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Forming Research Question and Hypothesis


The success of a research project is greatly enhanced
when the start is correctly defined as a precise statement of goals and
justification. Having accomplished this, the sequential steps necessary for writing
a research plan and then successfully executing a research project are easier
to identify and organize. A research plan consists of two general areas:
research concepts and context and research logistics Having a questioning attitude is the first step in the research process.
Research begins with a question, which leads to a hypothesis.


Forming the research question is
not that easy as it may sound. It seems that it should be the simplest part in
nonprofit research, but in fact it is just the opposite. Getting to the
question that is a real inquiry is something that most nonprofit researchers
struggle with. The purpose of this material is to help you to form a hypothesis
or a research question.

Let’s assume that at this point, we
are clear what the topic of the research or investigation is. Let’s say the
focus of the research is what would be the role of a sport club in the youth
life in a given community, Goodtown. The nonprofit is considering raising funds
for the baseball league at Goodtown. The first attempt of the forming the
research questions is: 
“Will the youth
in Goodtown benefits from opening the baseball league in the community?” It seems
like a good enough question. But the problem with this questions is that it’s a
“yes/ or no” question. It is not recommended to form a research question with a
yes or no output as there is nothing really to research, it not a real inquiry.
You want to keep the question as open ended as possible.

The second attempt of the reach
question should sound like: “How the youth in a Goodtown benefits from the
baseball league?” It is a very broad research question and if the researcher
puts, “will it reduce the youth crime in the town”, it is leading to an answer.
It is not a real inquiry, but a leading question. A nonprofit researcher will
not get much research results, from the research like that.

The third attempt to form a
question is “How will opening a baseball league in Goodtown help youth better
understand the sports and, therefore, be able better communicate with peers in
a small and large groups?” The problem with this question is that it is very
wordy and too long. Cut it down, size to the point that you want to know, no

The last attempt is: “What will
happen if a nonprofit starts a baseball league for youth in Goodtown?” It is a perfect
question. When forming a research question, nonprofits should keep in mind the
following don’t:

  1. it is not a yes/no question;

  2. it s not leading to a expected results;

  3. it is not too long and wordy;

  4. it is easy to understand, open-ended, true inquiry.

..\..\Armine Arustamyan-GRC605.mpg


The research can help further
identify the service and narrow down the options. So going back to the example
of opening a baseball league, identifying the problem and asking the question
is the key to the successful research results. This way it can be ensured
better long-term success for nonprofit and less wasted capacity and resources.

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