How to frame research questions or hypotheses for your PhD research

“A question well stated is a question half answered”

Your topic was introduced, background information provided, and the purpose clearly stated . In this section of your research, you state the research questions or hypotheses for the study and usually provide the structure for presenting the results of research. Generally, good research questions should have the following:

  • Clear variables / concept 
  • Obvious measurement type ( description, relation, difference)
  • No how or why questions
  • “Thing words” clarified (succes, processes, achievement , factor, etc)
  • No question that can be answered by counting or by answering “yes” or “no”

In quantitative studies, research hypotheses state the expectations of the researcher concerning the relationship between variables . They indicate what the researcher thinks the outcome of the study will be. If your study is looking at differences , you may wish to state your hypothesis as a null hypothesis that states there is no difference between variables. The research questions operationally define the general terms used in purpose statements(e.g., changes and factors).

Because the qualitative research paradigm is characterized by the emergence of questions during the course of data collection and analysis, the author may (a) present the original research questions in the chapter and then, in the methodology chapter, discuss how these changed during data and analysis; or (b) present the final questions that emerged during data collection and analysis.

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