How Can You Develop Solid Research Questions for Your Dissertation?

For a high-quality research paper, dissertation, or thesis, a helpful research question plays a critical role in designing it. It precisely suggests what you wish to study, presenting your research's apparent emphasis and objective.


How Can You Develop Solid Research Questions for Your Dissertation?

Properties of solid research questions

For a high-quality research paper, dissertation, or thesis, a helpful research question plays a critical role in designing it. It precisely suggests what you wish to study, presenting your research's apparent emphasis and objective. Therefore, the research question concentrates on a sole issue, can be examined with primary and secondary sources, and addresses specific questions within the study's boundaries. Moreover, it must be detailed enough to handle the studied issue, sufficiently complicated to develop the response within the scope of the thesis or dissertation, and pertinent to what is learned with applicability to the broader society or community. Remember that a single research question must direct your reading and thinking. In the due process, what will be developed is your thesis statement, forming the backbone of your study. Suppose you have a sizeable research project, such as a thesis or dissertation. In that case, you might need to confront many research questions, each requiring connection and focus around what you research, namely the research problem.

Penning a research question

This process involves the following steps:

a) Selecting a comprehensive theme

b) Conducting initial reading allowing you to discover what is trending in current research 

c) Contracting a specific forte that you wish to concentrate on

d) Specifying a down-to-earth or hypothetical research problem that you will state.

When a specified problem is before you, all you need is to devise one or more questions. Precisely consider what you wish to discern and how it will help resolve the problem.

How you formulate your question relates to your research objectives. Research objectives will involve defining and discovering, elucidating and testing, assessing and acting. Defining and discovering requires that you pose questions such as what are the traits of the independent variable (treatment), how has it developed over time, how many levels does it have, how the dependent variable experiences the independent variable, and how the dependent variable has endured the independent variable.

The relationship between the dependent and independent variables, the impact of the independent variable on the dependent variable, and the cause of the dependent variable are covered in elucidating and testing. Finally, assessing and acting includes:

  • Presenting pros and cons of the dependent variable

  • Determining its effectiveness

  • Defining how it is achieved

  • Posing strategies to enhance it.

Forming a solid research question

A helpful research question is crucial because your entire project builds on it. Therefore, you must refine it. First, your research question must be engrossed and investigable. Let us elaborate on what we mean by engrossed and investigable—being engrossed and investigable covers concentrating on a sole issue. Your primary question must relate to your research problem to ensure that your work is focused. Suppose you have many questions to address. In that case, they must all relate to your primary objective.

Moreover, using primary or secondary data help you find an answer thanks to quantitative and qualitative data from scholarly resources. If you cannot access such data, you may have to revise your research question accordingly. One also must avoid subjectivity. Hence, we suggest you avoid subjective words, including the best, good, bad, or worse. If you evaluate traits, you must have measurable specifications. The research question must also be practical and unique. You must ensure that you have allocated enough time and resources to conduct the study. If accessing data seems cumbersome, constricting the research question may help. You must employ unique and well-defined concepts. Remember that securing the definability of the terms used will improve the impact of your research. Otherwise, you may confuse your readers with vague language diminishing the implications of your study. Exceedingly relevant is that the research is beyond instructing and merely covers informing. Thus, even if you have a practical issue, ensure that it enhances understanding and poses prospects instead of presenting an already full-fletched solution.

On top of that, your research question must be complicated and discussable. Suppose all your research question addresses simple yes or no questions. In that case, you will have a limited scope, minimally contributing to the extant literature. Here is a test for you. It is not complicated enough if you can find the answer to your research question by googling it. More importantly, your research question must provide scope for discussion and deliberation. It is specifically relevant in a research article or thesis where the address to the research questions forms the backbone of an argumentative thesis statement. Finally, your research question must be pertinent and original. It must fill the gap in the existing literature.

Furthermore, it must add to social or academic debate. Do not consider that you have to discover something from scratch. However, how eloquently you investigate your topic and focus on an aspect needing further elaboration is what is asked of you.

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Research questions for dissertations and theses

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Research questions for dissertations and theses

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This article explains how to develop research questions for a dissertation or thesis. To give you an opportunity to practice proofreading, we have left a few spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors in the text. See if you can spot them! If you spot the errors correctly, you will be entitled to a 10% discount.

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