Research Questions and Logics of Inquiry

Interesting work begins not just with a problem . . . but with a puzzle. . . . Great leaps forward . . . often take place when someone sees puzzles, where others have only seen facts.

—Robert O. Keohane (2009: 360)

Research designs answer the question: How are you going to conduct the research that will address your research question? Before one can even begin to design a research project, then, one needs not only a topic of research but a research question—and, although sometimes used interchangeably, the two are not the same!1 Articulating that research question itself can reveal the approach or logic of inquiry it contains and rests on; and that logic of inquiry—that way of knowing—itself ...

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