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EDUC 542 - Research Methods in Education

Forming a topic

Often, students will know what topic they want to research broadly, but they won’t have a solid research question. A good research question will move beyond a topic and search for the significance or the impact of a particular topic. Having a question also helps you narrow your search as you seek our more specific information. 

In The Craft of Research, the authors suggest framing your topic this way:

I want to study _________, because I want to find out ___________, in order to help the reader understand _________________.

So how can you move from a broad topic to solid research question?

Read the conversation. See what scholars are saying about the topic and who or what is impacted. 

Browse Recent Publications

Start by browsing journals in education. Drill down to the subject area that interests you, and scan through the titles of articles and abstracts. 

There are popular sources devoted to topics related to education that may be helpful. Focus on articles that point to recent research, and follow the conversation from there. 

New Education Books in Print

Browse recently acquired books about education to see the conversations that scholars are having. Note that these only represent books in print (not ebooks). 

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