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Research Questions & Search Terms

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Linda Winfree

on 10 November 2013

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Transcript of Research Questions & Search Terms

Research Questions & Search Terms
Research Questions
How do I formulate effective research questions?

An effective way to conduct research is to use research questions.
Basically, a research question is a clear, focused question that guides your research.
Research questions should be open-ended and require an in-depth answer. They should not be answered with a statistic, fact or "yes" or "no."
Examples of effective research questions include "What are the long-term effects of bullying?" and "Why are more teens leaving high school before graduating?"
Questions like "How many kids miss school each day due to bullying" and "What are the statistics on high school dropouts in the US?" are not effective research questions.

Search Terms
How do I use search terms?

Search terms help you locate the information you need more quickly.
Search terms can be extracted or developed from the key concepts in your research question.
For example, if my research question is "Why are more teens leaving school in the US each year?", I might use the following search terms: teen, dropout, United States, factors OR teen, dropout, US, causes.
Entering a precise string of search terms increases my odds of finding the right information.
So, let's recap . . .
When preparing to research, create 1-2 clear, focused research questions.
Generate a list of search terms from your research questions.
Use your search terms in varying combinations to aid you in finding the best information to answer your research questions.
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