Developing Strong Research Questions - Guide 2020

Developing Strong Research Questions - Guide 2020

When you are making a research paper, it's very important to formulate successful research questions. It gives you a clear understanding of what you're going to research and find out and also defines the main ways for solving a research problem. If you want to know the main secrets of creating a great research question, use our detailed guide! With our useful hints, you will make a wonderful paper without wasting a lot of time.

The Main Requirements to Research Questions

Follow the next requirements to create your questions properly:

  • You should focus it on a specific issue or problem
  • It must be possible to make research on this question using various sources
  • It's possible to answer this question thoroughly
  • Make sure it's fine to find an answer within practical constraints and specific timeframe
  • Your question must be complex 
  • Check out if it is relevant to your future paper

Tips on How to Make a Successful Question

We suggest following this short scheme when you're making your research questions:

  • Select a specific subject for your future work
  • Read about the chosen theme to understand the main issues about it
  • Focus on a particular niche you want to research
  • Find out a clear research problem you want to solve in the paper

When you get a specific and well-defined problem for the research, you can create your questions more clearly. 

Research Questions: The Main Types

In fact, there are several types of research questions. We will describe every type in this paragraph to give you the maximum information.

  • Descriptive type - defines the main characteristics of a certain object.
  • Comparative type - shows the main different/similar things between two objects.
  • Correlational type -  describes the relationship between two or more variables.
  • Exploratory type - defines the factors of the object and describes its role in other objects.
  • Explanatory type - defines causes and effects between objects; shows how one object impacts others.
  • Evaluation type - describes the disadvantages and advantages of variables in your research.
  • Action type - provides strategies on how to improve a certain object and achieve a particular value.

How to Make Sure You've Created a Successful Question

For most people, it's not very difficult to create research questions but it can be not so easy to make sure they're good enough. Follow our simple checklist to make sure you did the job well:

1. Make sure your questions are good-focused and well-researchable

  • Focus your question on the one certain issue or problem
  • Check out if it's possible to find a specific answer to this question
  • Make sure your question doesn't ask to evaluate something
  • Avoid why questions because it's not possible to give a clear answer

2. Check out if your question is specific enough

  • It's possible to answer the question using particular sources
  • Use only clear and well-defined terms when you address your question
  • Never ask for any particular instructions or policy

3. Find out if your questions are enough complex and arguable

  • Check out your question cannot be answered shortly just with "no" or "yes"
  • Make sure it's not possible to answer your question using Google or looking in a single book
  • Your question must leave enough space for debates and discussion

4. Make sure your questions are original and relevant

  • It should contain a problem relevant to your discipline or field
  • A question must produce information for future researchers to build their papers on it
  • Check out that nobody has answered the specific question before
  • Make sure your question has some originality (for example, it focuses on a new angle of a specific problem)

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Frequently Asked Questions

When you're working on a research paper, it's quite important to create a good research question. It formulates what you are going to research and find out during your work and gives your paper a clear goal and focus. The right question helps to guide you through the research and get the most perfect results.
There are three main types of research questions: descriptive, comparative, and causal. A descriptive type defines the object's main characteristics. A comparative type is looking for differences and similarities between two objects. And a causal type describes the role of the one object and the main factors of another one.
When you're working on a research paper, it's necessary to create a research question to focus your entire document and plan your writing thoroughly. The question is your thesis statement that should become a central position of your paper. Remember that every sentence in your manuscript must be connected with its central idea.
When you want to create a well-structured research question, please feel free to follow the next steps:
  1. Choose the type of your research question;
  2. Identify which variables will be measured in your research;
  3. Select the structure for your question depending on chosen variables;
  4. Write down the problem you're going to solve in the form of a research question.