3. Research Problem and Aims

This section should either set out the specific question(s) to which the student hopes to find an answer, or the research problems which are to be solved or state any hypotheses to be tested. In the case of open-ended topics in the Humanities, outline thes ubject/area/field to be critically investigated. It should indicate clearly what the research intends to achieve and the intended products of the research.

This should be a short section, and should use bullets to keep things brief.

Most candidates tackle this section as follows:

Start with general research aim/s or goal, stated in one or two clear sentences.

Identify specific objectives (use bullets).

State that "the investigation will be guided by the following research questions", then give the questions using a numbered list. There should not be more than four research questions (the ideal number is three, with subsections, if necessary).

Research questions are not the survey or interview questions for your participants, but the questions the research is intended to answer. Some candidates use a research hypothesis (i.e. a hypothetical case you will prove or disprove), but social science research should set out to answer three or four open-ended questions.

Last modified: Thursday, 6 December 2012, 12:25 PM