Social Marketing
Nutrition and Physical Activity


Step 2: Write Research Questions

Once you've identified and analyzed your information gaps, the next step in phase 2 is to write research questions. Research questions are broad questions which, once answered, will fill your gaps and inform decisions about your program. Research questions are not questions that you would directly ask your target audience. They may be more general in nature or include concepts that wouldn't be understood by the target audience. If you start identifying questions that would belong on a survey instrument or focus group moderator's guide, put them aside. They may be helpful once you begin developing an instrument.

Research questions help to define the purpose of your formative research. The more clearly you can articulate your research questions, the easier it will be to develop a survey, focus group moderator's guide, or interview questions because your purpose is clear. Questions in those documents should be clearly connected to a research question that underlies your formative research.