SOC234 2018 Lab1 – Mossvale

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  #Mvale

Posted in SOC234 - Social Research methods, UOW.

6 Comments on SOC234 2018 Lab1 – Mossvale

Jessica Walshe said : Guest Report 12 months ago

Research questions are an important part of any research project as they guide both the researcher and the research, they shape the entire project and are needed in order to establish clear boundaries. According to Walter (2013) a good research question is vital as they are the foundation of all of the research conducted, they limit the scope of the research, keep the focus and save the researcher from wasting time and getting off track. A good research question is one that is socially relevant, interesting and empirical and that is related to the theoretical concepts and methodology of the research being conducted. A research question that is empirical is one which is able to be answered with data (Punch 2014) and the type of data and the data collection method/s required should be clear. Clarity and specificity are also elements of a good research question as this ensures that the research is focused and driven. Research questions that are too broad or ambiguous will yield too much data, be too complex and the research will not adequately answer the question. References Punch KF. 2014, Introduction to Social Research Quantitative & Qualitative Approaches 3rd Ed. Sage Publishing, London. Walter M. 2013, Social research methods, 3rd Ed. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic.

Skye Cannon said : Guest Report 12 months ago

Good social research questions result in productive and insightful data that can be used to better understand and make sense of our social world, so it is important to ask the right questions. Social researchers need to ensure that the question they ask are socially important and that the data they hope to collected will make a difference in peoples lives. Good social questions need to be accurately articulated, and insure that the language is specific. For example - are we researching women or women aged between 26- 57 of aboriginal decent that have experienced domestic violence in the last 5 years. Research questions should aim to capture new social understandings or help to deconstruct peoples assumptions on how life is or should be. A good research question comes from good foundation research, first exploring all the existing research around the question to create a sound theoretical conceptual framework that encapsulates the question . Bad research may not be cleary defined, thus possibly resulting in scope of the research becoming unattainable, and resulting in irrelevant information. Researchers need to understanding their own purpose and motives for asking the question, bad research questions could arrive from being unaware of our own stand point. Social research questions should not be directed at finding every individuals actions or outcomes, but instead looking to find the social aggregates, society’s collective outcomes. Bad research questions are unethical questions that could cause harm or distress to individuals participating in research, organisation disharmony or group conflict.

Laszlo La Marque said : Guest Report 12 months ago

Phrased with clarity and simplicity, a good sociological research question is both specific and empirical. The specificity is ensured by limiting the scope of the question to address a particular concern, data is then more likely to be explicit and definitive in relation to the query. Asking an empirical question ensures that the data is valid, quantifiable and knowable. While ostensibly straightforward, it is essential that the question is formulated through a discernment process which ensures the most value is gained from any investigation. Clearly defined research aims and a literature review will contextualise the topic within exisiting scholarship, highlighting any paucity of research and potential for further study. Framing the question through the lens of a specific concept in relation to the broader topic will garner even more precision in the results. Maintaining an awareness of the social positions, epistemologies, axiologies, ontologies and standpoints which overtly and covertly influence methodologies is important. This awareness can be used to refine the research question by removing any inherent methodological assumptions which could unintentionally skew results. When formulated, the question will determine the method of research within an ethical framework and flexibly allow for feedback loops if required.

Jasmin Murphy said : Guest Report 12 months ago

Researchers must discern the differences between a good and bad research question as it determines whether the information discovered is valid and reliable, therefore researchers must be able to discern the researcher must evaluate and identify these differences when researching as it can challenge the credibility of the research. A good research question must be precise, focused, and ethical; creating a narrowed answer, resulting in multiple sources of information, in comparison a bad research question is vague and results in a broad field of research. A good research question focuses on the social issues and constructs, focusing on the axiology, epistemology, and ontology. This process must be specific in the writing of the question, as the researcher has to maintain key idea that is followed by the key aspects, these concepts result in the narrowing of the answer. A bad research question has a key idea, yet it does not maintain these key aspects, resulting in a vague question creating both multiple research outcomes creating a broad answer or a one worded answer that requires no research and is generally opinionated.

Bronwyn Sims said : Guest Report 12 months ago

Hi Sally Great answer. I am really just leaving this comment to make sure responses are working. We will discuss the posts in our tutorial tomorrow. Bronwyn Sims

Sally Miles 5591958 #Mvale said : Guest Report 12 months ago

To ascertain whether a research question is good or bad involves reflective and investigative thought. Good questions need to be very specific; a vague question will lead to unreliable data. Walter, M (2013), states that a good research question must be an important question for society. Secondly, self-reflection is vital for good research questions, so that our own subjectivity does not influence the structure and research outcomes. A study of current academic literature, (epistemology) is also necessary, as it informs us of whether our question is current and relevant, or exploratory. These aspects are only some of the considerations that must be applied to asking, “is this a good or bad research question?” The importance of the question may be derived from exploring new social territory or explaining reasons behind social behaviours/ phenomena, or thirdly, describing the behaviours found in society. The researcher needs to observe critically the patterns in society to see what seems unusual, unexplained or changing (paradigm shifting). When thoughts of a question arise, the next step would be to check previous empirical research findings, with preparedness to either choose another question, modify or continue. The next phase is self-reflection on our own standpoint, ontology and axiology, to prevent self or Company interests. It is also necessary to prevent influencing the research outcome by skewing the questions and therefore the research structure with those biases. The researcher needs to critically examine their own reasons for wanting to ask the particular question and why not another one.

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