Presentation on theme: "Getting to the Research Question Choose a SUBJECT Choose a TOPIC within that subject Choose a narrow RESEARCH QUESTION that will focus your research and."— Presentation transcript:
Getting to the Research Question Choose a SUBJECT Choose a TOPIC within that subject Choose a narrow RESEARCH QUESTION that will focus your research and argument.
Choosing a Subject for the EE Choose a subject you really like (from the EE guide) It is not recommended that you choose a subject you have not studied (but it’s allowed) Students are allowed to select a subject we don't teach but IS must have an Advisor who has a background or understanding of the subject. Essays submitted in Group 2 must be written in that language (for example in Spanish)
Choosing a Topic & Research Question (RQ) It doesn’t need to be groundbreaking Science topics are most successful when you conduct an experiment. Limited in scope to allow you to examine an issue in depth. But big enough so you may collect and/or generate data for analysis. Example: Subject - Spanish, Topic – News Coverage, RQ - How has the Spanish print media portrayed illegal immigration from Africa into Spain since 2005?
The Research Question The most important part of the paper. You won’t write a good paper with a bad research question. The RQ should have a “question mark” (some exceptions apply) Narrow, specific & well-focused Non-trivial & not having an obvious answer Answerable in 4000 words Researchable, not theoretical Related to one of the IB subjects on the EE list (see EE guide)
For example … Sciences Biology Aging of the human body What is the effect of age & gender on the photoreceptor cells of the human retina?
RQ should not be too general & broad What caused the Cold War? – too broad Change to: How and why have explanations of the Cuban missile crisis changed since 1962? What happened during the Holocaust? – too broad Change to: What process did the Gestapo use to make the selection of who would die and who would live in Auschwitz? What symbols are employed by F. Scott Fitzgerald? (limit to one book or compare to another author) What is the effect on the environment from global warming? – too broad Change to: How is glacial melting affecting penguins in Antarctica? How were popular perceptions of the Great Depression in America shaped by the media? – too broad Change to: How did the photographs of Dorothea Lange shape popular perceptions of the Great Depression in America?
RQ should not be obvious Has the outbreak of AIDS affected sub-Saharan economies? – not good Change to: What are the long-term effects of the outbreak of AIDS on the economic development of South Africa? How is caffeine released when making tea? – not good Change to: Does the time it takes to brew a cup of tea significantly alter the amount of caffeine that is dissolved in the drink? What is the standard of living in Guatemala? – not good What is the impact of international coffee prices on the standard of living in Guatemala?
How to narrow down a Research Question Limit the material you use: Do Vitamin C levels in oranges differ in supermarket vs restaurants? Limit by organism or phenomenon: How can natural products be extracted from plants? – too broad How can the natural oxidant rutin be extracted from the Chinese Scholartree? Limit by time or geographic area - instead of “What rights do women have in the Middle East?” – change to: In what ways are limited political rights of women in Saudi Arabia being justified? Limit by comparison: How does the portrayal of Joan of Arc by Shaw and Schiller differ?
Is your Research Question researchable? Is it answerable in 4000 words? Is it not a closed yes/no question? Are there aliens? Who makes the best burgers? What is the history of meditation? What is the Coca-Cola company's future marketing plan? What caused the end of the Cold War? Would the Holocaust have happened if Hitler had died in childhood?
What to do next? (25 points) Grab a laptop Go to the IB EE guide - pdf document on IS site under “Programs” – “EE packet” Find section titled “Details-subject specific” and read about two subjects. Open a word doc and name it “Research Log” Take notes on ALL assessment criteria Copy & paste 4 examples of Research Questions from the sections you read and explain briefly what makes these good RQs.