Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

COMM 101 - Collins (Spring 2020)

Research Questions Will Change Your Life!

Stella Beratlis, Research Librarian

Profile Photo
Stella Beratlis
she, her, hers
Need help now? We have Research Drop-In Hours Monday - Saturday during Spring 2023: go to the Ask a Librarian page to get immediate help.
Website Skype Contact: beratliss

Research Question Characteristics

  1. is not easily answered with a simple yes or no. 

It has some substance and requires explanation.


  1. has an underlying problem with social significance (local, national or international). 


It is important to someone other than just you!

  1. poses a genuine question and aims for neutrality.


It avoids using loaded language or suggesting a pre-determined answer.


  1. can be answered with reliable evidence.

It is re-searchable.  Others have already been contributing to this conversation.


  1. has appropriate scope.

It is not too narrow, nor too broad; it does not leave you with too much or too little information. 


Testing Sample Research Questions

Look at each research question below.  Can you answer TRUE for statements #1-3?  Do you think you could answer TRUE for #4-5 even though we haven't done any research yet?


Research Question A: Are there health risks for teens who only eat convenience foods (fast food)?

Research Question B: Do genetically modified foods endanger the health of those who consume them?

Discuss w/ a Classmate: 

Research Question C: Should aluminum bats be banned from high school baseball and teen leagues?

Research Question D: What are the most effective ways to reduce racial profiling in police departments?

Research Question E: Should the United States government make it more difficult for individuals to buy a gun if they have a documented mental illness?

Research Question F: Do higher education admission requirements discriminate against students who have recently immigrated to the United States?

Bad Research Questions

1. Why are social networking sites harmful?


2. Does the United States have a good educational system?


3. What is the effect on the environment from global warming?


4. Should gun laws be tougher?


5. Should campus safety be a concern for college students?