What Makes a Good Research Question?

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.

References

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

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