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Characteristics of Good Research Questions

Weaker questions

  • Have simple answers like "yes" or "no" or a statement of fact
  • Require answers based in speculation or opinion because evidence is not available
  • Lead to a predetermined answer
  • Don't pass the "so what" test or have significance for others 

Stronger questions

  • Are open-ended, with no simple answers
  • Can be answered by analyzing evidence gathered from multiple sources or collected through original research
  • Lead to further questions or provoke discussion
  • Have clear significance for other people

You can revise weaker research questions to make them stronger!

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Andy Kulp

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Andy Kulp