How to design good research questions

In deciding a good research one should really have insight about how to design questions. For a beginner in research, designing research questions might be too difficult, especially for those who have no idea what things that should be put into account before writing research question. Research question is one of the most important parts in research. If you have bad research question you may end your research badly. Research question connects almost the whole parts of your research. So it’s important to fully understand what things must be prepared before making research questions, and what consideration must be made before stepping further. There are few steps that you should be aware before having your research question made.

The first question and perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of any research undertaking is the identification of appropriate research questions (Alison & Susan 2005). Questions addressed should be interesting enough and worth asking. You can’t simply write your question, a problem occurs when it’s too broad. Breaking down into smaller units can be a solution to avoid unexpected answer in the future. For example, as it has been explained by author (Alison & Susan 2005), a general research question such as “what is the effect of the native language on the learning of a second or foreign language?”. If you look at this question you may simply thing this question is worth asking, but it’s somehow too broad to get the answer. So what should you do then?, to address the research area, a researcher might investigate the effect of a native language on specific aspects of a target language (e.g. phonology, syntax). However, asking question in linguistic is somewhat broad, you should make it more specific to ease answer it.  For example “how do listening to English programs improve students’ listening outcome?” this question might even simply to get the answer by further designing research method. You can give the treatment to students to listen to specific English program, and make a post-test to see how that affects their listening after the treatment session. And don’t forget that a pre-test should be made to see their score before involving in the treatment.

How to develop research question

Beginner in research may find that developing research question is not an easy step. So how should you do this?, one way of making yourself easy to design worth asking question is by reading other research. Why it’s important? If you read other research you can easily find ideas that help you develop further question. Reading journals in ESL will always bring you to a better question maker as journal provides you deep approach in designing research. Some journals in ESL can ignite your view and fuel your knowledge in research. Preliminary read other findings not only enlighten your knowledge but also it makes you think deeper to develop even more questions.

Another good way of developing your idea is by reading books related to your topic. Book provides invaluable sources; even you can find literature concerning your research area. And it automatically helps you design better questions based on theories available as you easily encounter once you read them. There is no better way to develop your thought unless you begin reading more books and journals so that you are nearly perfect to finally have good research questions.


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