Good research questions bear many of the traits of good questions used within the models of project-based, problem-based, and inquiry-based learning. In these learning models, the questions are sometimes referred to as challenging, essential, or driving questions.

  • They state the purpose or focus of the project.
  • Quantitative research questions are typically narrow and specific¬† while qualitative research questions may be the broadest question that could be asked in the study (Creswell, J., 2009).
  • They cannot be answered by a simple yes or no, prompting the researcher to dig deep.
  • They are clear and specific.


Creswell, J. 2009. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Retrieved from 

Stockholm, Marianne. 2014. Problem Based Learning Versus Design Thinking in Team Based Project Work. Engineering and Project Design Education 4&5. University of Twente, The Netherlands.

Thesis statements/Research questions/Problem statements. (n.d.). Retrieved from