The Importance of the Research Question (and how to discover yours)

Some of the best questions come from I wonder. It’s important to avoid why questions. Questions must of course be open-ended, but not too open-ended. Maybe questions answer the “To see or not to see” aspect of research and thus make all the difference.

Anuja Cabraal

Question marks

The other night, I was having a chat to my father about research and methods. He is an academic in engineering, and very much a positivist. I really enjoy discussions with him about research methods and measurement because he approaches thing from such a different perspective. One of the things I love is that even though we can be talking about the same topic, he will always be asking questions I would never think to.

So the other night, we were sitting outside chatting about methods, and he asked me a question that I had never considered. He asked “how can you have 95% confidence or more in your results, based on the data collected and analysed”? It took me a little while to think over this and answer. Particularly because my brain is not wired to think in these statistical ways. In the end, I told dad that it…

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