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Developing Research Questions
Once you have selected a topic, the next step is to develop research questions.
- Write down what you already know or don't know about the topic.
- Use that information to develop questions.
- Use probing questions. (why? what if?)
- Avoid "yes" and "no" questions.
Example: Endangered Species Act
What do or don't I know about the Endangered Species Act (ESA)?
- it's a law that protects animals and habitats that are in danger of extinction.
- at one point bald eagles and grizzly bears were on the list.
- there has been a lot of controversy about adding polar bears to the list.
I don't know:
- what it takes for an animal to be removed from the list.
- what the penalties are for violating this act.
- if it protects only habitats within the U.S.
- What was the ESA designed to protect -- animals only or ecosystems, too?
- What animals/habitats outside of the United States are covered by the act?
- What other countries have legislation to protect animals/habitats?
- What animals are currently on the endangered species list?
- How does an animal get added/removed from the list?
- What penalities are imposed on those who violate the act?