Question

Definition:

A research question defines the scope of an area of inquiry. It asks about the causal relationship between x and y.  It is founded on a deep understanding of works in the relevant area(s) of study and informed by both what is known and not yet known in that area.

Purpose:

The research question guides your literature review by establishing its parameters and articulating a researchable question.

Process:

To frame a research question

  • Identify an area of study which is of interest 
  • Refine this area of study based on an exploration of the literature
  • Examine research variables (e.g., gender, age, context, etc.)  which influence your question
  • Map the literature to identify relationships. Mapped relationships may highlight issues or connections within the field.
  • Draw on what you have learned to draft your research question

Remember: the literature review is an iterative process!

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