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First-Year Research Guide: Inquiry Question

This guide provides resources on developing an inquiry question, finding background information, using the library catalog and databases, and developing a list of keyword terms

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Example Inquiry Question

What types of sustainability programs are currently being introduced on college campuses?

What is an inquiry question?

The qualities of a good inquiry question:

  • is asked without bias. 
  • it does not have a simple answer. 
  • often has multiple answers.
  • has a clear focus.
  • the question is researchable.  
  • is on a topic that is interesting to you.

Examples of Bad Inquiry Questions

When was the United States Navy attacked at Pearl Harbor?

  •    There is specific answer to this question:  December 7, 1941. 

How is gender portrayed in the media? 

  • What about "gender" is being portrayed?
  • "Media" is too broad of a topic for an inquiry question. 

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