A good research question takes a lot of thought and consideration, even for an experienced social work professional. On your own, take some time to write down as many different questions as you can think of about an area of social work practice that interests you. Try different variations (exploratory, explanatory, descriptive, evaluation) of the same question:

Descriptive Research: Gathering the facts. (e.g., Who Are the Homeless?)

Exploratory Research: How do people function in a specific environment, what they value, what concerns them. (e.g., How Do Homeless Persons Adapt to Shelter Life?)

Explanatory Research: Identify causes and effects of situations; predict how a specific situation will be affected by change in a related phenomenon. (e.g., What Community-Level Factors Cause Homelessness?)

Evaluation Research: Assessment of the outcome to improve the intervention. (e.g., Should Housing or Treatment Come First?)

Next, describe the topic you selected and how you arrived at your list of possible research questions. 

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