Research Question Examples 🧑🏻🏫
25+ Practical Examples & Ideas To Help You Get Started
By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | October 2023
A well-crafted research question (or set of questions) sets the stage for a robust study and meaningful insights. But, if you’re new to research, it’s not always clear what exactly constitutes a good research question. In this post, we’ll provide you with clear examples of quality research questions across various disciplines, so that you can approach your research project with confidence!
Let’s start by looking at some examples of research questions that you might encounter within the discipline of psychology.
How does sleep quality affect academic performance in university students?
This question is specific to a population (university students) and looks at a direct relationship between sleep and academic performance, both of which are quantifiable and measurable variables.
What factors contribute to the onset of anxiety disorders in adolescents?
The question narrows down the age group and focuses on identifying multiple contributing factors. There are various ways in which it could be approached from a methodological standpoint, including both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Do mindfulness techniques improve emotional well-being?
This is a focused research question aiming to evaluate the effectiveness of a specific intervention.
How does early childhood trauma impact adult relationships?
This research question targets a clear cause-and-effect relationship over a long timescale, making it focused but comprehensive.
Is there a correlation between screen time and depression in teenagers?
This research question focuses on an in-demand current issue and a specific demographic, allowing for a focused investigation. The key variables are clearly stated within the question and can be measured and analysed (i.e., high feasibility).
Next, let’s look at some examples of well-articulated research questions within the business and management realm.
How do leadership styles impact employee retention?
This is an example of a strong research question because it directly looks at the effect of one variable (leadership styles) on another (employee retention), allowing from a strongly aligned methodological approach.
What role does corporate social responsibility play in consumer choice?
Current and precise, this research question can reveal how social concerns are influencing buying behaviour by way of a qualitative exploration.
Does remote work increase or decrease productivity in tech companies?
Focused on a particular industry and a hot topic, this research question could yield timely, actionable insights that would have high practical value in the real world.
How do economic downturns affect small businesses in the homebuilding industry?
Vital for policy-making, this highly specific research question aims to uncover the challenges faced by small businesses within a certain industry.
Which employee benefits have the greatest impact on job satisfaction?
By being straightforward and specific, answering this research question could provide tangible insights to employers.
Next, let’s look at some potential research questions within the education, training and development domain.
How does class size affect students’ academic performance in primary schools?
This example research question targets two clearly defined variables, which can be measured and analysed relatively easily.
Do online courses result in better retention of material than traditional courses?
Timely, specific and focused, answering this research question can help inform educational policy and personal choices about learning formats.
What impact do US public school lunches have on student health?
Targeting a specific, well-defined context, the research could lead to direct changes in public health policies.
To what degree does parental involvement improve academic outcomes in secondary education in the Midwest?
This research question focuses on a specific context (secondary education in the Midwest) and has clearly defined constructs.
What are the negative effects of standardised tests on student learning within Oklahoma primary schools?
This research question has a clear focus (negative outcomes) and is narrowed into a very specific context.
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Shifting to a different field, let’s look at some examples of research questions within the healthcare space.
What are the most effective treatments for chronic back pain amongst UK senior males?
Specific and solution-oriented, this research question focuses on clear variables and a well-defined context (senior males within the UK).
How do different healthcare policies affect patient satisfaction in public hospitals in South Africa?
This question is has clearly defined variables and is narrowly focused in terms of context.
Which factors contribute to obesity rates in urban areas within California?
This question is focused yet broad, aiming to reveal several contributing factors for targeted interventions.
Does telemedicine provide the same perceived quality of care as in-person visits for diabetes patients?
Ideal for a qualitative study, this research question explores a single construct (perceived quality of care) within a well-defined sample (diabetes patients).
Which lifestyle factors have the greatest affect on the risk of heart disease?
This research question aims to uncover modifiable factors, offering preventive health recommendations.
Examples: Computer Science
Last but certainly not least, let’s look at a few examples of research questions within the computer science world.
What are the perceived risks of cloud-based storage systems?
Highly relevant in our digital age, this research question would align well with a qualitative interview approach to better understand what users feel the key risks of cloud storage are.
Which factors affect the energy efficiency of data centres in Ohio?
With a clear focus, this research question lays a firm foundation for a quantitative study.
How do TikTok algorithms impact user behaviour amongst new graduates?
While this research question is more open-ended, it could form the basis for a qualitative investigation.
What are the perceived risk and benefits of open-source software software within the web design industry?
Practical and straightforward, the results could guide both developers and end-users in their choices.
Remember, these are just examples…
In this post, we’ve tried to provide a wide range of research question examples to help you get a feel for what research questions look like in practice. That said, it’s important to remember that these are just examples and don’t necessarily equate to good research topics. If you’re still trying to find a topic, check out our topic megalist for inspiration.
Psst… there’s more (for free)
This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project.