Why is this stage important?
Your interest in your research questions will help carry you through the dissertation process and may become the jumping off point/ starting place for future research work or the next step in your career. Be sure to take the time you need for defining and refining your research question(s).
Step 1: Brainstorm possible research questions. Be creative. This is your chance to experiment with a variety of different questions you might pursue.
Step 2: Do some preliminary research.
Step 3: Narrow down your ideas to your top two or three.
Step 4: Discuss with all your advisors, other faculty, peers.
Step 5: Through this process, reach an agreement with your advisor on an initial set of research questions to guide your research. Note that as your research progresses, you might refine your questions.
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Last revised: May 16, 2013
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