Barnard: Research Methods/Religion Lab: Research Questions

A guide to help with your final paper for the Religion Lab course.

Formulating Research Questions

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. 3d ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008. pp. 35-67. link to ebook

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. 8th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. pp. 12-23. link to CLIO record

From an interest to a topic to a research question to a working hypothesis. Questions must be answerable with resources at hand (e.g., time, level of expertise, available sources).

Booth, p. 51: 

  1. Topic: I am studying ________________
  2. Question: because I want to find out what/why/how __________________
  3. Significance: in order to help my reader understand __________________

Exercise: Put your topic into the topic, question, significance format outlined by Wayne Booth. Keep this in front of you while you conduct research and work on your paper.