Step Three: Create a research question or hypotheses



This should be 1) based on the literature; 2) contain the specific variables you want to explore; and 3) be testable/measureable.

In general a hypothesis will predict what you think you will find and is a stronger test of your ideas. A research question is posed when we don't have enough information to make an argument about what the results will likely be.

For instance,

RQ: Does increasing the number of teacher immediacy behaviors increase student engagement?

H: The number of teacher immediacy behaviors will be significantly and positively correlated with student engagement.


Cresswell, J.R. (2013).  Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches. 4th edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Chapter 7: Research Questions and Hypotheses:

Cresswell examples in articles:

Trader, R. (2013).  Handout for Quantitative Research Methods at McDaniel College – concise definition of RQ vs. H