When writing an academic paper on either broad or narrow topic, a good research question can help you start well. It’s all about stating a clear one that your research will answer. It plays an important role because it helps you focus the entire paper and enables you to make a strong statement on either simple or complex issue that you study. How to write a research question? Find a correct answer to write excellent papers every time.
Defining a research question
A good one should have all of these important characteristics:
It’s a question around which you center your entire paper, so pay attention to the issues that you’re passionate or curious about.
Why is it important to your research process?Research questions help students focus their writing by giving a visible path through the entire process and its different stages. Their specificity will help you avoid submitting general papers and work to supporting an arguable and unique thesis.
What are basic steps to developing your research question?
How to write a research question? Take these helpful steps to succeed:
- Select an interesting and broad subject;
- Do your preliminary research on it;
- Think about your readers;
- Start asking relevant questions;
- Evaluate them;
- Make your hypothesis.
Choosing and researching your general topic
Any academic paper should focus on the subject that interests writers in some way. Choose the one that you would want to learn more. Do your preliminary research on it. Use relevant and reliable journals, periodicals, or other sources of information to narrow your focus and consider the questions that your early evaluation raises.
Thinking about readers
To come up with a great paper, keep your audience in mind when narrowing your subject and developing a research question. Ensure that your readers want to know more about it.
Asking questions and evaluating them
Ask yourself open-ended questions about a general subject that you choose, including why and how. After you get a few suitable ones for your paper, evaluate them to determine whether they’re effective or require more revisions.
- Is your research question clear enough? (There’s a lot of information available on any subject, which means that it must be as clear as possible to be effective and help writers direct their research.)
- Is it focused?
- Is it complex? (Your research question shouldn’t be answerable simply or by easily-found details because it must require your deep analysis and hard work.)
- Is it specific enough to be covered in your available space?
Making your hypothesis
After you determine a good idea, consider the path that an answer on it may take. Where your research may take you? What will it mean if it disputes your initial argument? At this paper writing stage, you’re on the right way to have a good focus for your project, making a strong hypothesis, and proving your argument.
Why you should narrow down your topic
Choose a broad area of research that interests you by narrowing down your topic. For example, if you’re writing a biology paper, ask relevant questions. What kind of biology is it about? Your answers will help you narrow a research question, but there are other effective tops that can help you:
- Doing your initial research;
- Brainstorming interesting ideas;
- Avoiding overdone questions.
Why your preliminary research is important
At this point, you can use online research engines to get a general idea of your topic. Read relevant articles that discuss it. Jot down the things that catch your attention because they can help you brainstorm a narrow subject for your paper.
How to brainstorm interesting ideas
What fascinates or interests you about a given subject or why did you choose it at all? Draw a special diagram with your subject in its center. Branch the interesting ideas that you have in your mind off this center and keep doing the same thing until you find the best one. It will be a focus of your future research.
Why you should avoid overdone questions
Your research question should be as original as possible to impress professors who expect you to make only original arguments in your academic writing. When evaluating any topic that you want to discuss, you may find that many other documents and books answer it. That’s why you should choose a different one.
How to choose your specific research question
You also need to stay away from too broad topics because you’ll end up with a lot of information to study and unfocused papers. Narrow your topic down. Consider these simple hints:
- Make it more specific;
- Ensure that it’s no easy to answer;
- Avoid making it too ambitious.
Making your research question more specific and hard to answer
Look at every part and decide how you can make it specific enough. Search for something interesting for your research, argument developing, and thinking. Your research question shouldn’t be easily answerable.
How not to make it too ambitious
Although you want your research question to be interesting and unique, don’t try to make it too ambitious. You should be able to answer it in your paper limitations. Throughout this process, ensure that you can make a good conclusion for all arguments not to leave it unanswerable.
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