How do you formulate a research question?

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mr-mayonnaise's profile pic

mr-mayonnaise | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted on

In order to formulate a research question there are a few big qualifiers that should be in place. 

- It should be answerable. Seems pretty basic but it must be a question that you are able to answer. If you create a research question that you cannot readily create or find an answer for then you may need to change or scrap your question in favor of a new one.

- You must be able to show your methods. When answering the question if you cannot show the methods you used to find an answer and instead fall on something like "It works because it does" or some other logical fallacy then your question is not acceptable. Make sure your question is one that you can actually prove an answer for/to. 

- Have a clear end goal in mind. A research question should be specific and unambiguous. Make sure to fine tune your question to limit the amount of wiggle room as it will make the rest of your research that much easier for you to complete and for the reader to understand. It helps to have your end goal in mind when formulating your question. 

- It helps to be interested in your topic. If it is a research question of your choosing and you are not interested in the topic then the entire project will show your lack of interest. This leads to sub-par work and a sub-par experience. 

Hope that helps! Good luck. 

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mr-mayonnaise's profile pic

mr-mayonnaise | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted on

I do have an example that comes to mind. I'll use this for your question 3. It seems your questions are sociology based, so lets use a people questionnaire. 

Question: Do people like certain types of movies at different times of the day? 

Variable 1: Time of day. 

1. Measurable by general clock time.

2. Question: What time of day did you watch the movie.

3. Responses would be any time (24 hour format would be easier to differentiate morning from night).

Variable 2: Movie Genre

1. Scale would be difficult here, maybe emotion or how it made them feel? Scary movie vs. action flick, love drama, etc.

2. Question: How would you best describe the genre of the movie you watched?

3. Responses could be general genres, horror, action, drama, comedy, etc.

Hope that gives you some ideas. 

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studentmc31 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

These is a project and I actually have to create 3 formulating research questions, then i have to define the research variables and structuring survey questions for questionnaires.

  1. Propose 3 possible research questions.                      Enter your 3 discussion questions as follows: Research question 1...? Research question 2...? Research question 3...?

2. For 2 of the 3 research questions, operationalize the variables to answer those questions and define variables that can be measured precisely.

Below is the format:

Question 1....?

Variable 1

Variable 2

2.  Question 2...?

Variable 1

Variable 2

3. Pick one of your research questions for which you defined 2 good variables.  For each of the variables for that research question, create a survey question to measure it.  If necessary, rephrase your research question or create a new research question for which you can create survey questions to measure its variables precisely.

Here is the format for question # 3:

Research question

1. Variable 1 name

  • measurement scale of variable 1
  • survey question to measure variable 1
  • allowed responses to survey question 1

2.  Variable 2 name

  • measurement scale of variable 2
  • survey question to measure variable 2
  • allowed responses to survey question 2