There is a difference between your topic and your research question. The topic is meaningless without a good research question. Your research question should also seek to erase all ambiguity about your research problem. It may even guide you in the type of investigation you should conduct, identify the type of data you should collect, and lead you to a proper analytical approach of your data. In short, a good research question helps you to focus on finishing your investigation without wasting much time and resources.
Moreover, good research questions create a corridor to your research. They act even like the spine of your proposal and later, your thesis. Good questions are the ones that can be answered by researchers as they are supported by evidence. In short, good research questions that lead to investigations help eliminate serious problems from our society Tenenberg, It must be thought-provoking.
Make an investigation of your topic by going through scholarly journals to see what questions are raised by your peers. Take note of what questions are not raised so that you can add them to your list. Your research question should not be answered just by simple facts; it should require critical analysis and field-tested research.
Your research question should not cover an area that is too broad or too narrow. If it is too narrow, you will have difficulty finding relevant information. When formulating research questions, we ask how the research problem originated and subsequently progressed to a serious state. Researchers ask questions and put their hypotheses in context. It may turn out to be true or false.
As such, in order to hypothesize or make predictions, researchers need relevant knowledge and skills.
To write a successful thesis, follow these simple steps on how to make it readable, interesting and convincing. Hence, your introduction must be motivating, current, and be based on a strong methodological and theoretical certainty. Clark, P. Sean Park. It is all about state of the mind and understanding of the researcher.
To prove or disprove a hypothesis, researchers are compelled to ask questions about the problem to be studied. They test the questions in the field by gathering relevant information and data to test their hypotheses, and by conceptual knowledge and thorough analytical investigation. When researchers carry out an investigation about a specific problem, they ask questions that require either a description or explanation. Does a skillful and knowledgeable person perform well in the field? Questions may also indicate what, where, and when a problem occurs.
With explanatory questions, researchers always start with why. For instance: Why did the wall of that building collapse? What was the cause of it? Research questions can also indicate future events.
What will be the final grade of your students once they use the new information system in their classroom? This type of question is a hypothetical or predicted question. It is all about state of the mind and understanding of the researcher. Prediction is not real knowledge. It becomes knowledge once it is investigated and proven. Beside descriptive or explanatory questions, researchers may also ask open-ended and closed-ended questions to solve research problems. A closed-ended question is just the opposite of an open-ended question.
A closed-ended question requires an answer that is either Yes or No. Did you attend your History class this evening? For an open-ended question, there is no specific response. It is open to discussion.
For example: What do you think about my class performance this morning? You can see that the answer is not Yes or No, but it requires an opinion. Hence, as a researcher, you are required to ask various types of questions in order to obtain the necessary information for your study.
A hypothesis is an unproven reasoning. It enables an educated guess or a prediction of a result or relationship under specific conditions. It requires rigorous testing to determine its validity and reliability. Once it is proven after serious testing, it becomes a scientific theory. Please take note that although a hypothesis helps the researcher to see the problem more clearly, it is not necessarily a part of an investigation. If you have no hypothesis, you still have a valid research.
But if you like to have hypotheses, you can construct as many as you wish. Your hypothesis is just an educated guess, declaration, an idea, assumption and feeling that you are not sure of. And that becomes a reason for your enquiry. As we have discussed above, a hypothesis is a reasoning that enables an educated prediction.
To validate a research claim, we must test the hypothesis to determine whether it supports our claim or otherwise.
Hypothesis testing is a very crucial procedure in research. When tested in the field, it will indicate whether our prediction is statistically significant or otherwise. Null Hypothesis H0 : This type of hypothesis indicates that whatever we hypothesize is believed to be correct or true. Example: There is no difference between students who use Facebook to learn English compared to students who do not use Facebook. So, there is no difference between the two groups of students.
Alternative Hypothesis H1 : This type of hypothesis indicates that whatever we hypothesize is believed to be not correct or not true. Example: There is a difference between students who use Facebook to learn English compared to students who do not use Facebook. So, there is a difference between the two groups of students. It is clear, therefore, that the research question and the hypothesis are the spine of any thesis writing process.
These two components will determine the success or failure of any research. Without research questions and hypothesis, the research aim, purpose, and problem cannot be established clearly. Hence it is vital that your hypothesis and research question are well-constructed.
Your hypothesis must be simple, relevant to your study, testable in the field, verifiable, and most importantly realistic. If it lacks the above characteristics, the outcomes will not be desirable. It is possible to make mistakes in our judgement when testing a hypothesis even though the result is correct. This happens due to the following:. Since a PhD research is a scientific discovery of new knowledge, other researchers in the related field will benefit from your findings. Your thesis will narrow or bridge the gap in the literature with regard to the topic of your research.
Others will be able to apply your findings in their attempt to solve a similar problem. As such, your investigation and findings must be genuine and original. Outline a list of contributions that you think your findings add to the literature. Your contributions must be specific and focused. Provide significant evidence indicating that your research is worthy of investigation. The following are some examples of how a PhD research can make useful contributions. Contribution to knowledge means creating new knowledge based on the previous available knowledge by doing extensive and innovative research in order to prove something right or wrong.
It is significant to you but may be not significant to me. Here you are! So, the researcher has to measure the contribution not to claim only. There are seven ways to measure significance so that you present your contribution scientifically:. Cultural value? Your friend's e-mail.
In your thesis or dissertation, you will have to discuss the methods you used to do Begin by introducing your overall approach to the research. Research methods are divided into qualitative and quantitative approaches and involve the specific study activities of collecting and analyzing research data in.
Message Note: The link to the page is attached automtisk in the message to your friend. Menu Getting started Getting started Lesson 1: Explorative search Criteria for a problem formulation Find who and what you are looking for Too broad, too narrow, or o. Test your knowledge Lesson 2: Problem formulation Test your knowledge Lesson 3: Research objectives Test your knowledge Lesson 4: Synopsis Test your knowledge Lesson 5: Meeting your supervisor Getting started: summary Literature search Literature search Lesson 1: Where to search Searching for articles Searching for Data Databases provided by your library Other useful search tools Test your knowledge Lesson 2: How to search Free text, truncating and exact phrase Combining search terms — Boolean operators Keep track of your search strategies Problems finding your search terms?
Not all methods can be applied to all research questions: Qualitative methods should be deployed when the research aim is an in-depth, contextual analysis of a phenomenon. Worrall instead asserts that there are some aspects of methods and methodologies that have persisted throughout history and are immune to change. Furthermore The Dynamic Method Thesis does not imply relativism, according to Laudan, because it is not necessarily relativistic to argue that methods do in fact change.