Most of us look for information to answer questions every day, and we often act on the answers to those questions. Are research questions any different from most of the questions for which we seek information? Yes. See how they’re different by looking over the examples of both kinds below and answering questions about them in the next activity.

Examples: Regular vs. Research Questions

Regular Question: What time is my movie showing at Lennox on Friday?

Research Question: How do “sleeper” films end up having outstanding attendance figures?


Regular Question: How many children in the U.S. have allergies?

Research Question: How does his or her country of birth affect a child’s chances of developing asthma?


Regular Question: Where is the Apple, Inc. home office?

Research Question: Why are Apple’s marketing efforts so successful?


Regular Question: What is COVID?

Research Question: How could decision-making about whether to declare a pandemic be improved?


Regular Question: Does MLA style recommend the use of generic male pronouns intended to refer to both males and females?

Research Question: How do age, gender, IQ, and socioeconomic status affect whether students interpret generic male pronouns as referring to both males and females?

 

Exercise: Identify the Research Question

 

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Critical Thinking in Academic Research by Cindy Gruwell and Robin Ewing is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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