Writing a qualitative research questions

According to Miles and Huberman (1994), who recommended that researchers write “no more than a dozen qualitative research questions in all  (central and subquestions).  The subquestions,  in turn, can become specific questions used during interviews ( or in observing or when looking at documents). In developing an interview protocol or guide, the researcher might ask an ice breaker question at the beginning, for example, followed by five or subquestions in the study. The interview would then end with an additional wrap-up or summary question or ask”. See “Who should I turn to, to learn more about this topic?? ( Asmusse & Creswell, 1995).

  • “Ask one or two central  questions followed by by no more than five to seven sub-questions. Several subquestions follows each general central question; the subquestion narrow the focus of the study but leave open the questioning “.
  • “Relate the central question to the specific qualitative strategy of inquiry.”
  • “Begin the research questions with the words what or how to convey an open and emerging design.”
  • ” Focus on a single phenomenon or concept: To begin a study  with a single focus to explore in great details:
  • “Use exploratory verbs that convey the language of emerging design. These verbs tell that the study will:
    • Discover (e.g grounded theory)
    • Seek to understand (e.g ethnography)
    • Explore a process  (e.g case study)
    • Describe the experiences (e.g phenomenology)
    • Report the stories (e.g narrative research)
  • “Use these more exploratory verbs that are nondirectional rather than directional words that suggest  quantitative research, such as “affect”, “influence”, “impact”, “determine”, “cause” and “relate.”
  • “Expect the research the questions to evolve and change during the study in a manner consistent  with the assumptions of an emerging design”.
  • “Use open-ended questions without reference to the literature or theory unless otherwise indicated by a qualitative strategy of inquiry.”
  • “Specify the participants and the research site for the study. If the information has not yet been given.”

John W.Creswell:Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approches  (2009), SAGE Pub, Pg 129-133.