A scientific research question is an important part of writing any type of paper, not just those that are science oriented. Writing a strong, clear, focused question is your main goal in this section!
This article will go into detail about how to write a scientific research question. There will be some examples as well as strategies for developing your question-writing skills. Stay tuned and read on!
What Is a Scientific Research Question?
A scientific research question (also known as a research topic or thesis statement) is a key element in making progress towards completing a study assignment or project.
It can be difficult to identify this fundamental piece at the beginning of a study, but it will grow over time as you add components to it. Once it is identified, then the rest of the writing flows easily.
The word “question” may sound simple, but there are several types! Here we will focus only on structured questions with their corresponding bullets.
Topic and Body
In order to create a good question, you need to start with a topic or body. The body is what contains and leads up to the question. This is the opposite of the bullet which is usually a separate thought that comes after the question.
Your bodies should make logical statements based off of the topic. For example, if the topic was something like why people have social connections, then the body could state something like “People connect because they feel understood and accepted by others.
Organize your thoughts
The second major factor in writing strong research questions is organizing your thoughts. When you start writing, make sure your ideas are clearly defined before moving onto the next concept.
It is very difficult to take notes while you are thinking about what question to ask! Make sure your answers are written down first so that you do not forget them.
You can now read more about how to write a scientific research question at https://www.healthcarepros.com/how-to-write-a-scientific-research-question/.
Narrow down your topic
The next step in writing scientific research questions is to narrow down your topic. This can be tricky because you do not want your topic to be too broad, but you also do not want it to be too specific.
If your topic is “How to Bake the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies” then your question will probably contain the word cookies. You get points for length, but not for specificity! So, how about we rephrase the above example using less specific terms?
“What are the best recipes for making chocolate chip cookies that are soft and buttery?” or even better – “what are the ideal proportions of ingredients when baking chocolate chip cookies?”
Now your question has lost its point, and you have wasted time looking up the recipe! Luckily, there are strategies you can use to make sure your question makes sense and gets answered properly.
Create your question
The next step in writing effective SRQs is to create your question or query. This is what you ask people to read your paper/article/blog post on!
Your scientific research questions must be clear, unambiguous, and very specific. If they are not, then people will have a hard time interpreting what you want them to do or think about.
Also, make sure that your question makes sense. For example, if your topic is how to reduce obesity, asking “Is diet better than exercise for weight loss?” would not make much sense. Because you would already know that!
The same goes for if you were reading an article about why diets may not work, so that would not really help anyone. Asking whether a vegetarian diet is healthier than a meat-only one also seems like it would not lead to any new information.
Therefore, the reader would need to first determine whether they are a vegetarian before looking into reasons why eating fewer processed foods and more fruits and vegetables can improve your health. All of this would take up extra time on their part which could hurt your paper’s effectiveness. Make sure your question is clearly defined and concise.
On the other hand, if your topic was ways to increase muscle mass, then asking about the difference between male and female hormones would not go too well.
Check your spelling and grammar
After you write your opening, check your spelling and grammar! Take some time to do this properly as later in the writing process people may read what you have written.
This will hurt no one but yourself. If you are having trouble proofreading, take a break and come back to it later. You should be able to give yourself enough time to make sure everything sounds okay before submitting.
Your first few drafts of an article often need more attention to detail than subsequent versions.
Research your topic
The next step in writing scientific research is defining your topic. This can be tricky because there are so many different versions of what constitutes a “topic”. For example, if you read this article then your current topic is reading!
But how about when you go swimming? Yours has changed today since you learned how to swim as a kid. You don’t have to learn how to swim anymore because you’re already proficient.
Similarly, with science it’s not always easy to know where to focus your attention. There are an infinite number of topics within each field, and even outside fields like biology or chemistry that seem related at first glance.
That’s why having a good understanding of the basics is important before moving onto more advanced concepts. In this section we’ll discuss some tips for developing your scientific question-writing skills by looking at examples of questions and answers.
A scientific research question is asking for information or insights into an topic with which you are familiar. It is asking about something that you know something about, and is therefore not appropriate or meaningful if it does not contain enough information to be answered.
Ask yourself what you want to learn about before you begin writing down your question. Then, determine whether this new knowledge will help you achieve your goal. If so, then create a strong question around that theme!
Your audience can easily tell when you are trying to sound like a professional, so make sure yours sounds natural and authentic. Make sure to use proper grammar and write in your own style.
Once done, publish your question using free publication platforms such as KakaoTalk or Facebook.
Make it clear
Writing a scientific research question is very different from writing an article or a sentence or a paragraph! Because a scientific research question has to be answered with facts, there are certain rules that you must follow when asking your question.
First of all, make sure your question is clearly written. The way to do this is by using good grammar and spelling, and making it easy for readers to understand what you are trying to ask.
The second thing to watch out for is how you phrase your questions. Try to use active voice instead of passive voice if possible. This will help convey more strength and emphasis on the question, and can draw attention to the verbs instead of the nouns.
Third, know the difference between a factual statement and a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a claim that cannot be proved or disproved until it is tested. Therefore, it should not be framed as fact, but rather as something that someone believes to be true.
As mentioned before, scientific research questions are very broad. This can be difficult to understand as an audience member because they seem like they want answers already!
As a reader, you do not want to read through pages of writing that feel vague. If the writer or article does not clearly state what they intend to talk about, then you will have to go look it up themselves!
This could be confusing both for you as a reader and them as writers. It is important that they define their topic early on so that people do not waste time reading about things that may not apply to their goal.
Make sure everything is clear before moving onto the next part. Check out our other posts here at Writer’s Digest Online to learn more tips for establishing a topic and setting your own tone.