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Craft a research question

It is likely at some point during your studies you will have to develop your own research question.

Key tips

  1. What are you interested in? Choose a broad topic area of interest
  2. Do some basic searches to learn more including terminology used
  3. Ask how, what, who and why questions to focus your topic into a clear and answerable question

    For example: Why does this matter? What is the problem? Who does this effect? How can we improve it?

A good research question is


Can you research, investigate or measure it?

Is it easy to understand? Word it carefully. Any changes in wording can change meaning.


Is it specific enough? Make sure it is not too broad to answer or too narrow to explore.

Relevant Are you interested in it? Are others interested in it?

Adapted from Developing a research question, University of Melbourne, 2018.

Write in an academic style

Understanding your assignment task

Always carefully read assessment details (including marking criteria) at University. This is critical to ensure you understand what you need to do including types of information to look for.

Key UniSA guide and video

Want to know more?

Once you are happy with your research question you need to come up with relevant keywords and plan your search strategy. Learn more about this on the next page.