In April and May, we will bring you quick and easy tips for making your writing more clear. Today, we’ll begin by discussing a hallmark of academic writing: Research Questions.
If you are writing any sort of paper that includes research questions, YOU MUST ANSWER THEM IN YOUR PAPER! Here are 9 reasons why you MUST answer your research questions:
1. It’s the whole point of your project.
If you wrote research questions before you began writing your project, they form the basis of your paper. They are the main point, or the reason that you began your project in the first place. No one wants their writing to feel pointless, so make sure to put The Point (the answers to the RQs!) in there.
2. Your reader is looking for the answer.
If you state a research question at the beginning of your paper, the reader knows that you set out to answer it. Therefore, the reader will be looking for the answer within your paper. They will feel dissatisfied if they don’t get an answer by the end.
3. The answers make sure that your paper has cohesion.
We expect a beginning, middle, and end to writing. The RQs provide the beginning, and the content of the paper provides the middle. If the answer to the research questions does not come in the end of the writing, it feels incomplete. Furthermore, if you aren’t answering your research questions, there’s a good chance that you wandered off in your ideas and you aren’t talking about the main idea anymore.
4. It will make you a better writer.
Writing with clarity is a skill that must be practiced. Using your research questions as a guide for your writing will improve your skills.
5. It sets up future research.
Research papers contribute to the body of knowledge. By clearly stating and answering research questions, you are providing a starting point for future research to fill in other areas that are unknown on your topic.
6. It clarifies your arguments.
If you state a research question and then clearly answer it, readers will be able to follow your reasoning.
7. It reduces reader confusion.
Similarly, if you clearly answer your research questions, readers will follow the logic and flow of your paper.
8. It makes you look smarter.
Leaving your research question unanswered could make it look like you either did not actually research your topic efficiently or like you do not know how to write a research paper. Answering the RQ, on the other hand, makes your writing look pulled together.
9. It increases your academic success.
If you are writing your paper for a grade, answering your research question proves to the professor that you did the work, boosting the likelihood of earning high marks. If you are writing your essay for publication or some other type of academic achievement, answering your research questions will show the journal or other audience that your research is coherent and contributes to the knowledge base.