Skip to main content

ESL 51/52 (WO): Research Question

Form a Research Question

Narrow your interest and decide what question your paper will answer.  It seems counterintuitive, but a narrow topic is actually easier to research than a broad one. 


poverty rate


income gap

Check mark

Would raising the minimum wage reduce poverty?

Good Research Questions Are...

Target    Deep Pit
Specific    Deep, Not Wide

Only answer one main research question in your paper.


Instead of mentioning many ideas briefly, focus on a few points and develop them well.

students    Unique Golf Tee
Interesting to You    Unique

Consider the assignment an opportunity to learn more about something that interests you.  Research is easier and more enjoyable when you pick a topic that interests you.


Good research tackles new, unusual topics.  Instead of "marijuana legalization", try "How should states use tax revenue generated by legalized marijuana?"