針對不同種類的研究問題，研究者會利用各種不同的研究方法、資料來回答。許多研究方法的書都列了研究問題種類與研究方法的對照表，我下面列的是摘自 Yin (2009) 的 case study reserach (這本書有 kindle 版)。
|Methods||Form of research question||Requires control of behavioral events?||Focus on contemporary events?|
|Survey||who, what, where, how many, how much?||no||yes|
|Archival analysis||who, what, where, how many, how much?||no||yes/no|
|Case study||how, why?||no||yes|
定義研究問題可說是作研究中最重要的一步，要了解到研究問題必須同時包含實質 (substance, 也就是你的研究是關於什麼的) 與形式 (forms, 像是 who, how, why, what, where 等)。
但具體的研究問題是什麼，很可惜 Yin (2009) 指出一個方向。沒關係，Miles and Huberman (1994) 這本質化資料分析的經典作 Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook，給出了一些可能考的方向。雖然這是重在質化研究，但我覺得量化研究在某種程度上也可以參考參考。
|Sample questions||General form|
Do children read better as a result of this program?
Do children read better in this program as compared with other program?
|Does X cause Y?
Does X cause more of Y than Z cause of Y?
|Noncausal-research What is the daily experience of the children participating in this program?
Are the remedial centers located in the areas of primary need?
|What is X?
Is X located where Y is lowest?
|Noncausal-policy What do we mean by “special education children” and “remediation”?
Is this program receiving support from state and local officials for political rather than educational reasons?
|What does “Y” mean?
Why does S support X?
|Noncausal-evaluation What are the characteristics of the best CAI materials being used?
How do the various minority groups view this program and judge its quality?
|What makes W good?
Does T value X?
|Noncausal-management What is the cost-effectiveness of the program compared with other programs?
How can we maximize the scheduling of classes at the centers with minimum expense?
|Is X more cost-effective than Z?
How are U maximized and V minimized simultaneously?
由於這部分英文還不難，但是不太好翻譯，所以我就原汁原味的呈現出來。另，網友告知 Miles and Huberman (1994) 這本書有中文版，書名為質性研究資料分析，有興趣的可以看看。
Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.