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MKT 342: Marketing Research

Developing a Topic into a Research Question

1. Select a topic: Choose something that's interesting to you! What are you curious about? What have you read recently that sparked your interest? Has your personal experience informed your research interests? 

2. Develop research questionsThese should be open-ended questions that communicate main ideas and issues that you would like to explore in your paper. A good research question is one that cannot be answered with a yes or a no. Use terms like why, how, and in what ways


  • Causes, effects, and solutions
  • Who, What, When, Where, Why/How
  • What specific issues or aspects do I want to investigate? 
  • What academic disciplines are involved in doing research on these issues?

Try narrowing your topic into a research question using UNLV's Topic Narrowing Tutorial

3. Generate keywords: Identify key concepts and terms in your research questions. Write down as many words, phrases, related terms, and synonyms you can think of. Use these key terms to start your research. You may find better keywords as you search. Look at subject terms and key phrases in titles and abstracts. 

4. Primary objective: Usually, the primary objective of a marketing plan is to influence customers to purchase whatever you're selling. Use your research question to set a specific goal in influencing consumer behavior.

Think SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and within a time frame.