper.

Research and Composition Go Together

Evaluate Your Research Question

Ask the following 8 questions to determine if your research question will work for you

  1. Does the question deal with a topic or issue that interests me enough to spark my own thoughts and opinions? Can is be easily answered with a yes or no? (Hint: tt's better if it can't.)
  2. Is the question easily and fully researchable?
  3. What type of information do I need to answer the research question?
  4. Is the scope of this information reasonable (i.e. can I fulfill the amount of research I hope to do within the span of time allotted for my assignment?)
  5. Given the type and scope of the information that I need, is my question too broad, too narrow, or okay?
  6. What sources will have the type of information that I need to answer the research question (journals, books, Internet resources, government documents, people)?
  7. Can I access these sources? (Hint: Ask a Librarian!)
  8. Given my answers to the above questions, do I have a good quality research question that I actually will be able to answer by doing research? 

-  adapted from the SUNY Empire State College Writing Center