Research Question Examples - Good vs Bad

Research Question Examples - Good vs Bad

When you prepare to create a research paper, feel free to use our research questions examples. We have gathered them to compare good and bad for better understanding. At the start, you need to make a problem statement about the topic you're going to investigate, and then write your hypotheses and research questions to discover more. Follow our useful examples that will show how to do this task effectively.

Answers Should Be Complex

It's logical that a simple question gets a short and simple answer but this is not enough for a thesis paper. Make sure you make the right questions and avoid those that require just "no" or "yes" answers or just short words or a phrase.

  • Bad: Does having a dog at home require responsibility from a child?
  • Good: In what ways does having a dog at home require responsibility from a child?

As you can see, a "bad" example can be answered only with "no" or "yes". But when you are asking for certain ways a dog requires responsibility from a child, the answer will be more interesting and long. Thanks to it, you can make a thesis statement without problems. 

Research Questions Must be Focused

Keep in mind that a good question must be well-focused on your subject or related ideas because you will not be able to get a good thesis if you do it another way. Make sure you are not asking too general questions or those ones that don't stay on one subject.

  • Bad: Does medication help to cure students with ADHD symptoms, and do they need additional exercises?
  • Good: What effect can be gotten from different medications when curing elementary students with ADHD symptoms?

Here a good question is focused only on medication without exercises. As a plus, here the students' age is defined more precisely. Of course, you can get a good thesis if you answer this kind of question.

A Good Question can be Answered

Sometimes even interesting questions cannot be answered properly. Please keep in mind that your main goal of asking a question is to receive a good answer that will be helpful in making your future paper. Of course, without a good answer, you cannot create your project.

  • Bad: Are there other forms of life in the universe?
  • Good: What reasons affect our belief in other forms of life in the universe?

It's possible to keep the same subject but change the question, so the answer will have some useful data for your paper to use.

You Don't Need to Ask for Opinions

When you're composing questions, you have to think about the answers you want to get. Remember that an opinion is not a good thing to include in your research project. You need objective evidence only.

  • Bad: Which college is the best?
  • Good: What features do the best colleges have?

The first answer will not provide you with a good thesis for your paper project but asks only for opinion. You can use features to answer the second version.

Make Your Questions Specific

When you're writing questions, make them specific, and this will help you to receive more detailed answers.

  • Bad: How do meds affect people?
  • Good: How does aspirin affect those people who suffer from low heart pressure?

The second question is more specific and easier to answer. As a plus, the facts can give you a more focused and strong thesis.

Ask Only Original Questions

There is no need to ask questions answered many times before because this will lead you to the research that has already been done. Try to ask original questions.

  • Bad: What are the disadvantages of using a phone in college?
  • Good: How does the restriction of cell phones in college affect the students' grades?

Of course, the first topic is studied by many people so you won't find anything new there. But if to ask how the restriction affects the students' grades, this is quite another question.

There is No Why Word in a Good Question

Why questions are good for interviewing because they are open-ended, but when you're working on a research paper, you have to ask questions with specific and clear answers.

  • Bad: Why do some companies pollute the air? 
  • Good: How do government regulations prevent companies from polluting the air?

As you can see, we just replaced a why question with a how  question, and the answer will be more specific and clear. 

A Good Question Requires Research

If someone can answer your research question without any research, this is a bad question. A question must be formulated to force you to do at least a small research to find the answer. 

  • Bad: Has the population of polar bears increased lately?
  • Good: What factors have increased the population growth of polar bears?

As you can see, the first question is quite easy to answer, when the second question requires more digging into the subject to find the answer.

Good Questions Are Open to Debate

Ask your question about something that has many sides, and this will help you to get more detailed and interesting answers.

  • Bad: Are drugs bad for students?
  • Good: What strategies can prevent drug abuse in students?

Of course, everyone knows that drugs are bad for anyone but people may debate about what strategies may help. You have to make research and search for data to support your answer.

Good Questions Can Be Answered With Sources

A good question doesn't ask for an opinion or asks to guess something. It can be answered with sources.

  • Bad: Are black cats better than white cats?
  • Good: When tested for longevity and intelligence, how do black and white cats compare?

The second question is more specific, and it can be answered using good research sources. 

We hope these tips were useful. If you are looking for professional help in creating a research paper, please contact our experts to solve your problem in the shortest terms!