Good research is driven by the synthesis of one’s passion or interest with a topic that has been under-studied in the professional literature. Out of that synthesis emerges a gap—an area in need of further study that is consistent with your interests—that defines the research problem. Clarifying the research problem takes time, effort, and thought.
Once you have developed your research problem, the research purpose and research question become self-evident.
What also becomes evident is your position with respect to the topic, the question, and what you hope to find. Qualitative research recognizes that the research “space” is shaped by both the participants and the researcher.