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ENG 3010 - Intermediate Writing

Research Questions and Problems

Now find out more.

Use the following to expand your understanding about the topic you have selected. These resources include pro/con and additional resources, including links to scholarly sources.

Is my topic "researchable"?

Most topics are researchable, even if it is unusual or specialized in a discipline. Before you begin searching, consider some of these aspects of your topic--which will help you refine and narrow (or broaden) it.

1. Geographic specificity can be challenging. Instead of a specific location, such as Detroit or Michigan, try larger geographic terms, such as urban, rural, midwest, developing countries, developed nations, failed states, post-colonial, etc. or larger geographic regions such as MENA or groups like the European Union. You can interpret and apply broader research findings to your topic--that is your role as the researcher and writer.

2. Consider your population--are you looking at gender, race, age, ethnicity, immigrants, refugees? Adding a word that describes your population to your keyword search can help narrow.

3. Are you considering socioeconomic factors, such as wealth, poverty, income distribution, universal income, etc. Again, adding a socioeconomic keyword to your search can help narrow your results.

Also consider doing a broad search in a database, and using the subject headings to find sub-topics and narrow your topic.

Polling, Surveys, and Opinion Data Resources