Six Characteristics of Issues

1. Issues are compelling
2. Issues orten originate in dramatic life situations
3. Current issues are related to enduring issues
4. Issues go underground and the resurface
5. Issues sometimes get solved, but then new ones emerge around the original issues
6. Issues seem to be getting more complex

Twelve Tests of an Arguable Issue

1. Is this an issue that has not been resolved or settled?
2. Does this issue potentially inspire two or more views?
3. Are you interested and engaged with this issue, and do you want to communicate with an audience about it?
4. Can you inspire your audience to be sufficiently interested to pay attention?
5. Do other people, besides you, percieve this as an issue?
6. Is this issue significant enough to be worth your time?
7. Is this a safe issue for you? Not too risky? Scary? Will you be willing to express your ideas?
8. Will you be able to establish a common ground with your audience on this issue, that is a common set of terms, common background and values?
9. Can you do research, get information, and come up with convincing insights on this issue?
10. Can you eventually get a clear and limited focus on this issue, even if it is a complicated one?
11. Is it an enduring issue, or can you build perspectie by linking it to an enduring issue?
12. Can you predict some audience outcomes? Whll the audience be convinced? Hostile? Neutral? Attentive?

If you cannot answer "yes" to all twelve of these questions, your issue needs to be changed or, at the very least, modified.

From here move on to The Research Question