Research questions are open-ended and require a variety of accumulated data to develop an answer. ("Could liberalization of drug laws reduce crime in the U.S.?")
Review or report questions are typically answered with what is generally known about a fairly narrow topic. ("What is the rationale for California's "3 strikes" sentencing policy?")
Reference questions are typically answered with single known facts or statistics. ("What percentage of drug-related crime in 1999 was committed by dealers, not users?")
A simple question.......
A critical question....
Reading, Writing, and Researching for History
Patrick Rael, Bowdoin College, 2004
Ask speculative questions.
Ask What if? questions.
Ask how the topic fits into larger contexts.
Ask questions that reflect disagreements with a source.
Ask questions that build on agreements with a source.
Ask questions about the nature of the thing itself, as an independent entity.
Ask questions analogous to those that others have asked about similar topics.
Turn positive questions into negative ones.
Look for questions posed in scholarly articles; ask part of the questions.
Find a Web discussion list on your topic...reading the exchanges to understand the kinds of questions those on the list discuss.
(A manual for writing, 2007, pp 15-17)
You can answer the question too easily
You can’t find good evidence to support the answer
You can’t plausibly disprove the answer
(A manual for writing, 2007, pp.17-18)