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Arts 130: Black and Free: Researchable questions

A Library guide supporting Dr. Keleta-Mae's Arts130 section

Creating your question

  1. Pick a topic and explore it with a concept map. 
    • To get you started: Are there sub-concepts that are vital to how it works? Is there a specific group of people who are involved in this topic? What other topics are similar to this topic? If your research is successful, what would we know about this topic? What would change in the world?
  2. Narrow your topic: Select a section of your concept map on which to focus
  3. Ask Questions: List out any of the possible questions that you have about this particular sub-topic. 
  4. Choose a Question to work with: Select the question that you wish to work with.
    • What are the merits of these questions?
    • What will have the most impact (to you or others)? 
  5. Focus the question: How? Why? Who? What? When? Where?
    • One issue only
    • Requires analysis
    • Specific and focus
    • No vague words
  6. Evaluate the quality of your question 
    • Is the question significant – will knowing the answer have an impact on the audience?
    • Is the question specific—does it answer “How? Why? Who? What? When? Where?”
    • Is the scope reasonable—is it feasible to answer this question given the parameters of the assignment?
  7. Record your research question in a safe place.  

The University's Writing and Communication Centre (WCC) have prepared a number of additional resources for selecting a topic and creating a research question.