Every research project begins with a question. It might seem like an obvious point, but the question is the foundation for your research project.
The question needs to be answerable; it should be informative and engaging to you and others and articulate what you intend to explore in your study. To develop a good research question that meets these criteria, base your research question on the following:
The question is the foundation for your research project.
A good research question is the foundation of your research project. The question must be answerable, relevant to you and others, and have a distinct focus. It’s important not to be too broad or vague.
- You want to keep it specific to narrow down what will be included in your literature review.
- Asking questions such as “How do people with acne feel?” isn’t enough because there are many types of acne (comedonal, papular, pustular) that vary greatly in severity (mild, moderate, severe).
- Your hypothesis should narrow down these factors: “Do individuals with severe inflammatory acne have higher levels of depression than those with mild comedonal acne?”
The question should be answerable.
The first thing to consider when developing a research question is whether it is answerable.
- This means that the question should be testable and that there is some way in which you can investigate or measure your hypothesis or variables of interest. It cannot be answered if your research question cannot effectively be tested.
- Instead of asking questions like these, try posing more specific ones: “What percentage of Americans believe climate change to be caused by human activities?” A study could then attempt to measure this by polling Americans on their beliefs about climate change and its causes.
The question should be informative.
Here are the characteristics of a good research question:
- Specific. A good research question is specific, not vague or general. What do you want to know? What are you looking for? Be specific and clear about what you want to discover in your research project; this will help guide your inquiry process as it unfolds. If you can’t figure out your proposal Ph.D. proposal writing service can help you out of this quandary.
- Clear and precise vocabulary use. Your choice of words matter when it comes time to write up results from a study—it is essential that everyone involved understands exactly what has been studied and how the conclusions were reached based on those findings (or lack thereof).
You should care about the topic!
It is important to care about your topic because research is a process. You will have to spend time and energy on the project, so you should be passionate about it. If you do not feel like learning something new or making a difference in your field of study, then you have no reason to continue with your project.
You also need to ensure that your research question/topic can be answered by the method chosen (for example, questionnaires, interviews, etc.). If this is not the case, other methods should be considered before starting any research process.
Develop a research question that engages you and others.
- Before you begin to write a research proposal, make sure that your question is answerable. For example, “Does global warming exist?” wouldn’t be a good research question because it is impossible to know the answer without conducting an experiment or study. Instead, you might ask, “How are humans affecting global warming through their actions?” That would be an answerable question because it can be answered with data gathered from several sources and then analyzed by computer software programs.
- Another way to develop a good research question is by looking at past studies in similar areas. If you’re writing about breast cancer and its causes, try looking through some papers on breast cancer published in journals in the last five years or so; these will give you ideas for future studies that could be done on this topic (and possibly provide citations for further reading). If none of those ideas seem particularly interesting or feasible for whatever reason, then try searching some databases dedicated specifically to biological sciences like PubMed.
- Finally: make sure that people care about answering it! A lot of times, when we write papers, they don’t matter much (or get read) outside our field—but if yours does matter, then others might find out about it too, which means even more visibility down the road!!
So you have a great idea for your research proposal. That’s fantastic! There are some things that you will need to take into account before starting on your journey, though.
The most important part of writing your research proposal is ensuring that you have a good research question, which will lead you in the right direction and keep everything organized. So let’s get started!
Owen Ingram is a research-based content writer. He has worked in various healthcare, technology, Education , and finance industries. He is currently working as a writer in Research Prospect, famous for dissertation writing services and Report writing services. When Owen is not writing or researching, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He also loves travelling and learning about new cultures.