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Basic Research Process

The Research Question

A research question is what you seek to answer with your research. It evolves from your initial topic and clarifies the purpose of your research. 

According to the Writing Center at George Mason Universitya research question should be all of these:  

  • Clear: providing enough specifics that an audience can easily understand its purpose without additional explanation.
  • Focused: being narrow enough that it can be answered thoroughly in the space the writing task allows.
  • Concise: it is expressed in the fewest possible words.
  • Complex: it is not a simple “yes” or “no” question but, requires synthesis and analysis of ideas and sources prior to an answer.
    • Avoid oversimplifying a question by asking "how" or "why" questions about your topic.
  • Arguable: its potential answers are open to debate rather than accepted facts.

Broad Topic:

Childhood Obesity

Research Question 1:

How does childhood obesity correlate with academic performance in elementary school children?

Research Question 2:

How are physical activity levels and childhood obesity related?



The Writing Center. (2018, August). How to write a research question. George Mason University. Retrieved from