EDDD 8003 Walden University The Framework and Research Question

The Research Question

Research begins with asking a question and then finding a valid answer to that question. These questions are the culmination of the refinement process. Avoid questions that cannot be answered with the tools that are available.

—Gary Thomas (2017, p. 7)

After many months, you may be able to present a clear problem. Then, you determine the small slice of the problem to address, which you express in a purpose statement. Finally, the problem, purpose, and framework are all in alignment. The next step is to identify the specific, achievable questions that will guide most decisions that remain in the study. These are the research questions (RQ).

You are probably months away from having a finalized RQ but it is not too soon to evaluate RQs and practice developing your own. With that in mind, take careful notes in the readings, and set your course for the refinement that lies ahead.

Notes on Readings

Butin provides several tips that are valuable in developing what many think is the most difficult task of the capstone: posing the best question (in particular, read page 122).

In the selection by Thomas, pay particular attention to the various methods of narrowing your question. His questions, on page 18, no doubt reflect his experience in reading and rejecting hundreds of flawed research questions. Also note his guidance on the linear versus recursive plans on page 19. Prepare yourself for the recursive plan!

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Develop research questions
  • Apply knowledge of APA References
  • Apply knowledge of doctoral study


Butin, D. W. (2010). The education dissertation: A guide for practitioner scholars. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Chapter 3, “Focusing Your Research” (pp. 50–55 and pp. 58-61)

Chapter 6, “Putting It All Together” (p. 122)

  • Thomas, G. (2017). How to do your research project: A guide for students (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Chapter 1, “Your Introduction: Starting Points” (pp. 7–26)

Assignment: The Framework and Research Question

This is the week when you begin thinking about the framework that supports your study, and you begin to identify research questions. Although this is still early in your capstone process, the experience will help you appreciate how these elements are developed.

To prepare:

Further refine your paper to include a sample theoretical or conceptual framework and a sample research question. Include the following:

  • Identify one theorist and theory.
  • Explain the primary postulates of the theory and how they relate to your problem and purpose.
  • Review two to three major research studies related to the framework and your study.
  • Clearly explain how the theory or conceptual framework aligns with your problem, purpose, and research questions. What ties them together?
  • Provide a research question.

This is to be added into the paper you are writing…with the problem and purpose statement


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