design a research question

Create a one-sentence research question that addresses the problem or issue you selected for your Capstone Project (the role that community law enforcement plays in urban areas and how it affects determine societies’ view or opinion on race and ethnic issues?). Then, explain why you think the question is a viable research question for the scope of this course. Finally, describe any challenges you encountered when conceptualizing problems or issues as research questions.

  • With peer feedback in mind, refine the research question you posted in this week’s Discussion.
  • Compare your research question to the Research Question Guidelines document and refine accordingly.
  • State your research question.
  • Write a 1 page rationale for your research question, including why the question is relevant to public administration, public policy, or nonprofit management.

Reminder: Use APA guidelines for citations and formatting.


  • Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., Williams, J. M., Bizup, J. & Fitzgerald, W. T. (2016). The craft of research (4th ed.). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
    • Chapter 3, “From Topics to Questions” (pp. 35–48)

      In this chapter, the authors discuss the process of narrowing an interest into a viable research question. The authors also provide quick tips on how to identify a topic of interest.

  • Machi, L. A., & McEvoy, B. T. (2016). The literature review: Six steps to success (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    • Chapter 3, “Step Three: Search the Literature” (pp. 59-81)

      This chapter explores step 2 of the literature review model, “search the literature.” This step consists of the following three tasks: select the literature to review, conduct the literature search, and refine the study topic. The chapter provides specific strategies and activities that support the completion of each task.

    • Chapter 2, “Step Two: Develop the Tools of Argumentation” (pp. 37-57)

      This chapter explains step 3 of the literature review process, “develop the argument.” The chapter details specific concepts that need to be taken into consideration when selecting literature (step 4).

  • Empire State College. (n.d.). Developing a research question. Retrieved August 28, 2014, from
  • Document: Peer Review Guidelines (PDF)

    This document provides a list of review attributes and criteria to judge the strengths and weaknesses of research questions, and advises using diplomacy when giving feedback.

  • Document: Research Question Guidelines (PDF)

    This document summarizes the key attributes and criteria for relevant research questions, such as clarity, focus, complexity, and directness. Proper framing of questions is also addressed.

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