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Focus Questions: Social Science

Historical Questions


Historical questions- Needs to be Past Tense


Example Topic: Global economic inequality and the climate crisis (too broad, narrow by geography and time period)


Non-historical question (AVOID!): What can be done to reduce wealth gaps and empower the people in developing nations to reduce their consumption of their natural resources and still become economically stable?

  • Comment: An important question, but it does not propose to understand anything about the historical roots of global economic inequality or its relationship to environmental problems. Rather, it is focused on present and future solutions.


Historical question (BETTER) (too broadly conceived at this point, but note use of past tense): How did the European industrial revolution impact the economies and natural resources of non-European countries through the mechanisms of globalization?

  • Comment: This question is historical, but it will need greater refinement as you conduct more research and come to some preliminary conclusions.


Specific historical question (GREAT - refined after some initial research): How did the introduction of railroads in colonial British India impact local grain production and markets from 1870 to 1900?

  • Comment: Great question. It is specific in terms of time period (when), geography (where), and industrial technology (what). Moreover, it is a historical question that you can reasonably answer given the parameters of this assignment. Not too ambitious, but plenty of source material available to conceive and support a historical argument.

WW1 Inquiry questions

Development of Inquiry Questions- e.g. WW1





WW1 focus questions

Focus Questions from an Inquiry Question e.g. WW1