Developing Research Questions and Questionnaires -Developing a Research Question in Chapter 1 and 7 Steps to designing questionnaire for chapter 3
- October 16, 2022
- Posted by: IGBAJI U.C.
- Category: Academic Writing Guide
Developing Research Questions and Questionnaires – Developing a Research Question in Chapter 1 and 7 Steps to designing questionnaire for chapter 3
Developing Research Questions and Questionnaires can be confusing and sometimes difficult for students to write a good research question while reporting their thesis, dissertation or final-year research project.
Academic research involves an in-depth study and investigation into a particular subject or topic. It is a systematic inquiry about a situation or problem, with the aim of linking facts that will lead to problem-solving.
Academic research can also be viewed as a detailed investigation into a subject focused on finding out more and creating a hypothesis that leads to factual conclusions. Academic research contributes thoroughly to knowledge and it is mostly carried out in schools, colleges, or universities.
There are different views when it comes to academic research and many definitions as well but it is important to note that academic research is structured and systematic and goes through a constant cycle of problem identification, defining the objectives, formulation of hypothesis, gathering of data, analysis of data, testing of hypothesis, and report findings or feedback. Research goes through these defined stages at every given time.
Developing a research question in academic research is critical and must be treated. In this post, we will discuss the best ways to create a research question in academic research, but, before outlining the guidelines let’s take a quick close look at what the research question is all about.
A research question is not a novel term, and it is one always included in an academic research project, in fact, research questions provide guidelines on how the research should go, and directs the researcher in building a questionnaire.
To answer a specific research topic, you must first formulate the Research Questions. At the heart of a systematic investigation, the research question helps you define a clear course to follow.
Where do Research Questions come from? you may ask -Developing Research Questions and Questionnaires
I always recommend that before you start to draft your introduction in chapter one of your final year research project, thesis or dissertation, you should first note/develop the Research Objectives. Once this is done, you can now change the same to a question and that is it! No magic.
The initial stage in any research effort is usually the formulation of a research question. As a general rule, it serves as the starting point for your investigation and sets the tone for the rest of it.
In most cases, a good research question directs all phases of investigation, analysis, and reporting, as well as determining the research’s technique and hypotheses.
This is why it is essential for your study to ask important questions. The research question in most studies is phrased so that it outlines many parts of the investigation, such as the population and variables to be researched, as well as the problem the study tackles.
Research questions, as the name implies, are frequently based on preliminary research conducted on the topic under investigation. As a result, these questions are dynamic.
The role of research questions in a research study cannot be overemphasized, besides its primary function which is setting a guideline for the research to follow, it also helps narrow a broad topic into a specific and defined area of interest.
The framework for a study is provided by the research question, and these questions also show the study’s borders, outlining its bounds, and maintaining cohesiveness, which is why they are so important, with research questions You will be able to focus your work on a specific issue or problem.
It also aids in the breakdown of your project into smaller, more doable parts. In this way, the research question outlines your issue and the way you want to conduct your investigation, to add to this, a well-crafted research question allows you to remain interested in your academic study, guides what kinds of reading or data you’ll need to gather and guide you on whom to get advice from.
Types of research questions -Developing Research Questions and Questionnaires
There are different types of research questions, and depending on the type of study to be conducted, research questions can be categorized into many categories. Knowing what style of research is desired—quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods studies can aid in identifying the appropriate form of a research question to employ.
Qualitative research questions pertain to broad fields of study or more particular investigation areas. Qualitative research questions, like quantitative research questions, are related to the research design.
Qualitative research questions, on the other hand, are frequently adaptive, and more flexible than quantitative research questions. As a result, research that uses these questions typically seeks to discover and explore concepts.
Quantitative research questions, on the other hand, are exact. The population to be examined, dependent and independent variables and the research strategy to be used are all standard questions. They are typically framed and finished before the beginning of the study/fieldwork.
Quantitative research questions also connect the research question to the research design. Furthermore, these questions cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. As a result, quantitative research questions do not use do, does, or are words.
Developing a research question in academic research is less technical than you think. However, before you begin there are certain things to note. First, your question has to be clear and focused, not too broad or too narrow, keep it minimal and analytical, and be mindful of the way you compose it.
You should ensure it is not too complex or too easy, with these in mind, you are one step towards creating a good research question.
The first step in crafting a research question is, determining the requirements of the research, you must understand your assignment thoroughly, identify what it is you need to investigate and what your study is all about, and determine the purpose of your work will give you direction in developing your research questions.
Secondly, conduct introductory research or what can be termed a preliminary study on the research topic. It is recommended that you read a small number of relevant academic publications before writing your research questions.
Limit your reading to recent publications (within 10 years) and possibly one or two influential works on the subject. The purpose here is to become acquainted with the important disputes in academic writing on the subject.
The next thing to do is narrow your topic, most of the time, you’ll need to narrow your emphasis to a specific issue or dispute inside the larger topic. This is because understanding a single issue in a topic is better than just browsing the surface level.
Afterwards, you can begin to write down your research question, keeping it precise and related to your topic. It is important to note that these steps are not defined, and may include more processes, but with the guidelines above, you can develop a research question in academic research for any topic.
Example of Research question formulation using a research topic
Topic: RECAPITALIZATION POLICY ON THE BANKING INDUSTRY: ITS IMPACT ON THE NIGERIA ECONOMY
Sample of Research Question formulation:
To achieve the purpose of this study, the research will be geared towards answering the following questions:
- Is the recapitalization policy having an impact on the banking industry and the Nigerian economy?
- Is the policy increasing the financial trust that the government and other relevant stakeholders have in the banking system?
- Has the recapitalization policy improved the performance of the financial sub-sector banking industry?
- Has the policy made corporate entities, individuals, and other stakeholders benefit from the operative efficiency of the recapitalized banking industry?
We have done justice to the steps to write a good survey research question in chapter one, now we look at developing a research questionnaire for chapter three of your thesis, dissertation or final-year research project.
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7 Steps to designing questionnaire for chapter 3
It is possible that the word “questionnaire” has been brought up more than a few times, especially when talking about academic research.
Before we can move on to discussing how we may go about constructing survey questionnaires in research, it is essential that we first gain an understanding of what a questionnaire is, its value in a research effort, and perhaps what constitutes a questionnaire. Let’s go!
A questionnaire is a group of questions or items that is used to collect information from respondents about their attitudes, experiences, or opinions in order to derive a certain conclusion. The purpose of the questionnaire is to collect this information so that a specific conclusion can be drawn. The use of questionnaires allows for the collection of quantitative data.
Questionnaires contain a series of questions related to the research being conducted. For instance, a market research question may be designed to solicit information about a certain good or service offered by a particular company, with respondents drawn from the target market (users and consumers of the good or service in question).
Furthermore, the responses to questionnaires are important data that are frequently examined or interpreted, enabling the researchers to develop a solution to the study problem.
These solutions are frequently employed by various fields to offer solutions to the most pressing problems and inquiries. In order to gather and analyze data from a group of people, a questionnaire is a research tool mostly utilized in survey research methods.
When designing a questionnaire, you need to come up with questions that are precise and valid and that speak to your research goals. You also need to arrange them in a helpful sequence and decide on the best method of administration that would be most effective.
A step-by-step guide to developing a research questionnaire
Step 1: Determine your objectives and aims.
The first thing you need to do when developing a questionnaire is to determine what your goals are. It will be difficult to generate relevant and credible questions if there is not a clear purpose that has been articulated.
You should be able to ask questions like, “What areas of study or experiences do you plan to focus on?” and provide answers to similar queries. Which specific pieces of information are you looking for? Is it appropriate to use a questionnaire as a method of research for this subject?
Once you have determined the goals of your research, you can move on to operationalize the variables of interest into survey questions. Operationalizing concepts are transforming them from abstract notions into quantifiable data. Every inquiry must address a specific need and have a distinct objective.
Step 2: Use questions that are relevant to your sample
Create relevant questions by considering your respondents’ perspectives. Consider the respondents’ linguistic skills and available time and energy while constructing your survey.
• Are the respondents conversant with the language and terminology used in your questions?
• Would any of the questions be offensive, confusing, or embarrassing?
• Do the response options for closed-ended questions provide for all potential responses?
• Do the response options mutually exclude one another?
• Do respondents have sufficient time to answer open-ended questions?
Think about all possible responses to closed-ended questions. From the standpoint of the respondent, a lack of response options that reflect their perspective or real answer may cause them to feel alienated or excluded.
Consequently, it is crucial to consider the respondent’s perspective when creating questions. For instance, a market survey questionnaire that attempts to learn the respondent’s demographics but only provides limited, closed-ended questions may annoy the respondent.
Consequently, they will become disinterested or inattentive to the remainder of the questioning.
Step 3: Decide on your questionnaire length and question order
As soon as you’ve decided what you want to ask, check that the questions’ length and the order in which they are asked are appropriate for the sample.
If respondents are not being compensated or otherwise incentivized in any way, your questionnaire should be kept condensed and as easy as possible to complete.
Determine the question order depending on your objectives and the resources that are available to you. If respondents have a limited amount of time or if randomization cannot be implemented, a logical flow should be used instead.
You can reduce the likelihood of being biased by randomizing the questions, but interpreting the results may require a more involved statistical study.
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Step 4: Pre-test your research questionnaire
When you have a comprehensive list of questions, you need to make sure that they can never be misunderstood by carrying out a preliminary test to evaluate their clarity. You can uncover any inaccuracies or potential sources of confusion before actually completing the study by performing pretesting.
You should have other people, such as friends, classmates, or members of your target audience, complete the questionnaire for you using the same approach as your study.
Determine whether questions took an exceptionally high level of effort to answer, as well as whether the instructions were ambiguous or contradictory, and then make any necessary adjustments.
Step 5: Do not request irrelevant information.
Questions will determine the answers. Therefore, you should only ask questions that pertain to the issue. As asking needless questions is bound to confuse your respondents and result in erroneous or invalid data for your study, you should avoid asking them.
Step 6: Specific responses correspond to particular questions
This is a practice you should avoid. The replies to general questions (such as, did you enjoy the product?) will be closed. Try asking respondents to rate something on a scale (e.g., how would you grade the product on a scale of 1 to 10) or asking follow-up questions, such as “why?” Also, biased questions are immediately identifiable, so avoid asking them.
Only a limited number of questions can be included, so avoid injecting questions that reflect your opinions (e.g., What do you like best about our product?) Instead, you should inquire about your responders’ opinions (e.g., What, if anything, do you like or dislike about our product?)
Step 7: Ask questions based on their relevance to each item.
Consistent questions create consistent replies. Ask questions in a consistent approach. Group questions based on their relationship (or relatedness) to one another. It will be appropriate to divide your questionnaire into sections.
This will help the respondent and you, the researcher, determine which questions are relevant and which are not. For instance, the first section of your questionnaire could consist of demographic questions such as the respondent’s age, location, gender, and salary range.
Therefore, avoid scattering your questions around such as merging demographic questions with questions about the product or variable you intend to study. Maintain an organized questionnaire at all times.
In conclusion, it is vital to conduct research that is accompanied by questions that are applicable to the study being carried out. In order to effectively develop a suitable research questionnaire in chapter three, you need to first have a solid understanding of the goals and purposes of your research.
In addition, make sure that your questions are carefully organized by dividing your questionnaire into categories and then attaching the questions relevant to each section. In addition, try to refrain from asking questions that are pointless, imprecise, or biased. Enjoy your studies!
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