SOC234 2018 Lab1 – Mon 6.30pm

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.

#S234UOW18  #Lab1  #Mon630

Posted in SOC234 - Social Research methods, UOW.

27 Comments on SOC234 2018 Lab1 – Mon 6.30pm

Lorelie Blee said : Guest Report 8 months ago

Firstly, I argue that there is no such thing as a generally ‘bad’ research question, as any information on sociological phenomena can still be invaluable to the researcher (so long as it is new and relevant). However, research questions can be poorly designed for the perspective that the researcher is attempting to focus on. If the scope of the question is too broad, it can be impossible for the researcher to achieve the particular answer they are looking for. For example, a researcher posing the question “What is the link between socioeconomic status and suicide?” will provoke a plethora of answers about the social phenomenon. This is not a ‘bad’ research question, however it is too big to be narrowed down to focus on one particular aspect, thus poorly designed. It is also not suitable for a research project- it does not focus on one place, target population and sociological perspective. As Ezzy (2010) states, the research question should nail down “exactly what it is that he or she wants to know”. A more thorough research question may be, for example, “How does socioeconomic status have an impact on suicide rates within Wollongong?” A good research question is precise and to the point. It must contain “the key idea that the research seeks to investigate or explain” (Walters 2010, pg. 13). A good research question needs to thoroughly address the key social phenomenon, as well as the target demographic that the research will be aimed at. It considers the methodology that will be used to analyse the answer and ethics concerning participants. Of course, it must also be of value to society and be able to be used to obtain new data and insights to social phenomena that did not previously exist. References: Ezzy D 2010, ‘The research process’ in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic, pp. 65 Walters M 2010, Social Research Methods, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic, pp. 13 #S234UOW18 #Lab1 #Mon630

Lorelie Blee said : Guest Report 8 months ago

Firstly, I argue that there is no such thing as a generally ‘bad’ research question, as any information on sociological phenomena can still be invaluable to the researcher (so long as it is new and relevant). However, research questions can be poorly designed for the perspective that the researcher is attempting to focus on. If the scope of the question is too broad, it can be impossible for the researcher to achieve the particular answer they are looking for. For example, a researcher posing the question “What is the link between socioeconomic status and suicide?” will provoke a plethora of answers about the social phenomenon. This is not a ‘bad’ research question, however it is too big to be narrowed down to focus on one particular aspect, thus poorly designed. It is also not suitable for a research project- it does not focus on one place, target population and sociological perspective. As Ezzy (2010) states, the research question should nail down “exactly what it is that he or she wants to know”. A more thorough research question may be, for example, “How does socioeconomic status have an impact on suicide rates within Wollongong?” A good research question is precise and to the point. It must contain “the key idea that the research seeks to investigate or explain” (Walters 2010, pg. 13). A good research question needs to thoroughly address the key social phenomenon, as well as the target demographic that the research will be aimed at. It considers the methodology that will be used to analyse the answer and ethics concerning participants. Of course, it must also be of value to society and be able to be used to obtain new data and insights to social phenomena that did not previously exist. References: Ezzy D 2010, ‘The research process’ in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic, pp. 65 Walters M 2010, Social Research Methods, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic, pp. 13 #S234UOW18 #Lab1 #Mon630

Miyuki Suzuki said : Guest Report 8 months ago

Defining a good research question needs a highly aspect. The good research question’s target should be a very small range of area. A narrative approach can be helpful to develop results. There is no completed research methods, which mean the method always have cons. For instance, the qualitative method examines the whole person (Gelo, Braakman, Gerhard, & Benetka, 2008). Therefore, if researchers would like to have the qualitative method, they have to contribute to interviewers a much analysed question. Making the construction is a great idea to avoid a bad research question. The bad research question is often occurred within undetermined the range of target by researchers, which brings about the results unclear and collapse. To answer the question for what is the good research question or not, “Research questions state 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 the research.” (Patulny 2010 p13). It means that Researchers should make the structure, which has to go through the key factor. Therefore, researches should determine the purpose, direction to answer. Patulny, R (2018) “Introduction – Social Research and Research Question. Gelo, O., Braakman, D., & Benetka, G. (2008). Quantitative and qualitative research: Beyond the debate. Integrative Psychological & Behavioral Science, 42, 266-290.

Alye Wright said : Guest Report 8 months ago

SOC234: What makes a good & bad research question? Limited in scope and empirically answerable (Natalier, 2014). According to Bouma and Ling, these two factors are characteristics of strong questions. A good question should narrow down to a specific topic within a much broader topic. The flip side to this, is having a question that is too broad or generic. Ezzy Babbie describes this as "research questions that are too general or vague can be very difficult to answer" and instead "specifying the research question can avoid many problems late in research" (Babbie, 2005). So having a specific (but not too specific) question early on is key to having a good question. A good question also has the ability to be observed (Natalier, 2014) or experienced. For instance, quantitative or qualitative research, and ethnography's. In other words, having a question that can be studied and collect data. Knowledge and purpose. Understanding what you are asking and what has already been asked is important when putting a good question together- How does your research differ to existing? Is it similar, but looking at it through a different perspective? What are you hoping to discover? Well the questions can keep going, but the point I'm trying to make is that before a question is even asked, the why and what is important to understand. This process links to the research design, which is the planning stage where the topic, aim (or purpose) and research methods are planned (Natalier, 2014). Babbie explains that within the design process a topic that is deemed important should be identified and articulated into a research question (Babbie, 2005). In other words, good research has a purpose and reason, whilst bad research doesn't have a good foundation. References: " Babbie, E 2005, The Basics of Social Research, Pearson Longman, Belmont, CA, p65-66 " Natalier, K 2013, "Chapter 2 - Research Design" in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne, Oxford University Press, p26-47

Laura Ducie said : Guest Report 8 months ago

A "good" research question should have a topic of focus which leads to a more specific area within. Using the lecture framework by R. Patulney (2018), he explains the three types of research questions, which are exploratory, descriptive and explanation. All three of these types of questions should be used in research but explanation should be considered more accurate than the others. Explanation narrows down to the more specific aspects and can eliminate and conclude more definitively. Whereas exploratory and descriptive are still necessary but more appropriate with topics have not been discussed in detail yet. We use the other two types of questioning to establish what aspects of a social topic would be worth searching and which research will be able to fill in gaps. Another aspect of a good research question is brought up by Ezzy. (2010), he brings up the aspect of relevancy. Relevancy to what is happening at the time. There is no point in researching into social components which are no longer relevant to our society, unless they provide answers to current aspects or enable a link from old to new. By creating a question which is looking for a definitive answer and has a relevancy to the social realm at the time, makes a good research question. #S234UOW18 #Lab1 #Mon1830 Ezzy, D 2010, ‘The research process’, in M Walter (ed,), Social Research Methids, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic., pp61-86. Patulny, R, 2018, Lecture 1 Introduction. PowerPoint. Social Research Methods SOC234. University of Wollongong. 26/02/18.

Emma Wales said : Guest Report 8 months ago

Research questions are the basis for any study, you must first ask, to investigate, they form the basis, direction and methods for a study. Good research questions should, be effectively worded, they should be clear & concise, to allow for direct research to occur, a bad research question could be too vague or incorporate to many research areas, that realistically cannot be researched in the current topic. It should be answerable through the use of empirical data, and interesting to you and others in your field (Firebaugh, G. 2008). The research question must also be able to be investigated using current methods and research abilities there is no point creating a research question on something that is empirically unknowable, (Lieberson 1985). As well as this research should be able to be replicated (Bryman A. 2012) and thus if the research question is to broad or unclear the research will also have potential to be unclear in what it is investing. The article I tweeted on research gives a short but concise overview of key aspects of questions that are essential to master to archive a ‘good’ research question. Other responders of this blog post have also mentioned and expanded on Natalier (2013)’s understanding, explaining that concepts, especially in social research (social constructs), are not like material objects, making it difficult to define concepts with consistency, however this is important to create a consistent body of research. Bryman A. (2012) social research methods 4th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford Firebaugh, G. (2008) Seven Rules for Social Research, Princeton University Press, Princeton Lieberson (1985) Making it Count: The Improvement of Social Research Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3rd edn: Oxford University Press, p25-49

Emma said : Guest Report 8 months ago

Research questions are the basis for any study, you must first ask, to investigate, they form the basis, direction and methods for a study. Good research questions should, be effectively worded, they should be clear & concise, to allow for direct research to occur, a bad research question could be too vague or incorporate to many research areas, that realistically cannot be researched in the current topic. It should be answerable through the use of empirical data, and interesting to you and others in your field (Firebaugh, G. 2008). The research question must also be able to be investigated using current methods and research abilities there is no point creating a research question on something that is empirically unknowable, (Lieberson 1985). As well as this research should be able to be replicated (Bryman A. 2012) and thus if the research question is to broad or unclear the research will also have potential to be unclear in what it is investing. The article I tweeted on research gives a short but concise overview of key aspects of questions that are essential to master to archive a ‘good’ research question. Other responders of this blog post have also mentioned and expanded on Natalier (2013)’s understanding, explaining that concepts, especially in social research (social constructs), are not like material objects, making it difficult to define concepts with consistency, however this is important to create a consistent body of research. Bryman A. (2012) social research methods 4th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford Firebaugh, G. (2008) Seven Rules for Social Research, Princeton University Press, Princeton Lieberson (1985) Making it Count: The Improvement of Social Research Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3rd edn: Oxford University Press, p25-49

Isabelle Liddy said : Guest Report 8 months ago

The topic encompassing a sociological research question cannot be framed as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ without first assessing what these two terms conceptually mean. One the one hand, what is considered ‘good’ and what is considered ‘bad’ as a research question is influenced by ethical and contextual criteria, but the way a sociological question is phrased significantly affects the way the data can be analysed, synthesised and interpreted to explain a set of social phenomena (Ezzy 2010). In this sense, a ‘bad’ research question is one that is too broad and one that looks to simply explain a topic and not a sociological concept (Walter 2013). Leaving the research design too wide and not focused enough to approach the analysis with a scientific methodology for uncovering relationships between social phenomena leaving the interpretation of results tricky to wade through a tide of irrelevant data (Natalier 2013). Contrarily, a ‘good’ research question is one that is clear and specific to a set of key ideas and key concepts that looks to understand the social relationships in the social world, the ‘how’s and why’s’, through an external overarching lens of society propelled by a theoretical paradigm (Patulny 2018). A clear, specific question guides research in a particular avenue, but can also be influenced by the research once it begins, as there is an interaction between the framework of the question and the data itself that can help to narrow down the sociological question at hand (Ezzy 2010).

Nicholas Jones said : Guest Report 8 months ago

In sociology, a research question determines the direction of the researcher’s production of knowledge into the social phenomena. But what makes a good or bad research question? In this short piece, this writer will discuss the influence of the researcher’s decision of their topic of research, as well as the limitations of creating a good research question. When forming a research question the researcher must be precise in stating clearly of what their research will be. Bouma and Ling states (2004, pg.27) that there are two assets in the construction of strong questions. The first consist of the limitation of research. Bouma and Ling explain (2004, pg.27) that a researcher cannot research into every element of their question. If the researcher can follow this first position it will allow them to uphold a logical argument by the preparation of the research methodologies would be used to obtain data. Bouma and Ling states (2004, pg.27) the second is that question must relate to “observable and tangible objects” (Bouma & Ling, 2004, pg.27). By stating the question clearly and precisely what the research the reader would be able to understand and relate to the research question. A research question would also focus on the standpoint of the researcher’s basic knowledge of the topic. Walter explains (2013, pg.11) that the researcher’s standpoint is highly relevant to their research as it justifies the research question and interprets their conclusions. This allows the researcher to theoretically interpret their own social position to compare it to the social phenomenon of their research. Reference: Walter, M (2013), “Chapter 1: The Foundations of Good Social Science Research”, in Walter, M (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3rd Edition, South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pg. 3-24 Bourma, G. D. & Ling, R (2004), The Research Process, Melbourne, Oxford University Press, in Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 - Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3nd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p25-49

Michael Jones said : Guest Report 8 months ago

In exploring any number topics in social research, what distinguishes a good from a bad research question can be primarily narrowed down to the overall purpose of the question (exploratory, descriptive, explanatory) and the type of research being undertaken (qualitative/quantitative). “Within the social and behavioural sciences, a schism has existed for decades that separates the qualitative and quantitative research traditions” (Castro et al 2012). A good research question has a clear, concise purpose relevant to the setting paired with a strong method of generating or testing the theory at hand, whereas a bad research question is broad, and generates information not consistent with the theory being generated or tested. Regardless of the type of research being undertaken, the clarity in which they are presented is paramount to portraying the differences between a good or bad research question. Good research questions state the major aim whilst specifying the key ideas that the research seeks to investigate (Walters 2010 p13). As previously stated, the correct purpose of research is essential to prove/disprove a said hypothesis which is derived from theory. Exploratory research is often undertaken to explore new areas of social inquiry, descriptive research sets out to describe social phenomena, whilst explanatory research seeks to provide or develop explanation of the social world or social phenomena (Walters 2010). When deciding the type of research, a good research question is aware of the advantages and disadvantages of the type of research being undertaken and formulates the question accordingly. E.g. if trying to unearth social facts and obtain an accurate operationalization and measurement, a ‘good’ social researcher would be using quantitative research methods whilst also understanding the limitations of doing so. E.g. results de-contextualised. (Castro et al 2012). 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

Tracey McNamara said : Guest Report 8 months ago

According to Walter (2013), a good sociology research question is specific, has a narrow focus and has important implications on Society. A research question should be narrow enough that we can collect information on it without it being too restrictive, but it should not be so broad that we cannot identify the nature of the issue. A research question should be important to society and help us to understand patterns of behaviours. The importance of the research question is particularly pertinent to Kurt’s (2007) theory. Kurt found that sociology should be used as an advisory tool for governments and other relevant bodies. Sociology research should seek to understand issues or behaviours pass this information to the relevant bodies, and then these can be addressed with policies and initiatives by the relevant body. Based on Kurt’s framework, it is especially important that the research questions we are asking are important and relevant to our society. Furthermore, research should be grounded in observations and a real audience. Bell & Bromnick (2003) found that some demographics (i.e. adolescents) address sociological questions as a hypothetical audience, rather than in relation to themselves or their peers. For the research to be specific, narrow and important, it should be based on the observations or feelings of a real audience. References Bell, J. H. Bromnick, R.D. (2003) “The Social Reality of the Imaginary Audience: A Grounded Theory Approach”. Adolescence: 38: 205-19. Kurtz, T. (2007) “Sociological Theory and Sociological Practice”. Acta Sociologica: 50 (3): 283 – 294. 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

Vishal Pandian said : Guest Report 8 months ago

A bad research question is one that encompasses a very broad potential target audience to analyse social phenomena that contain many different aspects to them. This can invoke responses from a variety of perspectives and prove inconclusive towards aiding your original research. A good research question is one that 'allows the writer to take an arguable position and does not leave room for ambiguity' (Lee Cuba 1997). It must be constructed accordingly based on whether qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods approaches are being used and should include "a key idea and key concepts" (Patulny 2018). Additionally the question must be constructed from the perspective of one of the five theoretical paradigms to shape the most accurate responses for your study. Douglas Ezzy states in the 3rd chapter of his Social Research Methods publication that 'clearly specifying the research question takes the researcher beyond the topic of interest to nailing down exactly what he or she wants to know'. #SOC234UOW18 #Lab1 #Mon630

Pepper-lily Baumgaertner said : Guest Report 8 months ago

Research questions form the foundation and basic direction of every study. Having a good research question has the ability to clearly shape research design, methodology (qualitative or quantitative), and generate new opinions in a chosen field of study. For social scientist, good research questions aim to examine social phenomena which move away from traditional and currently accepted theories (Ezzy 2010 pp63-68). However, it is significantly important that current research be available so that the scientist has the resources to investigate and support an answer to their specific question. A bad research question is often one in which is too broad, open-ended, and without clear direction (Patulny 2018). Asking a good research question will leave room to improve and investigate a chosen topic whilst remaining succinct and focused upon the actual question. Asking a research question that is original in an area of study with current holes in existing understanding, promotes interest to the individual as they research but also to a wider audience once research has been conducted successfully (Natalier 2013 pp26-29). Natalier (2013 p28), extends the idea of a good research question by proposing that a question should be open to both qualitative or quantitative research methods. Ensuring that the original question asked, drives the idea behind your study, not the method used. Furthermore, a good research question will be coherent, interesting to the reader and researcher, whilst adhering to an array of guidelines such as methods, theoretical paradigms, and ethical standards. #S234UOW18 #MON630

Brittany Gratzer said : Guest Report 8 months ago

Curiosity is what drives people to conduct research on the topic that they are interested in finding out more on. Research questions are used to identify the main aim of the study and to specify and explain key concepts and ideas (Patulny, 2018, S20). This means that having a good question is very important to be able to conduct appropriate research and find the evidence and answers to what the main aim of the study is. If the question is bad then the research can be harder to achieve as well as can be dismissed due to not answering the main aim and concepts the researcher is considering. A good research question is made up of the researcher having important aims as well as making them clear to the audience. This can be done through finding a topic and then asking a specific question with in that topic such as asylum seekers and then focusing on the traumatic effects on children asylum seekers coming to Australia and going through the process. This allows the audience to know exactly what the researcher is studying. If the question is too broad than it can be difficult to answer as well as the research may get overrun by other evidence that is unimportant within the researcher’s topic (Ezzy, 2010, p65). Whereas a bad research question is not clear to the audience as it is not specific enough within the researcher’s topic to be clearly identified as the main aim. This doesn’t allow for the findings to be important to the topic that was explored. Reference List Ezzy, D 2010, ‘The research process’, in M Walter (ed,), Social Research Methids, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic., pp61-86. Patulny, R, 2018, Lecture 1 Introduction. PowerPoint. Social Research Methods SOC234. University of Wollongong. 26/02/18.

Georgina Bolam Gannon said : Guest Report 8 months ago

Firstly, to address the question 'What makes a 'good' and 'bad' research question?', I need to address the fact that there is no such thing as a 'bad' research question. As a sociologist, or social scientist, our job is to identify phenomenon in society and question these phenomena. Questioning why any social phenomena happens is what can lead to more understanding of and change to society, as society is not static, change is the norm, not the exception (Walter 2013, p.5). There are, of cause, differences between a couch sociologists question and an academic sociologists question. The main difference between the two is that one is a question based on personal observation, whereas the other, while still a question based on personal observation, also includes scientific method for research (Walter 2013, p.7). So, back to this idea of good and bad research questions. As stated before there is no such thing as a bad research question, but there is always room for improvement. An example of this would be, "Why are there more teenage male delinquents than female?". This question is extremely broad and is ambiguous in meaning and concepts. A better example of this question is: "Do socio-economic and gender factors impact the number of male and female delinquents in rural towns in Australia?". This second question is a better research question as it identifies the key ideas (teenage delinquency, gender) and concepts (gender, teenage delinquency, economic class issues) easily and succinctly (Patulny, 2018 p.20). In terms of research, the second question also gives researchers a basis off of where to start, rural towns. As opposed to being a 'bad' and to broad question, the latter is an example of a more revised and informed sociological research question. Patulny, R (2018) "Introduction - Social Research and Research Questions," SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 03/01/2018 Walter, Maggie (ed.). 2013. Social Research Methods. 3rd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Abey Hatzantonis said : Guest Report 8 months ago

#S234UOW18 #Lab1 #Mon630

Abey Hatzantonis said : Guest Report 8 months ago

According to Ezzy (2010 p.65) a good research question is when the question is clear and precise, it allows the researcher to be able to go past the topic being researched. This then allows the researcher to be able to pin point exactly what they want to know from their research. To put simply, a good research question will be clear, to the point and identify important concepts in the research and the overall aim (Patulny, 2018). A good research question also takes into account ethics as some questions may have the potential to be possibly harmful towards a particular group in terms of how the research is conducted and the aim of the overall research (Patulny, 2018). It is also important for a researcher to develop a good research question as it leads the way into what type of research will be conducted and the purpose of the research, whether it is exploratory, descriptive or explanatory research (Patulny, 2018). An example of a poor research question is when the questions are too vague and broad as this can cause the research question to become too challenging to answer as there is no specific topic in the research (Ezzy, 2010 p.65). Similar to this, as stated in the lecture, if a research question is too narrow then it may not be possible to gather a reasonable amount of results and information on the topic which will make it difficult to draw reasonable conclusions (Patulny, 2018). Reference: Patulny, R (2018) “Introduction – Social Research and Research Questions,” SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 28/02/2018. Ezzy, D (2010) “Chapter 3 - The research process” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic pp. 61-86.

Chloe Hancock said : Guest Report 8 months ago

The purpose of a research question is to identify and establish the topic of focus. To achieve this in a clear manner, it needs to be succinct, yet simultaneously broad enough to engage multiple research measures. A good research question will fill a gap in the existing research base and will therefore be thoroughly investigated and considered prior to proposal and commencement. A unique and meaningful question is important to me as an individual, and in terms of making a valuable contribution to the research field. From a social theory perspective, a good research question would be structured to enable the thorough exploration of the topic within that perspective. I agree though with author Brendan Wolfe (2017), who said not to look for facts and research to build your narrative, but to build a story out of what you find. Being flexible with the question and approach, may be particularly helpful in relating social theory to social contexts. A good research question will interest the researcher and be exciting for them to investigate. As referenced in the TED talk I tweeted, researching an issue that evokes emotion and is important to the researcher can have big impacts on innovation and discovery. For me, a good research question would frame research with a socially ethical standpoint, as well as align with my personal morals and values, particularly in relation to how the research is conducted. Abiding by laws, regulations and relevant codes of conduct maintains the integrity of the research while mirroring my own beliefs. #S234UOW18 #Lab1 #Mon630

Cassie Nicholas said : Guest Report 8 months ago

The research question is the opening of your research it will usually be the first sentence an individual will read of your research or paper. It is what makes someone want to read your research and explore what you have discovered or identified. What makes a research question good or bad? One of the most important aspects of a good research question is that it must be clear and concise. Therefore, the research question must identify whether the question is exploratory, descriptive or confirmatory, as it identifies the purpose of the research (Walters, 2010). This will help maintain a logical argument for your research, but also allow the reader to know precisely what you are investigating. The research question is the guiding force behind what methodologies are used to obtain the data e.g. quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods, for the research to be as accurate as possible. To accomplish this the research question should not be too broad or too narrow. For example, , if the research question is to narrow it may be difficult to find enough data to accurately answer the research question (Socscidiss.bham.ac.uk, 2018). Overall a good research question should encapsulate the ‘main aim and purpose of the research in question form and specify the key ideas that the research seeks to investigate and/or explain and identify the key concepts of the research’ and be able to be generate and test theories through obtained data and information. (Fawcett and Downs 1992, 4)(Walters 2010 p1). #S234UOW18 #Lab1 #Mon630

Kyle Richardson said : Guest Report 8 months ago

A good research question will be specific and concise, thus allowing conclusions to be drawn. By contrast, a research question that is poorly designed is very broad and won't draw conclusions nor be an insightful piece of new literature (Patulny, 2018). Moreover, a good research question is inquisitive and will provide meaningful conclusions; it will find gaps in existing theory and data and add to these. A bad research question will have too large a scope which results in looking at a topic broadly rather than at specific aspects within a topic. Furthermore, a good research question has a clear aim that is driven by curiosity (Patulny, 2018). Consequently, this places boundaries on the project which subsequently guides the direction and investigation of concepts of the research (Natalier, 2013). A good research question will map out the research process delineating variables and processes (Ezzy, 2010). Thus, this will allow for operationalisation which will help to produce examinable and quantifiable results. A good research question will be investigative and focused; it will be written as a question that can be referred to to ensure it is being answered; and it will not be accepting of social assumptions or beliefs (Ezzy, 2010; Natalier, 2013). A good research question can be reached through conceptualisation and will be viewed through the lens of a theoretical paradigm which allows the researcher(s) to draw on underlying themes within that paradigm. This will enhance the clarity and conciseness of the question and consequently the research process. References: Ezzy, D 2010, 'The research process', in Walter (ed.) Social Research Methods, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria, pp. 61-86. 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. Patulny, R 2018, "Introduction - Social Research and Research Questions", SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 26/02/2018.

Darren Gal said : Guest Report 8 months ago

A good research question must practice the distinction between research in order to generate theory (Exploratory and Descriptive research) and research in order to test a theory (Explanatory research) (R Patulny 2018, pers.comm, 26th Feb). Exploratory and Descriptive research requires an open research question (stating only the main concepts for exploration) for formulation and reformulation as the researcher conducts the cyclical process of data collection and analysis (this is often qualitative research). Explanatory research involves testing a theory with data (this is often quantitative research) which requires a specific question that can be tested with the statistical analysis of data (Walter 2013). This requires concepts within the research question that can be operationalised, thus quantified in the data analysis stage (Natalier 2013). A good research question interrelates concepts within the question that are relevant for the form of research and findings, which can then provide a coherent conclusion to the research question. A second issue in establishing concepts for a good research question is conceptualisation and nominal definition. As concepts are not material objects (they are social constructs) difficulty arises in defining the concepts, along with consistency in definition for the establishment of a consistent body of research amongst researchers (Natalier 2013). A good research question is arrived at through the process of conceptualisation where the researcher conducts a literature review in order to arrive at a nominal definition of the research question’s key concepts. With a nominal definition the research question has greater clarity and consistency and in relation to other research. According to Ezzy (2010 p.65) good research questions need to move from the general topic to a clear and specific statement, this is done through conceptualisation and with a nominal definition. References Ezzy, D 2010, ‘The research process’, in M Walter (ed.) Social Research Methods, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press South Melbourne, Vic., p61-86 Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 – Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3rd edn: 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, 3rd edn, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p3-24

Monique Athanasopoulos said : Guest Report 8 months ago

Developing a social research question is a highly important step in the process of social research. A good social research question is one that is specific and guides the focus of the research. By doing so, the methods we choose will also be clearly defined. According to Bouma and Ling (2004) there are two characteristics that make a strong social research question. The question should be limited in scope and the focus of the question should be able to be answered through ‘observations and tangible things’ (cited in Natalier 2013, p. 27). Furthermore, good social research questions can be conceptualised, and they are able to form or fit in to a theoretical paradigm. For example, if I was interested in studying ‘why is the prostitution of teenage female gypsies in Romania prevalent?’, I might conceptualise the study area utilising the Feminist Paradigm. This paradigm is relevant because it can allow me to research the gender aspect of prostitution, allowing me to draw on the underlying causes which are reflective in the methods of ‘ethnography, life histories and memory work’ (Walter 2013, p. 18). On the other hand, a bad research question would be one that is written in a way that is too conceptual or too hard to interpret. This also means that a bad research question would be one that is read as a statement and not as a question, for example ‘the prevalence of prostitution of female gypsies in Romania’. Thus, to achieve a clear, focused and conceptualised research question it is important that wide reading and critical thinking is implemented. Getting the first step (the research question) right, will allow for a successful research outcome. Reference List Natalier, K 2013, ‘Research Design’, M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp. 25-49. Walter, M 2013, ‘The Nature of Social Science Research’, M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp. 25-49. #MON630

Jasmine Andrews said : Guest Report 8 months ago

We must first assess what makes a question either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. A good question is conducive to an accurate answer; it explores a meaningful yet defined area; it is concise and clear, while allowing for a thoughtful examination of the subject. Alternatively, a bad question is unhelpful in producing examinable and quantifiable results; it is imprecise; its scope is overly broad or vague, or too narrow to produce any substantial information. A good question will state its aim and the key concepts under examination (Walters 2010, p3). According to Professor Shanna Kirschner, the seed of a good research question is a sense of fascination – its potential answer must have some significance. A good question stems from existing theory or data, and in turn produces more comprehensive information by testing those theories or data (Fawcett and Downs 1992, 4). The Centre for Innovation in Research and Teaching emphasises the importance of equilibrium in a number of elements while creating research questions. Broadness and narrowness must be balanced. The question must be wide enough to produce an interesting area of study, yet not so broad that no conclusions can be discerned. Objectivity and subjectivity must also be balanced. Too objective a question results in factual data but does not allow for various implications or arguments to be drawn from the information. Simplicity and complexity must be balanced too – a question cannot be so simplistic that its answer is household information, yet it cannot be so complicated that research is unapproachable and incomprehensible. Sources: http://sitesmedia.s3.amazonaws.com/politicalsci/files/2012/08/Crafting-Good-Research-Questions.pdf https://cirt.gcu.edu/research/developmentresources/tutorials/question

Hamish Starr said : Guest Report 8 months ago

Having a good or bad research questions entirely governs the quality of the research undertaken by the researcher. This means it is vital for a researcher to create a ‘good’ research questions. But what are the qualities of a good research question? According to Walters (in Patulny 2018), “Research questions 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.” (2010 p13). As also stated in the lecture, the question needs to be clear and concise, whilst also remaining not too broad, nor too narrow. If the question is too broad, then the research will follow and it will hard to draw conclusions from the research, making the question hard to answer. Likewise, if it’s too narrow, it will be hard to gather an appropriate amount of results and in turn, hard to draw conclusions from them. Therefore, a happy medium needs to be found when formulating a research question. If this is achieved, whilst also following the conventions from Walters, it should aid in formulating a good research question by any researcher, and therefore, allowing them to undertake good research. Patulny, R (2018) “Introduction – Social Research and Research Questions,” SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 03/01/2018.

Katy Halverson said : Guest Report 8 months ago

The purpose of a research question is to “place boundaries on a project, giving it coherence and direction,” according to Kristin Natalier in chapter two of the textbook. In lecture we began to discuss what makes a good and bad research question in terms of the scope of what one aims to research. A research question should be clear and specific, not overly broad or all-encompassing. Having too broad of a research question may reduce the credibility of the research as it suggests that the researcher hasn’t read enough existing content on the subject. Natalier emphasizes that it should be phrased as a question, not a statement, so it’s easy to look back and ensure the research is answering the question. The excerpt from Social Research Methods chapter three by Douglas Ezzy also states that a vague research question is difficult to answer. A poor research question is one that is too big to focus on the intended subject. Good research questions “relate closely to the theory and the methodology of the research… ensuring that the research question, theory and methodology are compatible.” It’s important that the research question be specific so that research can be focused, in-depth, and coherent. #SOC234UOW18 #Mon630 Reference: Ezzy, D (2010) “Chapter 3 - The research process” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic pp. 61-86. Natalier, K (2013) “Chapter 2 - Research Design” in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3nd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p25-49 Patulny, R (2018) “Introduction – Social Research and Research Questions,” SOC234, University of Wollongong. Viewed 03/01/2018.

James Hawksworth said : Guest Report 8 months ago

In researching an area of sociology from a range of social diverse areas the focus question which drives the research must be clear, ethical and must take a quantitative or qualitative approach. A good question must be designed by the researcher to use a scientific research method to either explore an issue, the purpose of the social inquiry or explain the social phenomena within society. To answer the question what practice will the researcher use to gain the research to either analyse or observe numerical data or understanding people’s meanings and perceptions. There are two qualitative and quantitative, so therefore a good question must be clear enough to understand so the researcher can use one of these methods. Also, the researcher must use a theoretical paradigm, this will shape the question in which the researcher is trying to get information and knowledge on from choosing a paradigm amongst the diversity. In sociology research to allow validity in the research question these are identifying the topic, research question, specifying the theoretical framework, developing a research methodology, delineating the main variables defining and measuring and observing. selecting a research sample and collecting data-units, addressing the political and ethical dimensions of the research-obstacles, analysis of data and interpretation of results, writing up results-communicating the results. A good question considers ethics, clarity and involves the methodology the researcher is using so the research method of either quantitative or qualitative approach can be used to answer either exploratory, descriptive or explanatory of an issue. #S234UOW18 #MON 630 References: Patulny, R. 2018, ‘Introduction – Social research & research questions’, SOC234, University of Wollongong. viewed 26/02/2018 Ezzy, D 2010’ The research process, in M Walter (ed), Social research methods, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic pp. 61-86.

James Hawksworth said : Guest Report 8 months ago

In researching an area of sociology from a range of social diverse areas the focus question which drives the research must be clear, ethical and must take a quantitative or qualitative approach. A good question must be designed by the researcher to use a scientific research method to either explore an issue, the purpose of the social inquiry or explain the social phenomena within society. To answer the question what practice will the researcher use to gain the research to either analyse or observe numerical data or understanding people’s meanings and perceptions. There are two qualitative and quantitative, so therefore a good question must be clear enough to understand so the researcher can use one of these methods. Also, the researcher must use a theoretical paradigm, this will shape the question in which the researcher is trying to get information and knowledge on from choosing a paradigm amongst the diversity. In sociology research to allow validity in the research question these are identifying the topic, research question, specifying the theoretical framework, developing a research methodology, delineating the main variables defining and measuring and observing. selecting a research sample and collecting data-units, addressing the political and ethical dimensions of the research-obstacles, analysis of data and interpretation of results, writing up results-communicating the results. A good question considers ethics, clarity and involves the methodology the researcher is using so the research method of either quantitative or qualitative approach can be used to answer either exploratory, descriptive or explanatory of an issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked