how to write a research question

Topic: How to write a research question? in the year 2022

What exactly is a research question, and how do you write one?

A research question is the focus of your investigation in hand.

We will cover the following important aspects about conceiving and writing a research question in this post:

  1. Definition of a research question
  2. Introduction to a research question
  3. Importance of a research question
  4. How to formulate a research question?
  5. Samples/Examples of a research question

1. Definition of a research question

A research question is a simple statement that is easy to grasp without more clarification.

2. Importance of a research question

The question is specific adequate that it may be addressed in the provided area of the assignment.

In the shortest number of words imaginable, and it conveys its meaning.

Tricky: the answer cannot be answered simply with “yes” or “no,” but must be derived through synthesis and study of many viewpoints and perspectives.

The question includes the availability to dispute instead of a set of recognized truths.

Whenever you get the opportunity, bring up a topic about which you are interested or even enthusiastic.

3. Importance of a research question

It is important that the question you ask is appropriate for the field of study you’re in. For example, a question suited for Biology differs from a question acceptable for Liberal Arts or Social science. For a subject other than first-year composition, you may wish to talk to your professor about your research question ideas before putting them into action.

Research questions are important since they help researchers understand what they’re trying to accomplish.

Research questions guide authors through into the research and writing process by offering a framework for inquiry. An “all-about” article may be avoided if the research topic is narrow and focused on a single, debatable point.

4. How to formulate a research question?

Pick a subject you’re interested in. Professional researchers tend to concentrate on subjects they are passionate about. Instead, authors should pick a broad subject that they are interested in learning more about. “Viruses in health and disease” or “Disease spreading bacteria” are examples of broad subjects.

Do a little groundwork on the broad subject you want to write about. Find out what’s previously been accomplished on your subject by doing a few simple checks in existing journals and publications. Whenever it concerns to your subject, what are academics and researchers talking about? In reading these research articles, which questions do you have in your mind?

Think about who you’re trying to reach with your message. Constantly hold your audience in mind while refining your subject and creating your inquiry when writing a college paper/article or an essay. Would the question you’re presenting be of interest to someone in that group?

What are you going to do now? As you evaluate the following, begin to ask yourselves clear questions regarding your subject matter. Viruses, for instance, served as a powerful force in the effort to establish various diseases altering human health throughout history.

Analyze the premise of your inquiry. Then, after you’ve written down a question or maybe a few questions, analyze these questions to see if they’re appropriate for study, so they’ll have to be improved.

Could it be apparent what you’re trying to find out? There is so much information on any particular issue that research questions need to be as specific and complete as possible to assist the writer in focusing his or her efforts.

Every research question has to be clear. Furthermore, the specificity of the research questions must limit the scope of the study.

Would be your research question difficult to answer? A straightforward “yes” or “no” or readily obtained data can not be used to respond to the research questions. The author/writer should do both research and analysis as a substitute for this. In many cases, they start with “Why” “When” “Where” “What” “Who” or “How.”

Start your investigation. Consider the many avenues your study may go once you’ve come up with a question. Where should you look for solutions to your question? What kind of investigation will provide you with a wide range of viewpoints and replies to your research question?

What are some questions you may ask yourself when doing research?

Uncertain: What should be done about the damage that viruses or bacteria are causing?

5. Samples/Examples of a research question

Example 1:

What steps must scientists and researchers do to safeguard the safety of their premises/patients/surroundings in case of a sudden emergence of a disease?

Viruses and bacteria are everywhere and have caused widespread health diseases throughout world history. Most of the time in the shape of epidemics and pandemics such as recent COVID-19 which is caused by SARS-CoV-2. So, an author should know what specific questions can be raised in this regard? Which pathogen is responsible for this pandemic and how can it be managed or controlled, and in what ways? What vaccines are available? How can we prevent it? Is social distancing or face masking is enough? What kind of face masks can be used for better protection? what are the sources and epidemiology background? What are the genetic alterations/mutations?

The abovementioned questions are very important to mitigate an outbreak due to a lethal pathogen and to prevent future pandemics.

Example 2: 

What type of damage are social sites causing to the users?

Social networking sites aren’t specified in this issue, nor is it obvious what type of damage they may be creating. In addition, it implies that this “damage” has been demonstrated or otherwise acknowledged. The more precise wording identifies the sites in question (MySpace/Twitter/Instagram and Facebook), the possible damage (privacy concerns), and the people who would be at risk for it (users). There should be no space for uncertainty or misunderstanding in a well-formulated research topic.

Example 3:

Unclear: What is the impact of global warming on the environment?

Clear: What is the most important impact of glacier melting on the life of Antarctic animals?

There’s no way even a regular undergraduate paper could cover all the ground addressed by this huge, aimless research topic. So instead, there is a more limited emphasis on a particular consequence of global warming (the thawing or melting of the ice caps in Antarctica) and a particular species that is being negatively impacted (Penguins/Seals/Orcas/Petrels/Albatross/Blue Whales and other antarctic animals). Writing about animals demands a viewpoint about which consequence is more important to the animal in question. Keep your research inquiry as specific as possible if you’re unsure of what you’re looking for.

Example 4:

Simple research question: How are physicians treating diabetes in the United States?

Complicated enough to deserve the attention it deserves: When it comes to predicting whether or not an American will get diabetes, what are the most significant environmental, behavioural, and heritable traits?

The simplest solution to this issue may be found online in a few factual phrases and does not need further investigation. However, this is a two-part article that is considered and demands a great deal of inquiry and assessment from the author, making it more difficult to compose. So, to be on the safe side, don’t waste your time on anything that can be found with a quick Internet search on Google/Wikipedia or related sites.


Dr. AF Saeed

(Researcher @USA)


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