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EEC Seminar Guide: Research Question Checklist


Developing a Preliminary Research: A Checklist

Does the research question take into account or reflect:

  • The evolutionary history or historical backdrop for the subject or topic being studies? (identify and study the history)
  • The acknowledgement and discussion of differing definitions for terminoloty related to the subject or topic being explored (identify and explore the different uses of terms)
  • The generally accepted concepts, principles, and theories related to the subject or topic drawn upon to inform and direct the research (identify and draw upon established concepts, principles, and theories)
  • The current discourse or debates within the discipline, as well as recent and ongoing research related to the subject or topic being analyzed (identify and analyze current discourse and debates)
  • The identification of "missing links" or disparities in previous research related to the subject or topic being discussed (identify and discuss "missing links" or disparities)
  • The formulation of a logical justification establishing the significance of the proposed research (identify and provide a rationale and evidence for why)


Survey, Question, Read, Recall, Review


  • skim and scan for keywords (e.g., title, summaries, headings, index, introduction, conclusions, first and last para graphs of chapters or sections, first and last sentences of paragraphs, etc.)
  • contextural cues (e.g., organizational structure, resources referenced, type(s) of information, etc.)


  • interact with text (e.g., identify questions to which you are seeking answers--this will help you remember, understand, and assimilate new information)


  • breakdown into smaller and more "manageable chunks" (e.g., main point/argument, conclusion, supporting evidence, relevancy, assumptions, context)
  • assimilate (e.g., relationship to topic, relationship to previous information)

Recall and Review

  • concisely summarize (e.g., articulation of main points, avoid paraphrasing and do not include details)

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