Specifying the research question is the methodological point of departure of scholarly research in both the natural and social sciences. The research will answer the question posed. At an undergraduate level, the answer to the research question is the thesis statement. The answer to a research question will help address a “ResearchProblem” which is a problem “readers think is worth solving” or a “gap” in the current knowledge.

The formulation of a research question begins during the first steps of the scientific process as investigators think about what they would like to study and measure. A good research question is one that flushes out your argument, rather than puts it in a stranglehold.

A strong research question should avoid being vague, be clear and concise, be specific enough to be well covered in the space available, ask about something that can be observed or measured.