Capstone Post 2 – Choosing a Main Inquiry Question and Choosing Sub-Questions

Now that I’ve picked out my topic, it’s time to decide what my inquiry question should be. An inquiry question is like the main question for your topic so that it isn’t like you’re writing an all about book. This question should be one of interest that still allows you to research more than just that one thing. For example, I can’t make my inquiry question “What is an axolotl” because that restricts me to researching just that. But at the same time, you can’t research any thing random that isn’t related to your inquiry question. You also don’t want your question to be too broad or to be an opinion. So as you can see there are a lot of rules when creating an inquiry question.

Now that you have the main idea of an inquiry question, it’s time to choose! In my opinion this is easier than picking out a topic but still hard. I am interested in researching the regenerative properties of the axolotl but I think that might creep people out a bit. Now it might be a difficult topic to research but I would like to know more about why they are endangered. I could find some really good sources for this and there are many interview options. The only obstacle that I might have is my site visit. On the other hand, I could visit an aquarium that holds axolotls and interview them on the topic. They should know a lot about because axolotls currently only survive in captivity. If they didn’t know about it then that would be quite embarrassing for them. And all because of peer pressure. That’s going to be interesting. Otherwise, it seems like clear sailing from here, I have my inquiry question!

Now that I think about it, I can’t really just type that into a search engine, and how will I come up with subtitles? The answer is clear, sub-questions! These will help me narrow down my research and get better (and much more) information and sources while still sticking to my topic, perfect! Just in case you are unclear as to what a sub-question is, they are like mini questions that fit under the large umbrella of your inquiry question. The best amount of sub-questions to have seems to be somewhere around 5 or 6. This is the easy part for me…

I take it back! This is not easy at all! 🙁 How do they expect me to come up with 5 more questions, let alone questions that all fit under this tiny umbrella! And I used to think the umbrella was large! Ugh. It’s like at the time that I needed my brain the most it just up and left me. I’ve been sitting in front of the computer for at least a half hour and the single idea I had was “What is an axolotl” I mean, seriously!? Even though that question is very informative to the audience, how is that supposed to help me narrow down my research? Exactly, it doesn’t! I think that I might get an idea of what to to by seeing what others are doing. I have decided that it would be smart to type my inquiry question into the search engine and see what comes up, what harm could it do?

That was so helpful! I wish that I thought of that in the beginning! Of course a lot of random things came up but the one or two thing that I found could have saved me a half hour of my life that I will never get back! I think that I my have my sub-questions!

  1. What is an axolotl?
  2. How do natural predators come into play?
  3. How have humans contributed?
  4. What about their habitat?
  5. How can we help?

I think that I am ready for the next step in the capstone process! 🙂

1 thought on “Capstone Post 2 – Choosing a Main Inquiry Question and Choosing Sub-Questions

  1. Apollonia, what a reflective and thorough post! Thank you for sharing your process in so much detail. I am very excited to see your project develops!

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