What makes a good research question ?

I suspect the answer to this question will vary depending on the researcher. For me it has to have several components:

  • It must stimulate my curiosity. I need to be passionate about the subject otherwise, I won’t be motivated to dig deep enough.
  • It must have practical implications. If the question is too abstract or too general to have a low potential of making a positive impact on daily life, I won’t be motivated to look for answers.
  •  It must be realistic. If there is a very low probability of finding answers, I won’t even start looking into it.
  • It must lead to new knowledge. If the question has been properly answered before, why put any effort into it.
Ideally, these aspects must all be present at the same time. “It is imperative that all four constructs—the problem, purpose, significance, and research questions—are tightly aligned and intricately interwoven” (Grant & Osanloo, 2014)


Grant, C., and Osanloo, A. (2014). Understanding, selecting, and integrating a theoretical framework in dissertation research: Creating the blueprint for your ‘house’Administrative Issues Journal: Connecting Education, Practice, and Research. DOI: 10.5929/2014.4.2.9


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