2 But Avoid Getting too Narrow

Be careful about getting too specific with your research question. Not every question that you come up with will be searchable.

For the above question about college tuition, the important questions to ask would be who? and what? Trying to find information on the impact of rising tuition in a particular city or province will be too restrictive, and the location may, in fact, be irrelevant to the search. A large-scale study across Canada or North America would likely yield relevant information that could be useful to your question.

The bottom line is, you will be working toward a balanced research question that is specific enough to guide you in your research, but not too restrictive.

ACTIVITY: Find the balanced topic

Now it’s your turn. Practice thinking about balanced topics with these 3 examples. Click the arrow to show the next question.

 

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Doing Research by Celia Brinkerhoff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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