The job of a research question is to express accurately in words what you desire to learn and explore in a particular topic by the means of research, whether qualitative or quantitative. There is no thumb rule or perfect formula that exists for a research question. In fact, better said would be that the perfect research questions are rather refined over a period of time rather than discovered one fine day. If you wish to create a successful research question, you must first think of a subject area that generates a spark or interest within you and then a relevant problem that you wish to solve. There are few characteristics here of a good research question:
- The question should have relevance in the subject matter: It should be novel enough to spark the interests of the people in your chosen area of study. To do it, what works is that it should arise from an issue that is linked to more topical literature. You must establish the purpose of your research in context to the general information that is related to your subject area.
- The research has feasibility execution: you must have a realistic vision about your research as it should be within the scope of your abilities. If you so find that it is getting unmanageable, you must be ready with a contingency plan to take care of the problem. It could be perhaps another alternative research problem. Do it, especially if you have sceptical thoughts about the applicability of your research problem.
- It aligns well with your research requirements: your course/university would have some set criteria and it is important that your research question gels well with it. For instance, if you intend to create a purely theoretical research, find on early on from your course rules whether you have the scope to do it. You must and should be able to justify your choice of study/question. More so if you have a chosen a path that few take up.
- It is simple and clear: it has to be away from ambiguity and confusion. The final question must not lead towards an unclear research process and uncertain results. If at all your research question has a lot of complexity involved, you must have one key question that can further bifurcation into simpler components.
Last but not the least, it should generate interest not just in you but kindle the spark in the reader as well!