formulating a research question


I have created this document to support students in formulating their research question, which is a part of the process that they often find difficult and time consuming.

The document is a summary of the information on the International Baccalaureate’s Extended Essay website https://ibpublishing.ibo.org/extendedessay/apps/dpapp/tsm.html?doc=d_0_eeyyy_gui_1602_1_e&part=3&chapter=2&section=2

I go through this document with students in the DP Core class and get them to use it in conjunction with the example questions for their subject on the International Baccalaureate’s Extended Essay website. This document is also shared with the Extended Essay supervisors and I encourage the students to present their draft questions to their supervisor in their first meeting.

The document covers the following:

  • Distinguishing between a title and a research question.

  • Work through the following steps to test your research question.

    Step 1. Choose your subject area.

    Step 2. Choose a topic that interests you.

    Step 3. Suggest a question.

    Step 4. Evaluate your question.

    Step 5. Restate your question using a different command term.

    Step 6. Review with your supervisor.

    Step 7. Reflection.