Much depends on a good research question, when writing an extended essay. One will want a question that gets good mileage and will carry through to 4,000 words. Good questions have a careful balance between open-ended and focused, broad and specific, unique and traditional, relevant and focused. Before one jumps in to the writing stage, it is recommended to spend a significant amount of time brooding over a research question. Give it the opportunity to mature and grow before its fruits can be plucked.
This lesson presents six good research questions and six poor questions. You will be asked to synthesize the defining characteristics of the good questions and use them to improve the poor ones.
Six good questions
Below you find six good research questions, two from each category. What makes them good? List the qualities that they have in common. You will notice that they all take the form of statements, but for the sake of the extended essay, we refer to them as research questions.
Six good research questions
Cat. 1 - "Post-colonialism in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and E.M. Forster's Passage to India."
Cat. 1 - "A psycho-analytic, feminist and Marxist criticism of Margret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale."
Cat. 2 - "Existentialism in both The Collector by John Fowles and The Stranger by Albert Camus."
Cat. 2 - "The effects of the unreliable narrator in Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami and The Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk."
Cat. 3 - "Defining African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and its relevance to rap lyrics and culture."
Cat. 3 - Stereotypes and the representation of 'Pikeys' in popular film.
Good extended essay research questions as downloadable PDF.
Rewrite the question
Taking what you know now about the key characteristics of good research question, rewrite the following questions. Make each question more relevant to the Language and Literature course. Give each question more focus, using the characteristics that you explored above.
Rewrite the research question
Improving extended essay research questions as downloadable PDF.