Postgraduate study skills in science, technology or mathematics
Postgraduate study skills in science, technology or mathematics

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1.7.3 Framing an appropriate and useful research question

At the heart of any research is the research question. The quality of output hinges on the quality of the question: why it is asked, how it is asked, how it relates to other questions and knowledge, and what might constitute an answer. Hence, one key skill is demonstration of the ability to develop a well-formulated question. The examiner will be looking for evidence of:

  • articulation of the motivation and significance of the question

  • situation in existing literature – coverage and limitations of existing and competing research, awareness of where your work fits in relation to the discipline, and what it contributes to the discipline

  • identification and critique of alternative approaches.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371