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What is a research question, and why is it important for it to be good? A research question describes “what researchers want to understand about the research problem that led to their study” (Given, 2008, p. 786). It is the active first step taken in a research project after selecting an idea to explore. Given this, good research must begin with a good research question. According to Kelly (2018), a good research question is

• Narrow
• Answered through the research process
• Clearly and simply stated
• “Doable”
• Interesting

In sum, a good or thoughtfully constructed research question is a prerequisite for good research. The research question acts like a roadmap of where the researcher is going with their study; therefore, it is essential to formulate a good research question right from the start to avoid veering off course, getting lost, and wasting valuable time.

Given, L. (2008). The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods. SAGE Publications, Inc. DOI: 10.4135/9781412963909
Kelly, S. (2018). What makes a good research question? [Video]. SAGE publications Ltd.