How to…write a good research question

  title={How to…write a good research question},
  author={Karen Mattick and Jenny Johnston and Anne de la Croix},
  journal={The Clinical Teacher},
This paper, on writing research questions, is the first in a series that aims to support novice researchers within clinical education, particularly those undertaking their first qualitative study. Put simply, a research question is a question that a research project sets out to answer. Most research questions will lead to a project that aims to generate new insights, but the target audience and the methodology will vary widely. The term ‘evaluation question’ is used less commonly, but the same… 
How to … assess the quality of qualitative research
This ‘How to …’ article aims to support health care practitioners, educators and researchers to recognise some of the essential characteristics or ‘markers’ of high‐quality qualitative research.
How to…choose between different types of data
Examples of how research participants may tell you about their experiences through audio diaries, how they may show you what is going on by drawing a picture, and how you can study what actually happens in practice by observing how people interact, move, dress and use space are provided.
How to…do research interviews in different ways
This article is the next instalment in the ‘How to…’ series about qualitative research, and focuses on interviews, and reflects on what a ‘good’ research interview is.
How to … use qualitative research to change practice
Action research and The Change Laboratory method are presented as two approaches that typically involve qualitative research and have potential to change practice, blending scientific inquiry with social action.
How to… get started with theory in education
This paper, introducing different levels of theory and examples of how to use theory, will shed light on how theory can be used in research, and that it will help you in getting to grips with using theory in your own work.
Epilogue: Celebrating the completion of the ‘How to…’ series on qualitative research
This editorial is an epilogue to close the How to... series in qualitative research, in which the authors presented multiple ways in which qualitative approaches can be thoughtfully and successfully utilised in the context of health professional education and clinical practice.
Generating a Research Question: Keep the Imagination Roaming
  • M. Ali
  • Education
    Seminars in ophthalmology
  • 2022
The American Novelist Thomas Berger (1924–2014) once said, ‘The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge’. While this seems to be true for any knowledge, it is precisely so
Reducing research wastage by starting off on the right foot: optimally framing the research question
The extent to which research questions in journals that focused on patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) and quality of life (QOL) are clear was estimated, with almost half of the questions being poorly framed or unframed a practice that could contribute to research wastage.
A Practitioner’s Guide to Performing a Holistic Evaluation of Technology-Enhanced Learning in Medical Education
In this monograph, a series of pragmatic and achievable approaches for conducting a holistic evaluation of a TEL resource intervention are detailed based on an established TEL evaluation framework, as well as the author's own experience and that of the broader literature.
Confusing questions in qualitative inquiry: Research, interview, and analysis
This essay falls into the category of advice for early career scholars looking for tips on publishing empirical manuscripts based on qualitative research projects. Previous QSW editorials of similar


Undertaking and reporting qualitative research
This toolbox article is helpful for both reading and carrying out qualitative research, as many clinical teachers have been educated within a quantitative framework.
Developing qualitative research questions: a reflective process
The reflective and interrogative processes required for developing effective qualitative research questions can give shape and direction to a study in ways that are often underestimated. Good
Utilization of the PICO framework to improve searching PubMed for clinical questions
There was a trend towards higher precision that needs to be investigated in a larger study to determine if PICO can improve the relevancy of search results, and this pilot study could not demonstrate a statistically significant difference between the search protocols.
The complexity of empathy during medical school training: evidence for positive changes
It is critical to assess changes across its distinct components using multiple measures in order to better understand how it is influenced by medical training.
Exploring stakeholders’ views of medical education research priorities: a national survey
This study aimed to identify the views of multiple stakeholders on MER priorities in Scotland by conducting priority‐setting exercises for medical education research.
Feedback in action within bedside teaching encounters: a video ethnographic study
Feedback associated with teaching activities is often synonymous with reflection on action, which comprises the evaluative assessment of performance out of its original context. Feedback in action
Joining a conversation: the problem/gap/hook heuristic
  • L. Lingard
  • Business
    Perspectives on medical education
  • 2015
In the writer’s craft section we offer simple tips to improve your writing in one of three areas: Energy, Clarity and Persuasiveness. Each entry focuses on a key writing feature or strategy,
Research paradigms in medical education research
Medical Education 2010: 44: 358–366