Research is about asking questions and looking for ways to answer, or at least think deeply about the possible answers to those questions. Research generally involves three different levels of questioning:
- The specific research question you are asking. This refers to the precise focus of your original, independent research question and findings.
- Subsidiary questions guide the operational stages of your study. These questions are related to how you develop systematic steps to develop an answer to your research question. They also address assumptions that exist in your question and potential problems that may arise with your methodology.
- A general question of how your research contributes to knowledge. What is the significance of your findings?
In the process of conducting research, you will also ask participants a variety of questions aimed at collecting data which will help to address all three of these levels of questioning. Research participants respond to questions related to your specific research question, provide information that helps you to recognize assumptions in your approach, and help you to think about the significance of your findings in the larger forum of the production of knowledge.
This part of the MMEO website is devoted to understanding how to develop and conduct qualitative interviews. Take a look a the presentation below to learn more about interviews in research.