Bernice Olivas




Other Arts and Humanities


This article serves to highlight the unique position the research question holds in inquiry-based research writing. Inquiry-based educational theories (see Dewey; 1910, Bruner; 1962, Ballenger; 1997) contend that learning begins with the act of questioning. Research writing remains especially challenging for many first- year college students (see Larsen; 1982, Carroll; 2002, Alsup; 2002). The author conducts a two part study of writing inquiry-based research writing samples and concludes that the inquiry-based research question should be treated as text in its own right and as such should be approached through process writing. Students should be encouraged to pre-write, draft, and revise their research question before they begin their research project. In this article the author discusses the writing sample study, and possible strategies and pre-writing exercises based in low-stake imaginative writing genres like fiction and poetry as a method of teaching first-year writing students to form inquiry-based research questions which are focused and well-developed.

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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Heidi Estrem