From A Topic to Questions
(Adapted from Chapter Three of The Craft of Research)
are crucial, because the starting point for any worthwhile research is
always what you do not know or understand but feel you must.
Consider the standard who, what, where, why, and when questions. Don’t stop to consider the answers; simply generate as many of these questions as you can.
Now, organize your questions from these four perspectives:
- What are the parts of your topic and what larger whole is it a part of?
- What is its history and what larger history is it a part of?
- What kinds of categories can you find it in, and to what larger category of things does it belong?
- What good is it? What can you use it for?