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Nutrition Resource Guide: Topic/Research Question

Find Background Information on Your Topic

Background information helps you: 

  • Start thinking about your topic
  • See the big picture
  • Identify major issues
  • Discover something that interests you

Use an encyclopedia source to do general background research. Use quality, professionally produced sources to familiarize yourself with the topic (not just Google and Wikipedia).

Try some of these:

Formulating a Research Question

Formulating a research question:

The basic formula for research question is: How does x relate/impact/cause y?

For a good research question you’ll usually have one more component, something to make it a bit more specific, like a place, time, group of people, etc. 

Narrow your topic by using the five w's: 
Ask yourself open-ended questions to focus your topic. You don't have to answer all of the questions. Some might not apply or be helpful.
  • Who: demographic focus (gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status
  • What: aspects and impacts of the topic (sociological, psychological, economic)     
  • Where: geographic location
  • When: either present day or a particular time period in the past
  • Why/How/So What!: importance, significance (societal, individual)

Formulating a Clinical Question using PICOT

PICOT is a mnemonic device used to describe the four elements of a good clinical foreground question:

PICO is a mnemonic used to describe the four elements of a good clinical foreground question:

P = Population/Patient/Problem 

I = Intervention of Interest

C = Comparison intervention or issue of Interest

O = Outcome(s) of Interest

T  = Time of Interest