Whether it’s a new take on an old observation, a reexamination of the data, or developing a workable solution, knowing how to write a research problem
details the process of examining an issue and reporting the results, whether your study is “basic” (i.e., primarily concerned with giving more information that researchers may later apply to particular problems) or “applied” determines whether or not your publication will contribute to the area in which you work or to the scientific community as a whole.
Any research article or proposal worth its salt will start with thoroughly identifying and describing the “issue” being examined. This will help the reader determine whether or not the research is warranted if the techniques used are adequate, and whether or not the reported findings are reliable and provide satisfactory answers to the questions posed.
Research Problems: What Are They?
Your research challenge might be anything from a hole in the current body of knowledge to a well-documented problem with a specific procedure (like voter registration) or set of practices (like patient care) that calls for attention. Depending on your study, you may use either a theoretical or practical approach.
However, you shouldn’t just restate what others have stated, pose a topic that can’t possibly be addressed in the scope of your research, or be so nebulous that the reader is left wondering what you’re trying to prove. To avoid this pitfall, it is essential to formulate a well-defined research topic grounded in relevant background information that emphasises the subject’s relevance to the field, the research community, and the general public.
Research Paper Problem Statements
- Suppose you want your reader to fully grasp your research challenge and your motivations for pursuing a solution to it. In that case, it is essential to include some background information. Include any previous efforts to address the issue or currently accessible solutions with flaws that might require refinement if they were to be used.
This section of the statement, also known as the “research statement,” should describe the problem at hand and the people it affects if you conduct applied research. When doing theoretical or foundational research, it is essential to thoroughly review the prior literature and explain how and why your study fills a specific knowledge gap.
- In addition to defining the scope of the issue, the problem statement should explain why this study or similar ones are essential. If the situation persists, what will happen, and who will suffer the most from it? This is a question you should ask yourself (and your readers) and an answer you should provide.
Include this section if the problem you’re trying to solve or the solution you’re proposing has implications outside the scope of your research. However, you should still make it evident to the audience how the insights your research gives fit into the broader picture and what possible future research they may inspire since even in fundamental research, the development of information does not necessarily have obvious practical ramifications.
- Give a short overview of the research design and the methodologies you utilised or intend to employ so that the reader understands the significance of your study. You should also clarify your specific objectives as you describe them; doing so will tie the paper’s many parts together and allow the reader to decide whether they (a) accept your study’s justification and (b) agree with your methodology types.
This last section might serve as the study’s “statement of the issue,” but you should still provide the reader with a thorough background on the topic first. The reader may be confused about how you arrived at the precise trials you suddenly describe or if the background material you quote is too general. The issue you presented previously looks a little ambiguous. Thus, you must guarantee that the presentation flows well and that no vital information is left out.