What is a research question?
A research question is a question around which you center your research. It should be:
You should ask a question about an issue that you are genuinely curious and/or passionate about.
The question you ask should be developed for the discipline you are studying. A question appropriate for Biology, for instance, is different from an appropriate one in Political Science or Sociology. If you are developing your question for a course other than first-year composition, you may want to discuss your ideas for a research question with your professor.
What do or don't I know about the Endangered Species Act (ESA)?
I don't know:
Your supporting questions guide you as you work so you will read and take notes only on what is needed for your project.
Example 1: Topic = Steroids
Issue = Steroids and Professional Athletes
Essential Question = Should steroids be banned from professional sports?
Example 2: Topic = Skateboarding
Issue = Skateboarding and Helmets
Essential Question = Should skateboarders be required by law to wear helmets?