First things first, we need a good research question.
In BIOL116 you were introduced to experimental design and hypothesis testing. One of the things we didn't touch on in great detail was how to develop a research question.
How you formulate your research question will impact what you study and how you conduct that study.
When we think about transparency and reproducibility in research design and implementation, every step we take and every decision we make is predicated on earlier decisions; and things begin with a research question. Well, to be fair, developing a research question is an iterative process, but it underpins so many future decisions - it will inform your hypothesis – after all, your hypothesis is the testable statement that addresses your research question – which will then inform your study design and so on. So, we shouldn't gloss over it's importance!