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General Questions for Subject Research Guides

Here is a set of questions for exploring any issue -- for example, homelessness, a hot topic in the local Rhode Island news in December 2022.

I welcome constructive comments, corrections, and additional information and links to help us understand what we're actually doing about problems, and what might be ways to reach the goal of adequate livings for everyone. If you are interested in contributing to this project, email Sue Korté.

General Questions for Researching an Issue:

  • Define the issue: e.g., Some Rhode Islanders do not have a safe place to stay and keep their stuff.
  • Define the goal: e.g., Prevent and end homelessness in Rhode Island. Make it rare, brief, and nonrepeating.
  • Who needs help and why? e.g., can’t find adequate housing
  • What is the current state of affairs?’ e.g., Increasing numbers of people unable to find shelter
  • Describe the current system for addressing this issue
  • What is the context of the issue? 
        What other issues impact this issue - e.g., homelessness impacted by medical care, addiction, etc.
        What Issues contain this issue, e.g., homelessness is one dimension of housing
  • Who/what organizations are doing something about this  issue? (Government: (federal, state, local), Nonprofit, Coalitions
  • What is each organization doing? - Services, capacity....
  • How exactly is everyone coordinating to solve the problem?
  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working?
  • How did things get to be this way? (Timeline)
  • What obstacles are in the way of dealing with this issue?
  • How can efforts be rearranged so they achieve the goal?

Appendices may include

  • Acronyms/Definitions/Glossary
  • Laws & Regulation
  • News
  • Videos


A Research Guide on Homelessness in Rhode Island