The first and most important step in any research is defining the research problem: that is, what the researcher wants to solve and what questions it wants to answer. A research problem can be defined as a research problem that is a specific or explicit expression [statement] about an area of interest, a condition that must be improved, or a question found in the scientific or theoretical literature, or in current practice, which indicates the need for a meaningful understanding and a thoughtful investigation.
The problem statement is used in research work as a claim that defines the problem addressed in the study. The problem statement briefly addresses the following question: What is the problem that the research will address?
What are the goals of the problem statement?
The ultimate goal of problem statement is to turn a general problem into a well-defined and targeted problem; Which can be solved through focused research.
Writing a problem statement should help you clearly define the purpose of the research project that you will be proposing. Often times, a problem statement will also serve as the basis for the introductory section of your final proposal, quickly directing the reader’s attention to the problems your proposed project will address and providing the reader with a brief statement about the proposed project itself.
Remember that a problem statement doesn’t need to be long: one page is more than enough for a good problem statement.
What are the main characteristics of the problem statement?
A good research problem should have the following characteristics:
- It must address a knowledge gap.
- Should be significant enough to contribute to the current research
- That should lead to more research
- The problem should expose itself to investigation through data collection
- It should be of interest to the researcher and match his skills, time, and resources
- The approach to solving the problem must be ethical
What are the main sections for writing a problem statement?
A persuasive problem statement is usually written in three parts:
- Part One: describes the desired goal; And it explains how things should be
- Part Two: describes a situation that prevents the achievement of the goal (mentioned in Part One); It explains how the current situation is not up to the goal.
- Part Three: defines the method that you propose to improve the current situation and bring it closer to the desired goal.