UniSA College Foundation Studies: Your question

Getting started

Light bulb [Manuel C. Piñeiro 2012, 'neon (classic) bulb', CC Licence: CC0 1.0 Universal, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/, Image Source: Open Clip Art Library, http://openclipart.org/detail/172390/neon-classic-bulb-by-asincrono-172390]A research question should be:

  • An open ended question - not answerable by a yes or no
  • Focused on a specific aspect - not too broad
  • Include task/instruction words like describe, discuss, compare..

Where to start:

  • Think about a topic you are interested in, that you'd like to learn more about.
  • Do some quick searching to find some background information. This can help you choose an aspect of the topic to focus on.
  • Think of some questions you could ask about the aspect you've chosen?
  • Look at ways to narrow down - think about:
    • a particular aspect of a broader issue
      e.g. rise of sea levels instead of global warming
    • a particular country e.g. Australia
    • a particular group e.g. elderly, youth, males, females, single mothers, shift workers, Italian migrants, nurses
    • a particular timeframe e.g. last 5 years
For more information:

Developing a research question

Example research question

The following two questions are samples used in this guide to demonstrate the tools you can use to define and then locate the resources you need.

  • Argue to which degree increased working hours impacts on family life
  • Discuss how the use of social media has impacted on journalistic integrity

The Research Cycle

You already search for information everyday! Whether you are trying to find a store that has the latest shoes, a street name in the GPS or the latest information about a favourite TV show, information is everywhere and learning to navigate it effectively will save time in finding what you want.

Searching for information at University is similar however there are a few things / tips you need to know to make sure you find the right information. Use this guide to find search help, tips and starters to make sure you create the best assignment possible.