How To Develop A Research Question for Dissertation: Ultimate Guide
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What is a research question?
A research question is a question on which you center your research and the research question should be:
- Clear: The audience should easily understand its purpose without needing an additional explanation.
- Focused: It should be narrow enough to be answered thoroughly.
- Concise: It can be expressed with fewest possible words.
- Complex: It requires synthesis and analysis of ideas and sources to answer rather than with a simple yes or no.
- Arguable: The potential answers should be open to debate rather than accepted facts.
- The question should be about an issue that you are genuinely curious or passionate about and should be related to the discipline you are studying.
Why is a research question essential to the research process?
Research questions are essential for writers to focus on their research by providing a path through the research and writing process. A well-developed research question will help writers avoid the “all-about” paper and work toward supporting a specific, arguable thesis.
Types of Research Question
6 Best Tips to Develop A Research Question for a Dissertation:
Choose an interesting topic
Most of the professional researchers focus on the topics that they are genuinely interested in studying. They choose a broad topic which they genuinely want to know more. The greater the interest in the topic, the more likely it is to produce an assignment that is interesting to read.
Conduct preliminary research
Do some quick searches in current journals and periodicals on your topic to check what’s already been done and help to narrow your focus. Know the issues researchers and scholars are discussing when it comes to your topic. Also, the questions occur to you when you read these articles.
Consider your audience
Before choosing a research question, you should know who your audience is. For most college dissertations, the audience will be academic. But keep your audience in mind while narrowing your topic and developing your question. Question yourself whether that particular audience would be interested in the question or not.
Start asking questions
After taking all the above into consideration, start asking yourself open-ended questions like “why” and “how” about your general topic.
Evaluate your question
After preparing a question or a couple, evaluate these questions to determine whether they would be effective research questions or they need more revising and refining.
Is your research question clear? It should be clear in order to be effective in helping the writer direct his or her research.
Is your research question focused? It must be specific enough to be well covered in the space available.
Is your research question complex? They should not be answerable with a simple “yes’ or “no” but rather requires both research and analysis on the part of the writer. They should begin with “How” and “Why”.
Begin your research
After coming up with a question, think about the possible paths your research might take. The sources to consult to seek answers to your question and the research process to ensure that you find a variety of perspectives and responses to your question.
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