Writing in First-Year Seminars

Integrating Writing

Assigning Writing

Assigning Research

Peer Review

Responding to Writing


Print-Friendly Page Print Page
Authors & Contributors

Establishing Research Questions

Back Back to Framing Assignments

Most students entering college will understand research as collecting information on a topic and reporting their findings to an instructor. We can encourage students to engage in their research by prompting them to think in terms of a research question. Rather than starting with a topic and then conducting a search for any relevant information, ask students to start with a question that will guide the entire research process. For example, rather than researching the topic of inclusive education, a student might start with the question: Does inclusive education best serve students with disabilities? Even a research assignment that is primarily informative in purpose can start with a research question. Rather than starting with the topic of Elizabethan drama, for example, a student might ask: How was Elizabethan drama shaped by culture?

View Helping Students Focus Their Research