Formulating Research Questions (In-class assignment)

One of the ways that I believe is the best way to formulate a research question is to begin with something simple and then continue to ask yourself more questions based on your first question. For example, for my research project I am choosing to look into the super hero film genre. I began formulating my research questions for this topic by beginning with a very broad question: Why has the super hero film genre become so popular in recent years?

With this question, I first began to think more about the technicalities of the topic and the various aspects of it that I can dig deeper into. I then came up with the idea for looking back at the history of superhero films and comparing them to the films of today. With this comparison, I would hope to reach a conclusion to my initial research question. Although this small revision can lead to an interesting result, it is still much too broad of a question for this assignment. With this in mind, I decided that I would get even more specific and research a particular studio’s history and how they have achieved success through there super hero films. Finally, I came to the conclusion that I would be researching the past decade of films that Marvel Studios has produced and will dig into the minutia of what makes their super hero films successfully stand out from the rest.

Although not as successful, the second way that I chose to formulate my research questions was to make the topic more personal. For example, I thought of researching the cultural impact of the genre itself and what it means to people around the world. Unfortunately I didn’t find this question to require a lot of interviews with prominent members of the fanbase and overall not as compelling as the former. Although adding a personal aspect to a research question can lead to a more unique result, I ultimately decided that it didn’t fit the intellectual approach that I wanted to take with this research project.

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