If you are in the academic and scientific fields, there comes a time in life when you have to write your first short paper or even your thesis paper.
While you might know how to conduct research and how to answer research questions, what you might not have experience in is how to write the research questions you are looking to answer with your paper.
Don’t worry though, as we have everything you need to know in this article!
What Are Research Questions?
Research questions are the questions that you will center your research on. They should be:
- Specific: provide enough precise details so that the paper’s reader understands the intent without further clarification.
- Centered: their scope should be narrowed enough so that they can be properly addressed in the space provided by the assignment.
- Intricate: they cannot be answered simply with “yes” or “no,” but instead necessitates the collection and analysis of theories and source materials prior to the formation of a statement.
- Open to debate: its possible solutions are debatable instead of established facts.
You must also formulate a question around a subject about which you are extremely interested or even passionate, or else your research question must be tailored to the field of study you are investigating.
Questions relevant to the field of Biology are not the same as the ones suitable for Liberal Arts or Cultural studies. If you are looking to develop your research questions for a subject that isn’t first-year composition, you should consult your supervisor(s).
What Defines Good Research Questions?
If you’re not sure how to compose research questions, below is a list of elements that define successful research questions:
- Each research question must only address one issue.
- The answer to your research question can be given by employing primary and secondary data sources.
- A research question can be elaborate, but always to the point where you can answer it within the paper’s deadline or within any other limitations.
- Research questions must produce comprehensive and thorough findings
- They should be relevant and useful
- The above also means that your research question should always be related to your field of study and have an impact on it.
- You can formulate a research question about a subject whenever you wish to gain a new understanding of it.
As a result, the research question is critical in the entire research process as it provides the writer with reading and composing benchmarks.
In a research article or a paper, you must come up with one particular research question that focuses on a specific topic or challenge.
The thesis statement must outline the particular issue you intend to explore in order to define the key position or placement of your statement.
A bigger project, like a thesis or Ph.D. dissertation, can have numerous study questions, but each one needs to be focused on your primary research issue.
Various kinds of research will aid you in answering this variety of research questions you are exploring in your dissertation, but they must all pertain to the context of the research.
Why Are Research Questions Important?
Doing research and preparing an academic paper necessitates a clear question, as an effective research question will make your research purposeful and clarify its direction.
It also guides your readers through the topic of the research and the subtopics you include in your paper, thus helping them better understand what question your research seeks to look into and answer.
How To Write Research Questions
To create your research questions, follow these instructions:
- Select a subject matter with a large body of published research.
- Skim and scan articles and papers related to your subject matter to learn about various issues and challenges.
- Identify philosophical or practical research questions that can be addressed by your research work.
- Reduce the scope of your chosen main niche area of research.
- After you’ve established a gap in the existing research and explicitly stated the issue you want to address, you’ll have to produce your research questions.
- Consider how you will approach the issue and the number of research questions you will need to generate.
Research Questions & Their Types
You can conduct two kinds of research: quantitative research and qualitative research.
Both kinds of research necessitate the formulation of research questions. The nature of the research you want to conduct will determine which research questions you will address with your paper.
The first step in conducting research is to identify a gap and develop well-focused research questions.
Below we have a list of commonly used research questions for a research thesis. Nevertheless, it is essential to remember that these thesis research questions are simple, whereas the real research questions could be much more intricate.
Types Of Research Questions & How To Formulate Them
- Descriptive Research Question: What Are X’s Features?
- Comparative Research Question: How do X and Y compare and contrast?
- Correlational Research Question: What is the relationship between variables X and Y?
- Explanatory Research Question: What are the origins of X? What effect does Y have on A? What is the source of Z?
- Exploratory Research Question: What factors influence the rate of X? Do X and Y have any effect on Z?
- Evaluation Research Question: How effective and impactful is x? What is the function of Y? What are the benefits and drawbacks of Z?
- Action Research Question: How can various initiatives be used to improve X?
The Bottom Line
Research questions establish a clear direction for future research. A bigger paper, like a doctoral thesis, might well have multiple research questions, but each one of them must address no more than one problem.
Your research questions ought to be relevant to the research topic, answerable, precise, and pertinent to your study’s field. Dissertation research questions are determined by the kind of research on which your dissertation is based.
Begin by selecting an interesting subject, then conduct some initial research to gather information, understand your readers, start forming some questions from the issues you have discovered, evaluate your questions, and begin your actual research.