SOC234 2017 Lab1 – Wed 330

Dear SOC234 Lab,

Please respond to the following question with a reply-post of no more than 250 words:

‘What makes a good and bad research question?”

Remember that you will need to post your reply before Lab 1, and don’t forget to look at both the instructions for Tweeting and Blogging and the Lab and Lecture Guide, both up on Moodle.

Thanks and good luck, Roger.

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Posted in Uncategorized.

22 Comments

  1. The basis of an entire research project is centred on and around the research question and its functionality. The quality of a research question will determine the focus, method and analysis of research, thus ultimately contributing to the overall conclusion. A research question should be broader than a singular idea, instead, ‘state the major aim of the research in question form, specifying the key idea that the research seeks to investigate and/or explain and also identifying the key concepts of the research.’ (Walters, 2013, p26) We cannot however, say that all good research questions are objective, ‘rather social research is about the real world in which moral, political, and cultural values are central to the things we examine.’ (Walter, 2013, pg. 14)

    Natalier (2013, pg. 26-28) was quick to acknowledge the personalisation of research questions, in conjunction with practicality. Key processes in the development of a research question include: the concept of reading and researching to ultimately understand what is yet to be questioned in the relevant topic, thinking in terms of concept rather than singly on a topic, these can then be accompanied by identifying existing gaps and limitations in knowledge. Natalier then goes on to warn against rushing the process, misinterpretation, over complication and re-asking questions that have already been answered.

    Ezzy (2010, pg. 66) goes on to link a good research question with theory and methodology. Continuing on to explain that ‘research questions focusing on meanings and experience are typically best studied using qualitative methodologies…’ whilst, ‘questions asking ‘how many?’ are best studied with quantitative research methodologies (survey).’

    It is clear that good research questions require time and effort. Research can help one understand the concept and topic they wish to pose in question form, thus directing the entire research project in the right direction.

    References:
    Ezzy, D 2010, ‘The research process’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne Vic, pp. 61-66

    Walter, M (2013) “Chapter 1- The Foundations of Good Social Science Research” in Walter, Maggie. (ed.) (2013), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press p. 3-24

    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p. 24-49

  2. A good research questions, described by Natalier (2013) can lead onto new theories, resolve empirical contradictions and discover new wonders of the world. They take time, hard work and form the entire focus of the research design. They are in the form of a question that uses specific concepts to address and understand social meanings and patterns of the world (Walter 2013). Two key aspects of a good research question are first, to be precise by choosing specific concepts of a topic to study, however not too narrow its difficult to measure and obtain information. Secondly, the question needs to be empirical, meaning ability to study and measure physical and observable phenomenons (Natalier 2013). An example of a question ‘does drinking 1 glass of wine, 5 nights a week over a 5-year period reduce Australian women over 50 years in developing dementia?’. Because this states the population, time frame and the independent (wine) and dependent (outcome: dementia or no dementia) variables of interest to measure.

    A bad research question is one that is rushed and not specific, that focuses on a topic rather than specific concepts. It may be very broad and therefore too open ended which can make the whole research design non-meaningful. For example, ‘has God improved the lives of humans?’ This is bad question, because the question isn’t empirical, rather metaphysical (Natalier 2013), because ‘God’ cannot be measured physically or observably, as well as ‘improved lives’ is too open and non-specific to measure.

    References:
    Ezzy, D 2010, ‘The research process’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic., pp. 61- 86.

    Natalier, K 2013, ‘Research Design’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 25-49.

    Walter, M 2013, ‘The Foundations of Good Social Science Research’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-24.

  3. A bad research question makes for bad social research, as the question shapes all of the other components of a research project (Natalier, 2013). Thus selecting a good research question is vital to identifying, investigating and understanding the social world (Watler, 2013).

    Good research questions are well-defined and clearly articulated (Natalier, 2013). They are also narrow rather than broad in order to allow for a concise report (Krueckeberg, 2011). A feature which ensures that readers are able to understand the information being presented to them. A question that allows for argument and analysis is also key to producing a good research project as it creates an opportunity to think critically in order to provide new information. An example of a question that incorporates these notions is: ‘What were the most important causes of the American Civil War?’ As opposed to ‘What caused the American Civil War?’ Which is too broad and doesn’t allow for judgment (Krueckeberg, 2011).

    A bad research questions on the other hand are rushed into, ambiguous, long and complicated (Natalier, 2013). It is important to pose questions that haven’t already been answered, are not morally based or counterfactual such as ‘What would have happened if Africa had never been colonised?’ Questions of this nature make research difficult and your findings ambiguous. Bad questions can also be too simple, they shouldn’t be answerable by simple factual digging (Krueckeberg, 2013). There would be the point in conducting a research project if anybody could reach the answer using google.

    References:
    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3rd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 25-49.

    Walter, M (2013) “The Foundations of Good Social Science Research” Chapter 1 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-24.

    Krueckeberg, J (2011) “Forming a good research question out of an initial research topic” NHDNH 11 http://nhdnh.weebly.com/uploads/1/2/8/1/12812986/doc_1.pdf
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  4. Walter discusses many factors which are a part of the development of a social research question. To create a question, one must intently think out a research plan, and as well as using clear and efficient language which states the aim of the research (Walter, 2010). A research question must cater to the writer’s needs. Using examples spoken of in Patulny’s SOC234 lecture, if the writers purpose is to research a social phenomenon (descriptive), it would be a poor research question if it were based off new ideas or social enquiry (exploratory). The question shapes the answer, and due to this, it must be thought out meticulously. As Natalier speaks of, the research question must have a clear concept, and avoid misinterpretations, or any long-complicated questions (Natalier, 2012).

    In discussing whether a research question Is good or bad, we need to consider the ethics involved. If the question does not take privacy, or harmful risks into consideration, it will be become an imperfect question.

    A good research question creates a well-planned research paper. As Walter states, a main component of good social research question, is a well-researched social question (Walter, 2010). A detailed and logical question allows the variety of topics and problems to be discusses alongside theories and sets of data, which provides new insight into certain topics. These are the foundations of an acceptable research question. Your commitment to research, effort, language, and knowledge are all contributing factors in whether your research question is a good, or bad research question.

    References:
    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3rd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 25-49.

    Walter, M (2013) “The Foundations of Good Social Science Research” Chapter 1 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-24.

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  5. A good research question is a vital component of any successful research project. Simply explained a good research question should include the principle area of focus for the research project while incorporating specific elements of the research that are to be investigated/explained. (Walter, Pg26) This creates boundaries and gives direction to the project in relation to establishing which methods are suitable, the focus of analysis etc. The development of a such a question begins with broad research into a topic of interest. The Centre for Innovation in Research and Teaching (CIRT) (2015) highlights that the research stage allows the researcher to recognise what aspects of the topic have previously been explored and if there are any areas that are yet to be investigated. Bouma and Ling (Walter, Pg. 27) support this as they themselves recognise two elements of a good research question. Firstly, that the question needs to be narrow as one researcher cannot produce a project that can confront every element of a particular topic. The most successful research question is simple in all forms of the word; in language, length etc. The second element requires a good research question to be associated to an empirical phenomenon. That is, the research question should be able to come to a conclusion through the examination of “observable and tangible things” (Walter, Pg27). In relation to what can be considered a bad research question other than ignorance of the previous points, the SOC234 Lecture 1 highlighted how a researcher must be aware of the safety and privacy of participants, the ethical impact their research can have and, the effect a lack of consideration can have on a project. #S234UOW17 #Wed330 #Lab1

    References:
    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3nd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p25-49

    Walter, M (2013) “The Foundations of Good Social Science Research” Chapter 1 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3nd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p3-24

    ‘Writing a Good Research Question’, n.d., Centre for Innovation in Research and Teaching, https://cirt.gcu.edu/research/developmentresources/tutorials/question, accessed: 28/07/17

  6. A research question provides the framework for what you desire to learn about the chosen subject matter. It is imperative that this research question is of high quality as it will become the basis and outline for the entire project (Natalier, 2010). In this sense, Natalier is confirming that the research question does indeed define and encompass every aspect of the research process. This is because the question will not only describe what you hope to discover but will also act as a guide for the type of data that will be collected and how that information will then be analysed.

    To create a ‘good’ or high quality research question is a task in itself as it will need to be developed and refined over time to become clear, concise and precise in its objective. As Walter (2010) implies, the language used in the question must have clarity and state the major aim of the research. A ‘bad’ research question is thus unrefined and basic in its formulation; muddying the aim of the research and the research progression itself. This would certainly create confusions and complications that would ripple throughout the research procedure, for both the researcher and the readers.

    It has been established that a good research question must have clarity and precision as it is of key importance to the entire project. Yet equally as vital, the question must avoid examining questions that have already been answered (Natalier, 2010). The point of research is to fill a gap in knowledge; to progress further into and beyond ideas already developed or to enter unknown waters of philosophy. This research is not trivial and the question should convey the study’s importance.

    Reference List:
    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3rd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 25-49.

    Walter, M (2013) “The Foundations of Good Social Science Research” Chapter 1 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-24.

  7. When generating a research question, it is important to incorporate the focus of the proposed research and the direction that is to be taken. Natalier (2010, p. 33) suggests that a research question places boundaries on a project, giving it coherence and direction. These boundaries allow for a focus and a clear direction that can guide the researcher with the subsequent exploration. In order to direct the course of the research, the research question needs to be able to capture a broad area of focus and also be able to be expanded into narrower focus areas.

    Natalier (2010, p 33) expands on Bouma and Ling’s (2004, p 14) analysis of the properties of a strong research question, identifying two main properties. The first of which is being limited in scope, even though any research question is part of a broader issue (Natalier, 2010, p 33). By limiting the scope of the question, this allows for expansion of the concept, why maintaining a clear and precise focus. The second property identified is that the research question is related to an empirical phenomenon that can be answered by studying observable and tangible things, not a metaphysical question that cannot be answered.

    A “bad” research question is one that does not incorporate depth and exploration. It may be too vague or too lengthy that it leaves the audience confused and allows for misinterpretations. A research question that can be misinterpreted is risky as it does not create a direction for the research and may lead to varied responses that don’t entirely make sense.

    Research questions are never simple and should not be vague, they contain the ability to be expanded in order to direct the focus of the research.

    References:
    Natalier, K 2010, ‘Research Design’, in M Walter (ed), Social Research Methods, Oxford University Press, Sydney, pp. 32-35.

  8. The structure of the question itself is key to creating a good research question. The ways in which you implement key ideas/themes of a topic or issue raised and in what order you do so allowing for a very informative, explanatory as well as exploratory research question. As mentioned in lecture slides from week 1 it is key to not only present the key idea in a research question but also the key concepts relating back to the research topic.
    When creating a good research question remembering not to drag it on but to be specific on the main ideas/ themes that are presented within the issue or topic and to make it clear of the intentions of you answering the chosen research question. Depending on the context keeping the research question short, simple and clear can have its advantages over creating a long and informative one.
    Alternatively creating a longer research question with specific ideas that will be undertaken in answering it without a general perspective on the issue raised can be advantageous also.
    These different structures can both be used as long as the research question ensures an aim of some sort which can be investigated. (Verreynne, M, et.al 2016)

    References:
    . Verreynne, M, Hine, D, Coote, L, & Parker, R 2016, ‘Building a scale for dynamic learning capabilities: The role of resources, learning, competitive intent and routine patterning’, Journal of Business Research, vol. 69, pp. 4287-4303

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  9. Generating a good research question is the most significant stage throughout the research process. If the question is effectively written, it will support the research topic and assist the formation of a rational argument. A good research question should be concise and specific, introducing the subject that the researcher will explore. A fundamental aspect that must be taken into consideration when writing a research question is to ensure that the subject you’re covering is something that as an individual you’re genuinely interested in. According to Walters (2010), “the major aim of the research in question form, specifying the key idea that the research seeks to investigate and/or explain and identifying the key concepts of research”. Additionally, other principle factors of good social research should incorporate an academically abreast research plan, appropriate research methods and valid primary and secondary data to examine in the final stages of the investigation (Walter 2010). A bad research question is vague, disorderly and broad in concept (Walter 2010). Occasionally, it can be expressed as more of a statement rather than a question as such, which encourages this confusion toward what the researcher is trying to communicate with the readers. Unclear research questions do not recognise ethics when establishing the question. A bad research question can be bias and judgmental which ultimately affects the final findings if the researcher has only taken one side to the investigation. A bad researcher must avoid basing their study entirely on their opinion.

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  10. The research question is the so-called heart of the research design, and the key to starting the research process. By developing a well-defined research question, it will be easier to determine how to approach your topic and know which data-collection method is most suitable in order for effective analysis. But more often than not, formulating a clean-cut question is a difficult task. However, there is a clear distinction between what constitutes a ‘good’ research question and a ‘bad’ one.

    A good research question works to create boundaries within your research topic, allowing you to maintain coherence and also a direction, because it proposes a clear objective. Whilst the scope of a good question will be limited, it should not be completely unyielding to emergent findings, as they may reshape research questions. The tight focus of a good question allows for the discussion of concepts rather than broad topics and importantly, critical thinking about the research matter. This paired with relevant research methods and data will be useful in creating new theories and knowledge about the world.

    A good question will keep in mind ethical limitations and also not examine questions which have already been answered, unless it is to verify a finding or test applicability in another society (Natalier, 2010). A bad research question is usually rushed, long and complicated and therefore does not have a limited scope or clear objective making it incredibly hard to direct research. A bad question will also ignore the ethics related to certain topics and concepts.

    References:
    Walter, M (2013) “The Foundations of Good Social Science Research” Chapter 1 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-24 

    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 25-49 


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  11. The research question is crucial in developing and assessing the outcomes of the social research undertaken, however is one of the steps that is often missed (Walter 2013, pp.25). Without the fundamental question the analysis of the data will be redundant.

    This leads to the question, what makes a good research question? Further reading on your topic chosen will provide knowledge of limitations and contradictions in existing research (Natalier 2013, pp. 27). In finding these gaps it may be useful when choosing which concepts to focus your own research on. Natalier (2013, pp. 28) identifies that it is important to talk to others when developing your question as “other people’s thoughts can clarify what it is you want to ask.”

    On the other hand, research questions can become misguided and lead to research that is poor and does not bring any new insight to the discussion of ones’ topic. When developing a research question it is advised to avoid long and complicated questions, if further questions are needed it is appropriate to use subquestions (Natalier 2013, pp. 28). Questions should not be too broad for example do not focus on a general topic such as homelessness, instead base your question on a specific issue that faces the homeless. Finally, do not pose the question around a method instead chose the method of research after the question has been formed. By following these simple suggestions, the research question will positively impact the data collected and thus the results of your research.

    References

    Walter, M (2013) “The Foundations of Good Social Science Research” Chapter 1 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3nd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p3-24

    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3nd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p25-49

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  12. To conduct good social research, a good research question must be developed. This is necessary as the research question shapes every other component of the research such as the methods used to collect data, and the focus of our analysis (Natalier 2013, p. 26).
    A good research question must be clear and encapsulate the major aim of the research (Walter 2010). This allows for both the reader and the researcher to understand the question and avoid confusion and misinterpretations throughout the research, as well as giving the research a sense of direction. Natalier (2013), using research from Bouma and Ling (2004) identifies two properties of a good research question. The first is that the question is limited in scope, i.e. rather than using an entire topic, use concepts from that topic instead (Natalier 2013, p.27). The second is that the questions must be related to an empirical phenomenon, i.e. the question can be answered through observable and tangible things rather than questions such as ‘does God exist?”.
    In contrast to the above, a bad research question is one that does not give your research direction, thus leading to the generation of many interesting, but irrelevant findings (Natalier 2013, p.27). Furthermore, a bad research question may be one that is too vague or broad, for example, ‘what is a good life?” (Ezzy 2010, p. 65), or one that is too complicated. Both of these types of questions allow for misinterpretations and the generation of irrelevant data.
    References:
    Ezzy, D 2010, ‘The research process’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne Vic, pp. 61-66
    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p. 24-49
    Walter, M (2013) “Chapter 1- The Foundations of Good Social Science Research” in Walter, Maggie. (ed.) (2013), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press p. 3-24

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  13. What makes a good and bad research question?

    Developing a good research question is a vital component in the research process stage. Though, its actually a step that at times people miss, thinking and developing a good research question will ensure you to have a clearer and better understanding of your chosen concept. According to Walter, a good research question is a question that focuses more on a certain concept rather than a sociological topic. A question focusing on a concept will help the reader to immediately see what you are actually asking within the question.

    A bad research question would ultimately fail your research design. A bad research question is normally significantly obvious to a reader that it has been rushed. To make a good research question it needs time and effort in order for the question to be the best it can be. A bad research question could be long and complication. Walter suggests that your question needs to be clear and articulate. If it is not clear and articulate, it makes it difficult for the reader to comprehend what the question is and would not be seen as a professional question. Additionally, a bad research question wouldn’t approach an already existing question within your field of work.

    References:
    – Walter, M (2013) “The Foundations of Good Social Science Research” Chapter 1 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3nd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p3-24
    – Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3nd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p25-49

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  14. From reading Walters (2013) and Natalier (2013), the formulation of a ‘good’ research question incorporates six fundamental features:
    1. Relevance – the question identifies the theoretical paradigm (Walters 2013) being investigated, arising from issues raised in literature and/or practice via inductive reasoning and comes via correctly use of disciplinary terminology.

    2. Manageability – the sources required for data must be accessible and should provide answers to the proposed question.

    3. Originality and Substantiality – a good research question implies an increase in knowledge of the theoretical paradigm

    4. Fit for assessment – Aside from self-interest a good research question infers justification for external interest. To show this one must consider the implications of:
    1) the phenomena studied,
    2) contexts and applications beyond

    5. Simplicity – A clear unit of analysis allows a clear distinction between the sought-after paradigm and other related concepts.

    6. Stimulating – An uninspired approach generates complacency, thus negating the researches function to generate or test theory (Fawcett and Downs 1992:4)

    Simply, in identifying a ‘bad’ research question the literature cited dictates one merely reverse or neglect the above criteria. Both of which would result in a bad question, yet according to Kurtz (2007) additional methods are present, including:
    1. Answering a question everyone knows – is valueless and accordingly do not deserve any investigation
    2. Answer a question that nobody can answer – results in econometrically poor questions as they remain unidentified, due to a lack of key or having redundant information and possible multiple solutions.
    3. Study a private issue – sociological inquiry infers societal benefits not merely personal gains
    Examples (Osman, 2016):
    A ‘good’ research question: How is glacial melting affecting penguins in the Arctic Circle?
    A ‘bad’ research question: What is the effect on the environment from global warming?
    References
    Walter, M (2013) “The Foundations of Good Social Science Research” Chapter 1 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3nd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p3-24
    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3nd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p25-49
    Kurtz, T. (2007). Sociological Theory and Sociological Practice. Acta Sociologica, 50(3), pp.283-294.
    Osman, Z. (2016). Research Proposal Writing. Current Therapeutic Research, 78, p.S4.

  15. The essence of good social research begins with the type question being investigated. Is it relevant? Important? Does it seek to change anything? Natalier (2013), believes that the research question is a vital aspect of the research procedure. The research question should be focused and succinct, it should also summarise the main aim of the research topic. Natalier (2013), emphasises that when the research question is determined, the rest of the research procedure becomes simplified. For example, the choice between quantitative or qualitative data collection techniques, the data collection method and analysing the data will be easier (Natalier 2013, p.25). Lastly, Natalier (2013), states that a good research question should uncover gaps. For example, a particular category of people may have not been studied in the overall topic you are researching; therefore, focusing your research question on that group of people will imperatively mark your research question as unique.

    In contrast, a bad research question is one that is vague and has no depth. Choosing a good research question can be a challenging task and mistakes can be made in the process. For example, according to Nataleir (2013), rushing the research question is an error. If the question is rushed, the rest of the research can become unfocused and unclear; thus, the whole research paper may be compromised. Furthermore, Natalier (2013), believes that challenges can come to light when the research question is too long. For example, it can look messy and may be hard to unravel and pull apart. Furthermore, the research paper itself can become long as there are many components to uncover.

    Overall, a good research question is focused, succinct and well thought out.

    Natalier, K 2013 “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p. 25-29.

  16. Social Research is the ‘systematic study of the society, the patterns in it and the processes that shape what people do’ (Walter 2013). An important component of social research is a research question. A research question zones in on the focus of the social research while including the key idea being investigated and/or explained as well as the key concepts involved (Natalier 2013).
    The research question directs the “entire research project in the right direction” (as stated by Abby Tozer), and is therefore central to the social research. Natalier (2013) concurs to this statement, describing how a good research question keeps the social research project focused and contributes to its success.
    In formulating a good research question, it is vital that it is worded in a question format and is concise and uncomplicated (Natalier 2013). It is also important that the research question does not aim to investigate what has already been investigated – a duplicated research question in different context is permissible for a good research question (Natalier 2013). Strong research questions have two components – focused and empirical (Natalier 2013). The component of a strong research question being focused considers the fact that broad research questions are difficult to answer and provide too many topics or concepts to address. The component of a strong research question being empirical considers how metaphysical or moral questions cannot be answered through physical experiences nor observation (Natalier 2013).
    While researching the social, there is a lot to consider including the ethical manner that must be taken, the complicated social context, personal and social change (Walter 2013). These are considerations that must be incorporated in formulating a good research question.
    A bad research question inevitably follows opposite pursuit of what has already been stated – a bad research question is unambiguous, rushed, poorly formatted, complicated and therefore leads to an unsuccessful research project.
    References:
    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3rd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 25-49.
    Walter, M (2013) “The Foundations of Good Social Science Research” Chapter 1 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-24.
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  17. A research question is posed in a midst to gain a perception or gather information regarding a certain topic. Walter explores within the set text, as it is through the conductive study of social research, in which is the systematic study of a fundamental component of society. Social research explores the patterns within a society and the process of those actions in which shape what people do. It is through a good research question in which allows a step by step approach to the interview, to create an informative, clear and concise result / answer of/from the design of the research.

    Although, a bad approach or structure of research allows distortion and no clarity within the design. It can allow the interview process or questionnaire to become unclear, with no structure. This in which creates a large complication within the process of interviewing or the research, as there will be no clear/ transparent answer. Walter clearly suggests that the question needs to be transparent and aimed to articulate within its formation. Otherwise it will be difficult for the reader to be able to make an assertion or interpretation of how they really have experienced the certain aspect in which the question is supposed to be asking.

    Walter, M (2013) “Chapter 1- “The Foundations of Good Social Research” in Walter, Maggie. (ed.3) (2013), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press p.3-24

    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – “Research Design” in Walter, Maggie. (ed.3) (2013), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press p.25-49

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  18. ‘What makes a good and a bad research question?’

    Developing a good research question is vital in creating the framework for the research process. A research question is the key to starting this process, it determines how you are going to approach your research topic and which data collection method will be most effective for your analysis. Natalier (2013) suggests that a research question drives your study, while research questions don’t take up much space in your report, but they are extremely important and time consuming in your research design.

    A ‘good’ research question is be developed overtime to be focused and succinct, to outline the aim of the research, Natalier (2013), explains that when the research question is determined, the rest of the rest of the research is in turn simplified. The development of a ‘good’ research question ensures that you and anyone involved in your research has a clear understanding of your chosen topic. The research question will allow anyone reading your research to immediately understand what you are questioning.

    Alternatively, a ‘bad’ research question would not support your research effectively, it is a question that provides no depth and does not provide your research with any direction. Walter (2013) suggests that your research question should be clear and articulate, a ‘bad’ research question may be long winded and difficult to understand for both the researcher and anyone who may be reading the research in the future.

    References
    Walter, M (2013) “Chapter 1- “The Foundations of Good Social Research” in Walter, Maggie. (ed.3) (2013), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press p.3-24

    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – “Research Design” in Walter, Maggie. (ed.3) (2013), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press p.25-49

    #s234UOW #Lab1 #Wed330

  19. Social research is defined as ‘the systematic study of society, the patterns in it and the processes that shape what people do’ (Walter, 2013, pg. 4) and is said to be the fundamental basis of understanding varying contexts, cultures and social spheres. An understanding of these sociological theories reinforces that such socially based concepts are rapidly evolving and express a wide range of differences dependent on contexts and subject matters at hand.
    Therefore, a ‘good research question’ is one that addresses the normal structures that dictate and shape society, investigates the social issues and ‘phenomena’ that change and become present in a continuously evolving social world. It would also addresses the complex interaction between the experience of the subjective individual and the extrapolation of this onto the wider shared experience of those within a global context. (Walter, 2013, pg. 14)
    In regards to formulating and sustaining a quality investigation into the chosen research question, Natalier (2013, pg. 26) examines the importance of choosing a social issues/questions and having a strong personal interest and individual understanding in regards to the subject and research that is being conducted. This will ensure that quality and consistent research will go into the chosen question, allowing for conceptually valid conclusions to the research project.
    Walter adds that the ‘core levels’ of any social research question should be: Exploratory research, descriptive research and explanatory research (Walter, 2013, pg. 8-9)

    References:
    Natalier, K 2013, ‘Research Design’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 25-49.
    Walter, M 2013, ‘The Foundations of Good Social Science Research’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-24.

  20. When creating a research question it is important do find a topic that interests you. It is much easier to do the research if is something that you actually want to figure out. The topic can be broad, but the question you choose should be more focused. It is important to make the question not too broad, nor too narrow.

    Say you want to do research about obesity. Your topic could then be obesity, but to create a question you have to figure out what you want to find out in relation to the issue. A too narrow question could be a question that can be answered by a single statistic, for example “what is the 2016 rate of obesity in Australia”.

    While a too broad question could be “what can we do to reduce obesity in Australia”, this is because it will be hard for the researcher to find out the cause of obesity throughout the country. It is easier if we focus on a class or demographics.

    So if we want to figure out what the link between obesity and classes in Australia the research question could be “what are the link between class and obesity in Australia” or we could even cut it down to “what are the link between class and obesity in NSW”.

    It is a question that makes it possible for us to do research, and where we can use both qualitative and quantitative methods to answer the question.

    References:

    Walter, M (2013) “Chapter 1- “The Foundations of Good Social Research” in Walter, Maggie. (ed.3) (2013), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press p.3-24

    Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – “Research Design” in Walter, Maggie. (ed.3) (2013), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press p.25-49

  21. Formulating a good research question is often much more difficult and time consuming than expected and therefore can at times be overlooked. It can be tedious and intimidating as it picks the brain to truly uncover what it is you are looking for and what questions will aid you in obtaining this information. It is critical not to get eager and skip this step as it is the most crucial part of a research project, and doing so will lead to a bad, rushed, unfocused and ambiguous research question resulting in bad research as the question sets the tone of the entirety of your project. It is important to take into consideration the following factors when creating a good research question.
    The research questions are the foundation of the research, they establish boundaries and guide the research giving it a sense of “coherence and direction” (26), it is from the research question that everything else unfolds such as establishing the proper research methods and further steps needed as well as often eliciting the discovery of new knowledge through further in depth clarification and refining of what you know and want to be researching.
    A good research question is well defined, it is neither too broad nor too narrow, it needs to have room for an appropriate answer without leaving too much room to get lost leading to an unavailing response. Often focusing on a specific concept of a given topic can help in developing a concise but effective question, allowing new information to arise through a new perspective generating new knowledge and an interesting research project. A good research question will lead to uncovering new information. It is important for these questions to lead to empirical data that is tangible and can easily be measured not metaphysical questions that lead to abstract ideas.
    Good research questions should be clear, researchable, relevant, relatable and should allow room for revisitation of what it is we are looking for throughout the acquisition of new knowledge, it is important to continue to allow growth and refocus your questions through the use of them.

    A bad research question on the other hand therefore would be one that goes against all of these established conditions to a good question stated above.

    #S234UOW17 #Wed330 #Lab1

    References:
    Ezzy, D 2010, ‘The research process’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic., pp. 61- 86.

    Natalier, K 2013, ‘Research Design’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 25-49.

    Walter, M 2013, ‘The Foundations of Good Social Science Research’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-24.

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