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HIST: Class IV History Research Guide (Ms. Dey)

Developing Strong Research Questions

Developing  Research Questions 

Topic: The Montgomery Bus Boycott

  Write down questions that come to mind.  Try using prompts, such as:

What I know                      What don't I know

What  I want to know

(or my research questions)

I know that the bus boycott received nation-wide attention I don't know how much this influenced the Civil Rights movement as a whole. How significant was the Montgomery Bus Boycott in shaping the Civil Rights movement as a whole?

Testing the research question

RQ: How significant was the Montgomery Bus Boycott in shaping the Civil Rights movement as a whole?‚Äč


  • How strong is this research question?:
  1. Is it clear and specific?  Yes, it has specific places and names. 
  2.  Is it unambiguous?    Shaping the movement is a pretty broad idea - what does it mean to shape a movement?
  3.  Is this an arguable point?   It would be difficult to argue that this victory was not significant in some way.
    But there may be different opinions on how significant it was...developing a more specific argument will help to defend your thesis.

*Questions for continued research

Research Question Overview

Developing a Research Question:

  • Remember that Research Questions should be: 

clear

specific 

arguable
 

  • Doing more research on your initial questions may help you develop strong research questions.