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To find the electric field at each point in vicinity of a charged particle $q$, place a small and insignificant positive charge, called test charge, $q_0$ at that point and then measure the force $\vec{F}$acting on it. The electric field $\overrightarrow{E}$ due to that point charge $q$ is defined as 
Electric field is a vector quantity that its magnitude is $E=F/q_0$ and its direction is in the same direction as the force acting on the test charge. In the other words, electric field points in opposite direction of the electric force acting on a negative charged particle.