What is the most important thing you need to do when conducting research? Come up with a good study question! A properly articulated topic question can help you define the purpose of your study and create an outline of your paper.
If you feel stuck with your research, you should check out our topic question generator. It is a tool designed specifically for students who want to improve their writing. Learn everything about our generator and the process of creating a good topic question from this article.
✅ Topic Question Generator
No doubt, developing a compelling topic question requires some time and effort. However, this skill can improve your critical thinking and be helpful in and outside the classroom.
In case you aren't satisfied with your topic question or don't have time to come up with one, there's a solution. You can always use our free online topic question generator. This tool will develop the most relevant topic question for you in a few clicks!
🤓 What Is a Topic Question?
A research question is a question around which you build your research. It aims to solve a particular issue, narrow a broader topic to a more specific one, establish research methods and sample size, and help choose suitable sources.
Usually, the topic question is expressed in the introductory part of the writing. It gives readers a clear understanding of what to expect from the research. While many research projects focus on one topic question, more influential studies may have several.
Research Topic Vs. Research Topic Question
So, what is the difference between a topic and a topic question?
|💡 A research topic||❓ A research question|
|A research topic is a particular subject or issues you investigate in your writing. Often topics are general areas of interest for many students and researchers. For example, the trendiest topics in 2022 are related to the impact of COVID-19, sex education, and bullying in high school.||Some topics can be too broad. In that case, creating a research question helps to narrow down the study area. Research questions are focused on smaller fragments of information within the topic.|
Imagine you want to talk about immigration. What particular aspect of this complex phenomenon will you analyze in your writing? The possible research question for this topic could be: "How can the laws regulating immigration in America be improved?".
Why Is Research Question Important?
Topic questions are essential to the whole research process. Along with hypotheses, they act as a guiding framework for the study, reveal the boundaries of the research, set the limits, and ensure cohesion. A well-crafted research question will motivate you to think deeply about the topic and give new food for thought.
📝 How to Develop a Topic Question?
We've developed this step-by-step guide to ensure you can create the most relevant research question for your writing. However, remember that the free topic question generator is available on our website.
Step 1 - Choose & Narrow down a Topic
- Choose a topic for your research. If the subject is not mentioned in your assignment, choose the one you find interesting. If a topic sparks your curiosity, it will keep you motivated and help fight writer's block. However, remember that your case should be relevant to your field of study.
- Narrow down your topic. To limit your scope, see what aspects of your case have already been discussed by other scholars and what you can contribute.
Imagine you're interested in employee education. However, this sphere is too broad and requires analyzing too much information. You can narrow it down and make investments in education the main topic of your writing.
Step 2 - Research
- Research your topic. See if there's enough information for your research by looking up your keywords in Google Scholar or other online libraries. You may also use your lecture notes and textbooks for additional background information.
- You may need to adjust your topic's focus based on the available resources. Lack of literary sources is one of the challenges many students face.
Luckily, plenty of scientific material is dedicated to employee education. When coming up with a topic, remember to check if the information you're about to use is up-to-date and relevant.
Step 3 – Ask Questions
Ask yourself questions. Having done the primary research on the topic, focus on the aspects you haven't covered yet. One helpful technique is asking open-ended "how" and "why" questions.Example
Even though many companies practice employee education, it is still full of controversies and mysteries. How does online training affect employees’ performance? How is it different from offline activities? Why do some people question the effectiveness of collective exercises?
Step 4 – Check Your Questions
- Evaluate your questions. Having come up with a list of possible questions, you need to determine the most effective ones. Your research question needs to be clear, concise and focused.
- Make your question more arguable. Suppose your question consists of well-known facts. In that case, both you and the readers might get bored. Come up with a research question that leaves room for debate.
Should companies invest more in employees’ online and offline education?
Step 5 – Use Your Question in the Paper
- Keep in mind that the topic question is a roadmap for your writing. Stick to it when you choose articles for your literature review. Remember that every part of your writing needs to be somehow connected with your topic question, including the conclusion.
- Remind readers of your research question when you get to the final part of your paper. You can do it by paraphrasing. And most importantly, check if it has been appropriately answered through your research paper.
🔦 Research Topic Question Generator Examples
Consider these examples to understand the difference between effective and ineffective topic questions.
Bad: How can higher education become cheaper?
Good: What measures can the US government take to make higher education more accessible to the citizens?
The first version is unclear and does not specify who is responsible for making higher education cheaper and in which country. This question leaves too much room for ambiguity and personal interpretation.
Bad: What are the adverse effects of social media addiction?
Good: What are the most significant effects of social media addiction on self-esteem and interpersonal relationships?
As you can see, the first option for the research question is too simple and can be easily Googled. If you want to make your readers curious, developing something more complex is always better.