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- Make sure that your title involves the higher learning skills. One of the common pitfalls in developing your own title is to make it too descriptive; that is, to develop a question whose answer is essentially a catalogue of all the information you can find on a topic, rather than posing a problem which must be solved by argument. Students frequently set titles which test only Knowledge and Understanding, rather than the higher skills of Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation (see the section on What is being asked? for more information on these categories).
- Ask a question or solve an issue where something is at stake, or which has implications for our wider understanding of the author, text, theme or period. If, having answered your question, there is nothing in the field which may be affected by your conclusion, or which would have to be developed further or re-thought, then it may not be a very interesting question to pose. Ask yourself, "why is that a problem?"
- Find a new angle. You do not have to pose a question which is entirely original. It is possible to do so at undergraduate level, but originality is mainly a requirement of postgraduate work, especially PhDs. However, you may find a new approach to the question, perhaps by considering unexpected juxtapositions of less well-known texts or authors. Look for ideas and examples beyond those covered in the lectures, or explore beyond the reading list for fresh ideas to bring to your question. Transfer ideas across papers; perhaps a theme covered in one period might be interesting to examine in another?
- Look at past exam papers for inspiration. You could easily adapt a past exam question to gain a sense of what makes an interesting question.
- Analyse recent literature on the subject. Skim the titles, abstracts and introductions of journal articles to get a sense of what the debate is and where it is going. You might pose a question which requires you to analyse and evaluate the debate and take your own position, or perhaps take a new field of research a bit further by examining a small example of it.