Uncovering the Essential Wh-Questions of Research

Introduction

The Wh-questions of research (What? Why? Who? Where? How?) are essential for any researcher seeking to understand a phenomenon and generate new knowledge. These questions provide a framework for approaching and conducting research, and are central to the design and execution of a study. In this essay, we will explore the role of these questions in shaping the direction of a research project, drawing on the insights of Walliman, Nicholas in Your Research Project and Neuman, W.L. in Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches.

What?

The "What?" question is concerned with the research topic or problem being investigated. It helps to define the scope and focus of the study, and determines the questions and hypotheses that will guide the research. According to Walliman, it is important to choose a research topic that is clear, manageable, and relevant to your field of study or area of interest. It should also be grounded in the existing literature and contribute to the development of new knowledge in the field.

The "What?" question is also related to the research design and methodologies used to collect and analyze data. Walliman suggests considering the type of data that will be collected (qualitative or quantitative), the sample size and population being studied, and the data collection and analysis techniques that will be employed. It is also important to consider the ethical implications of the research, such as the protection of human and animal subjects and the responsible use of data.

Why?

The "Why?" question addresses the purpose or motivation behind the research. It helps to define the research question and aims, and to identify the contribution that the study will make to the field. According to Walliman, the research question should be clear, specific, and focused, and should reflect the purpose of the study. It should also be feasible to research and answerable using the available resources and time.

The "Why?" question is also related to the research design and methodologies used to collect and analyze data. Neuman notes that different research methods are suited to different research questions and purposes, and that the choice of method should be based on the nature of the research problem, the research question, and the goals of the study. For example, qualitative methods may be more suitable for exploring complex or multifaceted research questions, while quantitative methods may be more suitable for testing hypotheses or relationships between variables.

Who?

The "Who?" question refers to the participants or subjects of the study, and helps to define the sample and population being studied. According to Walliman, it is important to carefully consider the sampling strategy and sample size, as well as the representation and diversity of the sample. It is also important to consider the ethical implications of the research, such as the informed consent of participants and the protection of their privacy and confidentiality.

The "Who?" question is also related to the research design and methodologies used to collect and analyze data. Neuman notes that different sampling techniques are suited to different research questions and purposes, and that the choice of technique should be based on the nature of the research problem, the research question, and the goals of the study. For example, random sampling may be more suitable for testing hypotheses or relationships between variables, while purposive sampling may be more suitable for exploring complex or multifaceted research questions.

Where?

The "Where?" question refers to the location or setting of the study, and helps to define the context in which the research will be conducted. According to Walliman, it is important to carefully consider the relevance and appropriateness of the research setting, as well as the access and availability of participants or subjects. It is also important to consider the ethical implications of the research



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