Chapter Ten: Refining and Evaluating Your Research Question

Chapter Ten Objectives

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This chapter focuses on the art of crafting a clear, concise research question that will drive your research. Beginning researchers often struggle with the task of framing a research question, but we show how asking critical, open-ended questions about your topic can help you refine your question.

The section titled “Evaluating Your Research Question” aims to help you ensure that your research question is clear, complex, and focused and that the answer is arguable. We cover the key components to a good research question, as well as some of the most common pitfalls to avoid. The focus is on devising an open-ended and arguable question that adds to the discourse rather than answering a simple question.

Learning Objectives

Your thesis statement will answer your research question, so having a polished question is essential to the development of your thesis statement. Hence, this chapter instructs you to

  • posit your research question
  • refine and evaluate your research question



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Strategies for Conducting Literary Research Copyright © 2021 by Barry Mauer & John Venecek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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