Why choosing a research question is essential for the research process?

Every research paper requires a central theme that forms the base and directs the entire process. A strong research question not only provides purpose to the research but also allows the researchers to explore the complex scientific areas in detail. A good research question possesses the following characteristics: 

  • The question talks about a single problem
  • It is researchable and relevant to your field of study
  • The question is novel and unique
  • The question is relevant to future research

So, what are the basic steps involved in the process of formulating a research question?

  1. Select a topic
  2. Conduct preliminary research
  3. Examine the target audience
  4. Evaluate the question
  5. Start your research
  • Select a topic

Make a list of 4–5 topics that are neither too broad nor too narrow. Brainstorm for ideas and ensure there is sufficient reading material available. Build a list of relevant keywords to include in the title, introduction, and abstract. Formulate a thesis statement after compiling the list.

Tips for selecting a topic:
  • Get an overview of the topic
  • Read published studies and articles for performing a review of literature
  • Search for keywords pertinent to your topic
  • Conduct preliminary research

Read about the basics and research developments in your field of study. Establish the focus of your argument and use both primary and secondary sources to gather the information and data.

Tips for conducting preliminary research:
  • Organize the sections of your paper
  • Avoid the use of complex terminologies and jargon
  • Write simple and short sentences instead of complex sentences
  • Examine the target audience

Identify your target audience to develop a specific and focused research question.  Read the latest studies online and try to find out who the potential readers could be.

Tips for examining the target audience:
  • Find out which community will benefit from results and findings
  • Define the characteristics of the target audience
  • Assess the response of the audience
  • Find out where are researchers in your field publishing their studies
  • Evaluate the question

Address the research question and evaluate it to check its effectiveness.  It is the foundation of any research that defines the topics.

Tips for evaluating the question:
  • Determine what your readers will gain from the research
  • Find out how the research community would benefit from the research outcome
  • List the essential components of the research question
  • Start your research

Study the existing literature and find out how much research has already been done in your field. Follow the step-by-step process and write your research paper.

Tips for starting the research:
  • Design a research framework to structure the content
  • Adhere to the journal’s guidelines and formatting instructions
  • Consult academic editors and get writing and editing tips
Quick tips for writing a research question:
  • Adopt a practical approach while creating a research question
  • The question should be well-defined
  • Work on building a novel idea
  • Search online resources and verify data
  • Incorporate 5 W’s and 1 H while stating the research hypothesis

Follow these tips and design a novel and effective research question.

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