A research question forms out of a necessity to delve deeper into a subject matter and becomes the foundation for a study. A good research question “…aims to explore an existing uncertainty in an area of concern and points to a need for deliberate investigation” (Ratan et. al., 2019, p.15).
A good and effective research question should be:
- specific, well-conceived, and define what you will examine
- clear and concise, yet open to interpretation and argument
- based on good research and evidence
A good research question will:
- be relevant, addressing a problem that has yet to be unpacked
- guide the study design through an applicable methodological approach
- utilize the FINERMAPS acronym: feasible, interesting, novel, ethical, relevant, manageable, appropriate, potential value, publishability, and systematic (Ratan et. al., 2019).
Developing a research question requires time and thoughtful consideration. Remember the acronym for the characteristics of a good research question: FINERMAPS, feasible, interesting, novel, ethical, relevant, manageable, appropriate, potential value, publishability, and systematic. Incorporating these considerations will allow for the creation of a strong and impactful research question.
Ratan, S. K., Anand, T., & Ratan, J. (2019). Formulation of Research Question – Stepwise Approach. Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, 24(1), 15–20. https://doi.org/10.4103/jiaps.JIAPS_76_18