The three parts of a compelling research question are:
Once you have a compelling research question, look at each source you find and ask yourself whether or not this source helps you answer your research question. If it does, great! Use that source. If it doesn't, then discard it. Likewise, the issue you are researching determines the sources you should use. Compare the following research questions:
For the first research question, you could potentially use the following:
Seltzer, R., & Hutto, J.W. (2015). The effect of race, partisanship, and income on perceptions of the economy before and after the election of Barack Obama. The Social Science Journal 53 (3), 346-356. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soscij.2015.10.003
This interview with the Executive Director of the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, an organization started by President Barack Obama to ensure that young black men can achieve their dreams
Both are good sources, but they answer your research question in different ways. One is a scholarly article, the other is not. Whether you use one or both depends on what type of paper you are writing and what requirements your professor has set.
For more help creating a research question, see the University Writing Center.
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