Problem statement research paper

The aim of this work is to help novice researchers understand the value of problem-based research by providing a practical guide on the development of a well articulated and viable statement of a research-worthy problem as the starting point for all research. This could be a population or sample size, type, location, etc. This article illustrates the complexity of literature review through a 3-stage literature integration process.

Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln, editors. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, , pp. The purpose of a problem statement is to:. So What! In the social sciences, the research problem establishes the means by which you must answer the "So What? This question refers to a research problem surviving the relevancy test [the quality of a measurement procedure that provides repeatability and accuracy].

Note that answering the "So What? To survive the "So What" question, problem statements should possess the following attributes:. Critical Writing and Thinking. The Writing Center. Dean of the College. Brown University; Ellis, Timothy J. Writing Center. University of Wisconsin, Madison; Thesis Statements. Purdue University; Selwyn, Neil. Types and Content.

Related questions

There are four general conceptualizations of a research problem in the social sciences:. A problem statement in the social sciences should contain :. Given the content listed above, a description of the research problem is usually a short paragraph in length. Sources of Problems for Investigation.

The identification of a problem to study can be challenging, not because there's a lack of issues that could be investigated, but due to the challenge of formulating an academically relevant and researchable problem which is unique and does not simply duplicate the work of others. To facilitate how you might select a problem from which to build a research study, consider these sources of inspiration:. Deductions from Theory This relates to deductions made from social philosophy or generalizations embodied in life and in society that the researcher is familiar with.

These deductions from human behavior are then placed within an empirical frame of reference through research. From a theory, the researcher can formulate a research problem or hypothesis stating the expected findings in certain empirical situations. Interdisciplinary Perspectives Identifying a problem that forms the basis for a research study can come from academic movements and scholarship originating in disciplines outside of your primary area of study.

This can be an intellectually stimulating exercise. A review of pertinent literature should include examining research from related disciplines that can reveal new avenues of exploration and analysis. An interdisciplinary approach to selecting a research problem offers an opportunity to construct a more comprehensive understanding of a very complex issue that any single discipline may be able to provide.

Interviewing Practitioners The identification of research problems about particular topics can arise from formal interviews or informal discussions with practitioners who provide insight into new directions for future research and how to make research findings more relevant to practice.

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Problem statement

Discussions with experts in the field, such as, teachers, social workers, health care providers, lawyers, business leaders, etc. This approach also provides some practical knowledge which may help in the process of designing and conducting your study. Personal Experience Don't undervalue your everyday experiences or encounters as worthwhile problems for investigation. This can be derived, for example, from deliberate observations of certain relationships for which there is no clear explanation or witnessing an event that appears harmful to a person or group or that is out of the ordinary.

Generate your APA citations for free! Home Knowledge Base Starting the research process How to write a problem statement. Date updated: May 2, After you have identified a research problem for your project, the next step is to write a problem statement. It should: Put the problem in context what do we already know? Describe the precise issue that the research will address what do we need to know? Show the relevance of the problem why do we need to know it? Set the objectives of the research what will you do to find out?


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Example Voter turnout in region X has been decreasing steadily over the past ten years, in contrast to other areas of the country. What is your plagiarism score? Compare your paper with over 60 billion web pages and 30 million publications. Example Low voter turnout has been shown to have negative associations with social cohesion and civic engagement, and is becoming an area of increasing concern in many European democracies.


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  8. Example In the literature on the gig economy, these new forms of employment are sometimes characterized as a flexible active choice and sometimes as an exploitative last resort. Practical research aims and objectives The aim of this research is to investigate effective engagement strategies to increase voter turnout in region X. Is this article helpful? Shona McCombes Shona has a bachelor's and two master's degrees, so she's an expert at writing a great thesis.

    Problem Statements Handout Instructions // Purdue Writing Lab

    She has also worked as an editor and teacher, working with students at all different levels to improve their academic writing. Other students also liked. Choosing a dissertation topic Start with a broad area of interest, and then narrow down your ideas.

    How to Write a Problem Statement

    Make sure to consider the relevance and plausibility of your topic. How to define your research problem A research problem is the specific issue, contradiction, or gap you will address.

    How to identify a research problem?

    It gives your research a clear purpose and justification. Developing strong research questions Research questions give your project a clear focus. They should be specific and feasible, but complex enough to merit a detailed answer.

    Getting Started on a Problem Statement

    Akera santo May 22, at PM May you help me with the problem statement for. Give specific objectives too Reply. Mary April 24, at AM Hi, I would like to conduct and appreciative inquiry, I mean study where I am not necessarily look at the negative side but what has worked in my study. Thanks, Mary Reply.

    Guna July 28, at AM Good morning madam.. Thank you Reply. Hi Hannatu, Thank you for your question! If you have any questions still, you can also talk to us via the chat.