Crafting Insightful Research Questions

Crafting Insightful Research Questions

Overview: Through this activities, students examine what constitutes a strong research question and then, through peer workshopping, start to develop a question to guide their own project.

Author: Eric Vanden Buscche

Activity name: Crafting Insightful Research Questions

Class: PWR 1/PWR 2

Activity brief description: This three-part activity is intended to introduce students to the research process by focusing on developing, evaluating, and revising research questions. Students reflect on the significance of research questions in guiding their own research and writing. They practice their ability to assess the quality of questions written by others. This activity also provides students with the opportunity to develop research questions for their TiC essay topics and receive feedback on them from their peers.

Schedule: For PWR 1: week 3, as students start to think about their TiC topics, though it could also work later in the quarter in relation to their RBA for either PWR 1 or PWR 2

Activity length: 35 minutes

Activity goals: This activity is designed to help students:

  1. Understand the significance of research questions in focusing a topic and guiding the research and writing process;
  2. Learn to write clear and focused research questions;
  3. Evaluate research questions;
  4. Start to craft a research question for their topics;
  5. Realize that their research question will change as their research progresses 

Activity details: See handout.

Additional notes: This activity was originally published as an Activity of the Week in fall 2014.