It is a cliché when students ask their professors how to write a Research Question, and how can that be effective. It is the most important part of a research study. This must be crafted with care so that it could bridge the gap to be addressed by your study and in order for you to Develop Strong Research Questions.
To know what is a research question, you first need to identify the type of research study you are required to do. Commonly it comes in three major types: Qualitative research design, Quantitative Research Design, and the Mixed Method research design. You have to consider asking the type of study required, after that you can start developing a powerful research question.
Here are some examples of the research question and their types:
Descriptive research design commonly asks for descriptions of the respondents or about the topic you chose. “What are the features of the phone X?”; “What are the preferred components of a desirable smartphone?”
Comparative research designed questions are asking comparisons on a certain topic. It can be an occasion, a thing, phenomena, and a lot more. “What is the uniqueness of smartphone A to smartphone B?” “What are the features of smartphone A and smartphone B that are more likely to be its edge?”
Correlational Research designed questions are answering great research questions of relation to different variables of the study. “What is the relationship between sleeping early to working diligently? “What is the relationship between eating breakfast and being pretty?”
Exploratory research designed questions that unveil cause and effect relationships between many variables of a study. “Does chemical A have an effect on chemical B? What is the impact of chemical B on chemical C? What are the causes of chemical C?”
Evaluation research designed questions are research questions that assess the variables, impact, presence, and more. “What are the edges and weaknesses of smartphone A? How does the operating system of smartphone B works? How operational are all the fixed applications of smartphone C?”
Action research designed questions assess the variables and interventions it has. The result is then subjected to evaluation of principal causes for further improvement. “How can smartphone A be overthrow expectations? What is the most applicable approach to improving smartphone A?”
A developed effective research question can be simple or complex; in constructing it you have to consider some points:
- Develop a Concept Map, this looks like a food chain but what it in the segments were words interconnected to each other. You may want to consider starting with a broad topic of your interest. Create a branch that should contain another word related to the broad word you chose. Do not worry, you can interconnect the words, you can even use different crayons and colorful lines to connect words. This is unlimited.
- Narrow down your chosen topic. You would not want a very broad topic of interest. Pick words on the tip concept map you have created, those words are narrower than the words in the middle part.
- Identify the problems you want to address based on the words you chose. This is going to be the kick-start of crafting a strong research problem.
Simple questions are those close-ended questions asking What, When, and Where questions. On the other hand, complex questions are those that have follow-up questions and sub-questions asking How, and What questions. Complex questions are often used on qualitative research designs and mixed-method research designs. Any of the two types will be fine when you have decided on creating your research question.
Characteristics of a good and research question:
- Particular on your topic to be answered supported by the literature. The main objective of your study must connive with a research question to the problem, do not worry about having multiple research questions, just make sure that those active research questions are also related to the main objective of your study.
- Originality is a must. You have to think of ways how you can contribute to the greater body of knowledge by creating a good and research question.
- Do not be subjective. Use appropriate jargon if you opt to evaluate something.
- The questions’ message must be clear. Do not complicate the developed question.
- Dichotomous questions are not a good idea. Remember this is a research question, not an interview questionnaire.
- Realistic in the sense that is it not ambitious and conceited.
- Primary and secondary collected data must be the source of rich answers for your entire research questions.
- Sensible that the questions are true and it can contribute to the success of your study. That it can contribute knowledge on your chosen topic.
- Do not create research questions that ask conclusions or even recommendations. Remember you have to it yourself or ask a professional for help on concluding the result of your study on the later part of your paper.
- Just enough, (not too few not too plenty of research questions) that it can cater to the need for your study’s purpose.
- The significance of your question is the most important factor that you have to consider in crafting the questions.
- Consider creating strong research questions that can give you the complex result and complex answers.
- Ask yourself the same question you have created, can you answer it, and can you give a complex answer? If yes, this is a good and strong research question.
- Do not ask questions that are in the form of higher thinking. Do not start your question with “Why”. This may give you a wide variety of answers that may affect your main objective.
- Use affirmative structured questions. For example: “Did you not take a bath today? Instead “How often do you take a bath?”
- Lastly, we have to consider ethical approaches and standards for developing strong research questions. One of the main reasons why you have to create a good research question is to give an ample idea based on ethical approaches.
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Kunal Vaghasiya is the writing adviser for International students that seek rapid paper assistance. Kunal shares helpful suggestions on writing, productivity, study, references. Occasionally Kunal goes off-topic by discussing his personal experience peppered with playful humor.