How to Formulate Research Questions

A good part of any research depends on the right questions asked. If you are asking wrong questions, your entire research may go off track. Therefore, understanding what questions you need to ask is essential for your research. If you are on the way to your research but don’t know how to start framing the right research questions, we have just the right information for you. This article discusses the process of formulating research questions.


How to Formulate Research Questions

This article discusses the process of formulating research questions. 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.

A good part of any research depends on the right questions asked. For anyone remotely aware of how research works, let us describe it in simple words— you think of a research topic, determine your key objectives for the research, formulate questions based on which you conduct your research, and create a report based on your findings.

In this process, you can see how important the role of a research question is. If you are asking the wrong questions, your entire research may go off track. Therefore, understanding what questions you need to ask is essential for your research. If you are on the way to your research but don’t know how to start framing the right research questions, we have just the right information for you. Let’s start!

Start with a topic for your research questions

First off, you would need a topic for your research to begin with. We suggest you start with a broad topic that can give you the scope to explore. Once you have chosen your area of interest, start exploring other subtopics by using means of concept maps and brainstorming. It is always better to choose an area in which you are genuinely interested. That way, you will be constantly motivated for your research.

Try listing themes and materials that can provide for a good research topic. The main aim of this step is to channel down your options so that you have something concise and precise to work with.

Begin with the initial research for research questions

After you have decided on a topic, it is time to start the initial research. The main purposes of this research are:

  • To know about related matters being currently discussed in the academic and research world.

  • To look for limitations or issues that are not yet answered or explored in your concerned area of interest.

Once you know what has already been researched and what is yet left to be researched, it will get easier for you to understand what you need to look for. Hence, it will become clear to you what kind of research questions you need to ask and find answers for.

For example, you may find out after your initial research that existing research already informs you of certain issues prevalent in your area of interest. However, no one has found any solutions to those issues. In that case, your research questions can be centered on what kind of solution can be presented to resolve the issue.

Decide on a niche to work with

With your initial research, you will have a lot of data and information on your hand that can then help you decide on the particular niche with which you would like to work. As mentioned in the earlier step, you can look for the limitations or gaps in which are not yet explored. You can base your research questions on the areas which have not yet been focused on.

Another way to construct your research questions is by means of problematization. This process is to review and investigate existing views and assumptions by challenging what people already know. For example, existing research may present certain methods as a solution to a prevailing issue. After your research, you discover that maybe the methods are not eco-friendly. You can then form your questions regarding this problem and how there can be a better method. 

Review your questions

Finally, when you have a set of questions for your research, it is time to review them. Though they might seem promising to pursue, they might not be that good from a research perspective. In that case, look out for the following things:

  • How feasible are the questions and their related topics?

  • How interesting are the questions to the community?

  • Do the questions contribute more knowledge to the relevant area of study?

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How to Formulate Research Questions

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