When you have gained an overall understanding of your topic, the next step is to narrow and focus on the topic. From there, you can develop your research question.
A good research question will help you (and your readers) articulate the direction of your research - what issue you are trying to look at and what kind of information you need to be looking for.
Watch this short video to learn how to narrow the topic and develop a good research question.
You have learned from the video about 5W questions, which is a great tool to help you narrow the topic.
Below, you will find an example of how the 5W questions can be applied to our topic: Hotel industry & Covid.
If you have difficulties to formulate your research question from the 5W questions, you can try further refine your topic by completing the following three prompts:
|Three prompts||Try to complete these sentences ...|
|1 - Topic: What you are writing about||I am studying the topic of ...|
|2 - Indirect question: What you don't know about your topic||because I want to find out (what/why/how/if) ...|
|3 - Significance: Why you want your reader to know and care about it||in order to help my reader understand ...|
Let's see how this can be applied to our topic: Hotel industry & Covid.
1 - Topic: I am studying the topic of the relationship between hotel industry and Covid-19.
2 - Indirect question: because I want to find out how and to what extent revenue management can be implemented in the hotel industry during low-demand periods, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis.
3 - Significance: In order to help my reader understand the impact of COVID-19 on the revenue management practices.
Tip You may not be able to fill in the third prompt - the Significance of your research until you have done a fair bit of research and reading first. You can learn how to write this part from reading others' articles - Usually, the authors will state the significance of their study in the Introduction part.
From the video, you have learnt what a good research question should be like. Here's a quick summary for your easy reference:
More examples of not-ideal research questions (x) and the improved versions (v).
Mohess, N. (2015). The research process 2016. https://academicworks.cuny.edu/qb_oers/14