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Goldilocks Research Questions

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Goldilocks Research Questions

  1. 1. The G ldilocks Theory  For Research Questions
  2. 2. Issues: • Close-ended, requires a specific answer • Could be answered with one or two sources • Information required to answer may not exist  Too Little
  3. 3. Example: How big was the readership of the Nancy Drew series when it was first published? Issues: • Close-ended, requires a specific answer • Could be answered with one or two sources • Information required to answer may not exist  Too Little
  4. 4. Issues: • Close-ended, requires a specific answer • Could be answered with one or two sources • Information required to answer may not exist Strategies for Improvement: • Identify themes within the question (audience and gender) • Consider a broader application of these themes  Too Little Example: How big was the readership of the Nancy Drew series when it was first published?
  5. 5.  Too Big Issues: • The scope of the question is too broad for a 10-15 page paper • Might be difficult to identify specific keywords
  6. 6. Issues: • The scope of the question is too broad for a 10-15 page paper • Might be difficult to identify specific keywords Example: How has the portrayal of gender in children’s mystery novels changed over time?  Too Big
  7. 7. Example: How has the portrayal of gender in children’s mystery novels changed over time? Strategies for Improvement: • Identify major terms and brainstorm smaller keywords • Do background research online • Brainstorm ways to anchor your question with a specific issue or text  Too Big Issues: • The scope of the question is too broad for a 10-15 page paper • Might be difficult to identify specific keywords
  8. 8. Good Qualities: • Open-ended, leaves room for new discoveries • Leaves room for your close reading and ideas from outside sources • Makes unique connections, is debatable  Just Right Example: In The Secret of the Old Clock (1959), how does the character of Nancy Drew embody or critique traditional roles for women in 1950s America? Considerations: • Getting to “just right” is a process • Might involve additional questions • Might evolve throughout your research process

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