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NUR 4770: RN Capstone Project Guide: Research Topic

Creating your Research Question

Step 1: Before researching anything, figure out what you want to research first.

  • Word of advice: research a topic you find interesting! The easiest part of research is locating the right articles--the hardest part is reading and interpreting the data. If you don't find the data interesting, the work will be painful. So again: research a topic you find interesting! 


Step 2: Write your research question. Make sure you have your dependent and independent variables and your population. When you are looking at your question, ask yourself: What am I measuring? If you can answer that question, you should have a decent research question.


Step 3: Break your research question down before going to the databases: 

  • Write down your question in a narrative form and identify the keywords for your search.
  • Think of synonyms for the keywords.

Example Question: How does psychotherapy reduce the risk of PPD for patients between the ages of 13 and 17?

Keywords: psychotherapy, reduce, PPD, ages of 13 and 17


Possible Synonyms: 

  • Therapy
  • Counseling
  • Reduc*
  • Post-Partum Depression 
  • Prenatal Depression
  • Perinatal Depression
  • Baby Blues
  • Teens
  • Adolescents

The word reduce is not a MeSH term, but by placing the asterisk * at the beginning of the word (reduc*) will help the database look for the following words: reduce, reduced, reduction, reducing, reduces, etc.