Most of us look for information to answer questions every day, and we often act on the answers to those questions. Are research questions any different from most of the questions for which we seek information? Yes.
See how they’re different by looking over the examples of both kinds below and answering questions about them in the next activity.
Examples: Regular vs. Research Questions
Regular Question: What time is my movie showing at Lennox on Friday?
Research Question: How do “sleeper” films end up having outstanding attendance figures?
Regular Question: What can I do about my insomnia?
Research Question: How do flights more than 16 hours long affect the reflexes of commercial jet pilots?
Regular Question: How many children in the U.S. have allergies?
Research Question: How does his or her country of birth affect a child’s chances of developing asthma?
Closed-ended questions can be answered with a short or one-word answer. A verifiable fact. They usually provide evidence or data, and are often quantitative.
Open-ended questions require an explanation and cannot be answered with a “yes,” “no,” or with one-word. They often start with how, what, why.