In order to set a research question you must perform a literature review. This will form the basis of your project and should contain a clear argument that explains how you made your choice of literature and how you are approaching your review.
It should also indicate a single clearly defined gap in the literature of an empirical and/or theoretical nature. How you intend to fill that gap is expressed in your research question.
Common errors students make in their literature reviews include:
- attempting to describe every publication in a body of literature instead of making critically informed choices
- describing chosen pieces of literature without critically analysing them around a core argument
- treating the literature review as an arbitrary requirement that merely demonstrates some knowledge of the chosen subject, without appreciating that it is the key driver in explaining how the research project needs to contribute to the supporting literature
Your project research and report should always reflect back on the findings from your literature review and your research question. In your report, this should be the main focus of your Discussion chapter. You must ensure that you present your answer to your research question in this discussion.