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Starting Research

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Elena Bitner

on 26 February 2015

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Transcript of Starting Research

Rather than spend hours trying to find something to research - develop focused, strong research questions for the most important elements.
Research Questions do not have a set "formula" and are largely dependent on what information you intend to portray.

They should be both broad enough to provide varied responses and focused enough to keep the answers from going too far off topic.
It Starts with a Question
What is Your Inquiry?
To provide a body of information for your audience, you need to have information on these 3 major sub-topics:
Background and History
This section of your site should explore the evolution of the topic from where it began to what it has become
Current Policy
This section of your site outlines the current policies that exist regarding your issue
Proposed Policy Change
This section of your site explores the various proposed policy changes that have been offered in order to solve or alleviate the issue

Creating Strong Research Questions
Background and History Questions
What is the most important aspect of the background and history of your issue?
Is it how the issue has evolved over time? - for example: beauty standards have evolved and changed over time.
Is it the definition and/or interpretation of the issue? - for example: genetically modified organisms are often only understood as "bad" though there are some good forms of genetic modification (i.e. weather resistant potatoes).
Are the roots of the issue the most important aspect? for example: civil rights issues go back centuries.
Why Research?
To develop your website as more than just a blog, you need to have information available for your audience to read at their leisure.

Having a body of research available helps you to build your credibility as well as give you support for whatever claims you make throughout your discourse of the subject.

You can continue to link your Professional Blog Assignments to the established, static webpage information.
Inquiry and Development Through
Creating Strong Research Questions
Current Policy Questions
What policies currently exist about the issue?
Create a question that would reveal these policies as well as explore them.
For example:

What is the current pay rate difference between women and men?
This question allows for an exploration of this policy in different industries (as the pay difference is not the same in every business)
What is the current policy for educating the general public about genetically modified organisms?

Creating Strong Research Questions
Proposed Policy Change Questions
People generally argue about how to solve a certain situation, so you need to create a question that reflects the discontent - as well as provides a basis for answers that explore many different possible solutions to the issue.
For example:
Space Exploration is the issue:
In what ways could Space Exploration Research be improved in the United States?
This question allows for answers from all different directions: private sector involvement, government funding, spread of knowledge of the importance of developing space travel, etc.
Following a Research Process
RWS (Blue) Book: pg. 300 for more information on the research process
Once you have your questions, you need a research process:
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