.A research lacks focus without an objective and a research question. While the objective points clearly at what the researcher seeks to find, the research question raises questions from the objectives as to what the researcher seeks to find answers to. Our focus here however is on formulating a research question for an undergraduate project topic. Maybe we talk about research objectives in subsequent posts.
A research question is borne out of the research objectives which originates from the statement of problem. Every research has a purpose but the research question gives it a focus. For instance, in a research project topic that requires content analysis (for those in the mass communication department), the research question guides;
- the table for coding sheet
- the content categories
- the unit of analysis
- the number of tables for data analysis and
- the number of answers to discuss in your discussion of findings.
Also, failure to do justice to the research question means that the research is not complete.
How do you formulate research question for your final year project topic?
Like highlighted earlier, formulating a research question is not so magical, it is formulated out of something which is the research objectives. Therefore, the origin of formulating a research question is to know your research objectives; you can’t possibly separate the two.
- Know your research objectives and state them clearly
- Turn the objectives into research questions
First of all, know your research objectives and state them clearly
The research objectives are those things your research seeks to accomplish. By recommendation, it shouldn’t be less than three and more than five. It states in a single sentence, specific targets the research seeks to hit.
Here are example of how to write research objectives in a mass communication project topic
If the project topic reads thus, for instance - coverage of 2019 Nigeria general election by the guardian newspaper, the objective should read thus;
Generally, this study seeks to determine the coverage of the 2019 general election by the Guardian national newspapers, but specifically, the study seeks to;
i. Determine the frequency of coverage of the 2019 general election by the guardian newspaper
ii. To ascertain the media genres in which the 2019 general election were reported
iii. To determine the level of prominence given the coverage of 2019 Nigeria general elections by the guardian newspaper
iv. To find out the political themes that were reported during the 2019 general election by the guardian newspaper.
Turn the objectives into research questions
Now pay attention to this, there is no need for too much grammar in turning your research objectives to a research question. All you need do is, simply convert the sentence to a question without many changes, if at all there is any. Let’s take an example of research questions from the above stated objectives, shall we?
Example of how to write a research question
The research questions are derived from the research objectives and they are as follows;
i. What is the frequency of coverage of Nigeria 2019 general elections by the guardian newspaper?
ii. What media genres did the 2019 general elections appear in the guardian newspaper?
iii. What is the level of prominence given the coverage of the 2019 Nigeria general elections by the guardian newspaper?
iv. What political themes were reported during the 2019 Nigeria general election by the guardian newspaper?
The above illustration guides you on formulating a research question from a research objective. If you need further assistance on formulation your project research question, please visit our homepage https://codemint.net/ and use the chatbot for immediate assistance.