Setting a research question, aim and objective
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Setting a research question, aim and objective

Owen Doody Lecturer, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick, Limerick, Republic of Ireland
Maria E Bailey Lecturer, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick, Republic of Ireland

Aim To describe the development of a research question, aim and objective.

Background The first steps of any study are developing the research question, aim and objective. Subsequent steps develop from these and they govern the researchers’ choice of population, setting, data to be collected and time period for the study. Clear, succinctly posed research questions, aims and objectives are essential if studies are to be successful.

Discussion Researchers developing their research questions, aims and objectives generally experience difficulties. They are often overwhelmed trying to convert what they see as a relevant issue from practice into research. This necessitates engaging with the relevant published literature and knowledgeable people.

Conclusion This paper identifies the issues to be considered when developing a research question, aim and objective. Understanding these considerations will enable researchers to effectively present their research question, aim and objective.

Implications for practice To conduct successful studies, researchers should develop clear research questions, aims and objectives.

Nurse Researcher. 23, 4, 19-23. doi: 10.7748/nr.23.4.19.s5

Correspondence

owen.doody@ul.ie

Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 04 November 2014

Accepted: 27 May 2015

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