Good research questions are the spine of a dissertation. The way you formulate those questions is crucial for the success of your dissertation. The reason behind this is that no one wants to read a research study that has vague and unclear research questions. Still, many students make common mistakes while developing research questions, knowingly or unknowingly. Do you know what those mistakes are? Most probably not, because if you knew, you would not be here reading this article. Well, there is no need to worry. In today’s article, we will discuss the most common mistakes to avoid while crafting these questions. Let’s start the discussion by defining a research question first.
What is a research question?
A research question is an inquiry around which you centre your research. It is a specific query that a research study answers or responds to. A research question resides at the core of your research study, and it is this question that clarifies the direction of the research. Developing a research question is basically the first step in writing a dissertation. A good and perfect research question should be:
- Clear. It should be clear enough so that the audience knows the purpose of your study
- Focused. The research question must be narrow and focused on one thing
- Concise. It must use the fewest possible words to state the point
- Complex. It should require a deep analysis of the literary work to answer it
- Arguable. Lastly, the developed research question should be open to debate
Common mistakes to avoid while crafting research questions
The development of effective research questions is a very challenging task. Most of the time, students make simple mistakes in their development and face problems in the end. Therefore, you must know about the common mistakes to avoid at the start so that you can complete the dissertation with ease. A brief description of the mistakes to avoid is as follows:
1. Not choosing a topic of interest
Some researchers choose a topic of their interest while working on a dissertation. However, the majority of them do not even know about their research interests. They just choose a topic and develop research questions. Know that such a development of questions is not good for the health of your dissertation. By making this mistake, you are risking the quality of your master’s or PhD dissertation. Hence, avoid making the mistake of not chasing your research interests. Choose a topic that piques your interest.
2. Not doing preliminary research
Doing a few searches in the relevant journals to your field is always beneficial. This activity exposes you to the outer world and lets you know what kind of research questions are hot these days. However, many students make the mistake of not doing the proper research. Even some students do not bother to scroll the internet and get a know-how of the questions. This is a very serious mistake that students make. If you are one of those students, you must avoid it.
3. Do not ask two questions
Another mistake that students make is that they ask two questions at the same time. This strategy of killing two birds with one stone can cost you a lot. The thing is that you cannot ask two questions at the same time in a single question. Focus on one thing and let the reader gets an idea of that before you put the next question in front of him. However, if you cannot craft such research questions, do not hesitate to get a masters dissertation help.
4. Do not ask the same question twice
This mistake may seem obvious to you that you should not repeat the same question in your dissertation. Still, we have seen some cases where the students have done this. What do students do? They rephrase the research questions and write them again in the dissertation. Know that by rephrasing, only the wording of the question changes, not the meaning. Therefore, you must not ask the same question again if it has been asked once.
5. Developing too broad questions
Lastly, the mistake that you must avoid while developing research questions is that the questions must not be too broad. Crafting too broad in-context questions creates problems only for your dissertation. The reason is that such questions are not fully answerable and arguable. This will ultimately create problems for you in the long run. So, avoid developing too broad questions, and start crafting narrow and focused questions.
To sum up, the success of your research study depends a lot on the research questions. Be sure to craft questions that are not too broad in scope and are focused on one thing. The most common mistakes to avoid while developing them are discussed above. Hence, go through all of them and craft the questions accordingly.