Aim: To describe the development of a research question, aim and objective.
Background: The first steps of any study are developing the research question, aim and objective. Subsequent steps develop from these and they govern the researchers' choice of population, setting, data to be collected and time period for the study. Clear, succinctly posed research questions, aims and objectives are essential if studies are to be successful.
Discussion: Researchers developing their research questions, aims and objectives generally experience difficulties. They are often overwhelmed trying to convert what they see as a relevant issue from practice into research. This necessitates engaging with the relevant published literature and knowledgeable people.
Conclusion: This paper identifies the issues to be considered when developing a research question, aim and objective. Understanding these considerations will enable researchers to effectively present their research question, aim and objective.
Implications for practice: To conduct successful studies, researchers should develop clear research questions, aims and objectives.
Keywords: novice researchers; nursing research; research aim; research objective; research question; study development.