|Step 1. Choose your subject area||
Which subject area is of most personal interest to you? Is there something you are especially curious about in one of your IB courses? Did one of your ERP's from an earlier grade spark an idea that can be researched?
|Step 2. Choose a topic that interests you||
Describe your work in one sentence.
I want to learn about __________________________.
Example: I want to learn about public funding for the arts.
|Step 3. Suggest a question||
Try to describe your research by developing a question that specifies something about your topic.
I am studying ______________________ because I want to find out (who, what, when, where, whether, why or how) ___________________________.
Example: I am studying public funding for the arts because I want to find out how accessible the arts are to those people who are on low incomes.
Direct question: To what extent are the arts accessible to people who belong to the class of the working poor?
Include a command term from your subject area to help form the research question.
Will you be able to argue a specific position? What are some possible issues or arguments?
|Step 4. Evaluate your question||
Answer the questions:
Is there a range of perspectives on this topic?
Does the research question allow for analysis, evaluation and the development of a reasoned argument?
I am studying __________________ because I want to find out ____________________________ in order to understand (how, why or whether) ________________________________________________.
Example: I am studying public funding for the arts because I want to find out how accessible the arts are to the working poor so I can determine whether tax dollars support cultural enrichment for all citizens regardless of their socio-economic status.
Step 5. Restate your question using a different command term
Asking the question in a different way might help you view your topic in a different way.
How does analyzing …
To what extent …
|Step 6. Review with your supervisor||
Is your supervisor able to understand the nature of your research?
Is it clear to your supervisor how and why your topic is relevant in your subject area?
|Step 7. Reflection||
If you can adequately respond to the “so what?” question, you may be on your way to a clear and focused research question using your initial topic idea.