refining research question

Module 1: Refining a Research Question Background Possibly the most difficult part of any clinical research endeavour is to come up with a reasonable question and focus it to the point where it can be answered. CHAPTER 2 Research questions, hypotheses, and clinical questions Judith Haber Learning outcomes After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following: • Describe how the research question and hypothesis relate to the other components of the research process. Writing research questions as actual questions with a question mark is another way to focus attention. If none of these fit, move on to the next module. Library staff are happy to help you focus your ideas. What? Green, N. (2008) Formulating and refining a research question. In the preceding chapters, you started with an initial question and refined it as you learned more about the topic you’re studying. There is an inclination to state the area of research, rather than conceptualise the topic as a question. An effective research question is one that allows you reach a range of possible outcomes or conclusions. It builds upon the PICO acronym (Population, Intervention, Comparison and Outcomes) in two ways. "Is there a benefit in starting a program to prevent elderly clients from falls at home? Refining your Research Question for IB Standards A good research question is the central element of a well‐written paper. Beitz (2006) defined research questions as “an explicit query about a problem or issue that can be challenged, examined and analysed, and that will yield useful new information”. If you need guidance with topic formulation, Ask Us! New questions arise as you iterate and progress through discovering, refining, and improving your products and processes. Patrick Stone. Once you have a solid topic, formulate your research question or hypothesis and begin finding information. The thinking entailed in that exercise may lead them to a better place for refining research questions. In many subjects, the aim of the essay will normally be expressed as a question and, therefore, this criterion is called the “research question”. Types of Research Questions Academic communication should include an introduction in which your topic and thesis is clearly defined, an analysis of your topic, and a clear conclusion. Refining a Research Topic The most common problem in library research arises when a student chooses a topic that is too broad and is faced with an overwhelming amount of published material. A way to formulate an answerable question using the PICO model could look something like this: Research questions anchor your whole project, so it’s important to spend some time refining them. DIGITISED BOOK CHAPTER: | Chapter 3, pp. Research is only as good as the question and plan on which it is based; this is relevant to healthcare research because new knowledge comes from having asked answerable questions (Haynes, 2006). Who? Refining Research Questions What does an undeveloped question look like? What specific aspect of the broad topic idea is interesting to you? The acronym SPICE stands for Setting, Perspective, Intervention, Comparison and Evaluation, and provides a way to formulate practice questions for finding evidence in existing research. Similarly, Lipowski (2008) proposed three steps in the formulation of a great research question: » Ask interesting questions; » Select the best question for research; » Transform the research question into a testable hypothesis. The specificity of a well-developed research question helps writers avoid the “all-about” paper and work toward supporting a specific, arguable thesis. It’s a strong question that you can support with evidence or “grounds.” You are likely to offer warrants, those general principles that Where? Focused and researchable. Formulating a question that targets the goal of your research is a challenging but essential task. 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