All research questions should be:
However, it should also fulfill criteria in three main areas:
A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement, before your research objectives.
Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.
No, it’s not appropriate to present new arguments or evidence in the conclusion. While you might be tempted to save a striking argument for last, research papers follow a more formal structure than this.
All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the results and discussion sections if you are following a scientific structure). The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.
This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process.
The way you present your research problem in your introduction varies depending on the nature of your research paper. A research paper that presents a sustained argument will usually encapsulate this argument in a thesis statement.
A research paper designed to present the results of empirical research tends to present a research question that it seeks to answer. It may also include a hypothesis—a prediction that will be confirmed or disproved by your research.
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The Scribbr Citation Generator is developed using the open-source Citation Style Language (CSL) project and Frank Bennett’s citeproc-js. It’s the same technology used by dozens of other popular citation tools, including Mendeley and Zotero.
You can find all the citation styles and locales used in the Scribbr Citation Generator in our publicly accessible repository on Github.