Skip to Main Content

EDUC-H205 Introduction to Education Thought


Resources to Explore for Inspiration

Good researchers are curious and practice intellectual humility, in other words, they do not approach research with their minds already made up about what they will find. Use the resources below to discover contemporary topics in education and let your curiosity inspire you to learn more!


Goldilocks Rule: Narrowing a Topic

Once you select a topic, refine your research question by asking the "5 W's"

Why – why is the topic important? (to the class, to the field, or to you - let your answer help shape the following questions)
Who – population or group (e.g., teens, college students, refugees)
What – discipline or focus (e.g., psychology or classroom strategies)
Where – geographic location (e.g., United States; universities; rural areas)
When – time or era (Civil Rights Era; last 5 years; pre-COVID)

Broad topic: Immigrants in public schools

Narrowed topic: Classroom strategies that affect education outcomes for immigrant students in rural US K-12 schools.

Adapted from: University of Michigan. (2023 Finding and Exploring your topic. Retrieved from

Broadening Your Topic

If you receive too few results, broaden your research question by revisiting the "5 W's"

Why – why is the topic important? (moving beyond your personal interest, how could your topic affect the region/state/country/world)
Who – population or group (instead of "teens" try "adolescents," instead of "refugees" try "immigrants")
What – discipline or focus (in addition to "psychology" add other disciplines such as "social work" or "school counseling")
Where – geographic location (expand your geographic region to include additional communities)
When – time or era (lengthen the amount of time)

Adapted from: University of Michigan. (2023 Finding and Exploring your topic. Retrieved from

Sample Research Questions

A good research question is clear, focused, and has an appropriate level of complexity. Developing a strong question is a process, so you will likely refine your question as you continue to research and to develop your ideas.  


Unclear: Why are social networking sites harmful?

Clear: How are online users experiencing or addressing privacy issues on such social networking sites as Facebook and TikTok?


Unfocused: What is the effect on the environment from global warming?

Focused: How is glacial melting affecting penguins in Antarctica?

Simple vs Complex

Too simple: How are doctors addressing diabetes in the U.S.?

Appropriately Complex:  What are common traits of those suffering from diabetes in America, and how can these commonalities be used to aid the medical community in prevention of the disease?

Adapted from: George Mason University Writing Center. (2018). How to write a research question. Retrieved from