Take Home Messages

Developing a specific research question for your dissertation can be a tricky business. These top ‘take home’ tips help in formulating your question effectively.

  • Use the academic reading to develop your question. Reading can help us identify a specific line of enquiry from an awareness of existing research (i.e. what has been done before) or, if we already have a specific idea, it can help us to couch our project within the relevant foregrounding literature (an essential task as part of your literature review).
  • Think carefully about the wording of your question. Does it accurately convey want you want to find out? Is it ‘to the point’ or is it too long winded? Does it express the kind of approach (see Chapter 2) and methods you will use? (i.e. does it suggest you will find a definitive answer or subjective meanings?) Draft and re-draft the wording of your question until you are happy that it reflects the nature of your project.