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Why is a research question essential to the research process?Research questions help writers focus their research by providing a path through the research and writing process.For example, if you're assigned a research topic on an issue confronting the ancient Babylonian family, remember, by virtue of your own family life, you already know a great deal about family issues.
A strong research question should never leave room for ambiguity or interpretation.
Unfocused: The unfocused research question is so broad that it couldn’t be adequately answered in a book-length piece, let alone a standard college-level paper.
The focused version narrows down to a specific effect of global warming (glacial melting), a specific place (Antarctica), and a specific animal that is affected (penguins).
It also requires the writer to take a stance on which effect has the greatest impact on the affected animal.
It's a good idea to evaluate your research question before completing the research exercise (Exercise 3) and to ask the writing tutor for feedback on your research question.
And you also should check your research question with your course tutor.
As a general rule of thumb, if a quick Google search can answer a research question, it’s likely not very effective.
It's absolutely essential to develop a research question that you're interested in or care about in order to focus your research and your paper (unless, of course, your instructor gives you a very specific assignment).
This is one of a series of lists of questions, published in association with the Study Guide Writing essays.
These are suggested questions to ask as you review and revise your essay.