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Justice 200 Introduction to Research Methods

Narrow Down Your Topic: Example #1


Research Question: Are children who play video games more likely to be violent?


Example Question #2


Research Question:
How does divorce influence children's social development?

A hit!

How does divorce influence children's social development?

Close! What effect does divorce have on children?
(what effect?)
Miss!

How will the aftermath of divorce affect humanity? (too broad: what aspect? who?)

Example Question #3

Research Question: What is the environmental impact of the disposal of plastic water bottles?

A hit!

What is the environmental impact of plastic water bottles?

Close! What is the impact of bottled water on the environment? (What aspect of bottled water?)
Miss!

How does trash pollute the environment? (too broad: What kind of trash?)

Example Question #4


Research Question:
How good of a predictor is standardized testing for college academic success?


A hit!

How good of a predictor is standardized testing for college academic sucess?

Close! What characteristics determine whether or not students will succeed in college?  (Need to focus on one trait)
Miss!

What kind of students will do well in life? (What type of success?)

Example Question #5


Research Question:
Does drinking alcohol in college impact a student's GPA?


A hit!

Does drinking alcohol in college impact a student's GPA?

Close! What effect does alcohol have on college students?(What type of effect?)
Miss!

Is alcohol harmful to young people? (What kind of harm? On who?)

Example Question #6


Research Question:
Do first-born children end up more financially successful?

A hit!

Do first-born children end up more financially successful?

Close! What effect does birth order have on children's success? (What type of success?)
Miss!

Does birth order make a difference for children? (What kind of difference?)

Forming a Research Question