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How to Brainstorm a Research Question

For the best research results, start with a good question!
by

Dyan Barbeau

on 19 May 2015

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Transcript of How to Brainstorm a Research Question

Before you start your research, think about words that represent your topic to use in searching a catalog or database. Broad keywords include:
Brainstorming a Research Question
After you have selected a topic, think of ways to narrow it
even further.
Next, start to narrow your topic...hmm...
Then, write down at least 3 questions about
your topic. Questions can include:
Examples
To...
How does

Edward Snowden's
release of

confidential
records
benefit a

democratic society
?
Narrower keywords include:
...Write down what you know about your topic.
In what way?
Avoid questions that can be answered "yes" or "no."
Why
does the government surveil private citizens?
What
is the impact of the "digital divide" on student learning?
Are
computer "hacktivists" villains or heroes?
How
does "social media" affect interpersonal relationships?
From:
Are computer "hacktivists" villains or heroes?
Who?
What?
Where?

Why?
How?

Should?
When?
Remember:
Start broadly
Write down what you know about the topic
Write down what you want to know
Start to narrow, then
Narrow some more
Think of words for your search
First, think broadly...
A general topic:
"Technology and Society."
Now, you can start your research!
Computer
Digital technology
Human-computer
interaction
censorship

privacy

hackers
free speech
surveillance
hacktivist
Snowden
"WikiLeaks"
ethics
democracy
CIA
whistle-blowing
Work found at http://agsandrew.deviantart.com/art/Virtual-Human-Technology-0002-382222131 / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)
By Wilgengebroed on Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet#/media/File:PikiWiki_Israel_32304_The_Internet_Messenger_by_Buky_Schwartz.JPG / CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)
Work found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/topgold/5536719392/in/photostream/ / undefined (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
Internet
Computer systems
Information technology
Full transcript