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Literature Review: The Research Question

This guide intends to provide students with information and advice about the literature review process

The Research Question: Recommended Titles

For additional help formulating your research question, explore these Library titles.

Choosing a Topic

Your chosen topic will provide the broad base for constructing your research question.

Your lecturer may assign a topic for you.  However, if you are to identify your own topic:  

  • Undertake background reading from a variety of sources (books, journals, multimedia sources etc)
  • Strike a balance between broad and narrow topics:  too broad can make the review unmanageable; too narrow will limit the amount of literature available 
  • Aim for a topic that has an existing body of research publications 

Formulating the Research Question

Use your background reading of the topic to generate ideas for your research question.  Think about:

  • Specific areas of the topic that interest you
  • Gaps in the research that were emphasised in your reading
  • The literature that is available on your topic

Most importantly, discuss your research question with your lecturer.