One of the most necessary components of a study is the research problems, it is also one of the most difficult to formulate. Formulating the research problem allows you to make clear the purpose of your research, both to yourself and the reader. Browse and take the time to read these 7 ways to develop your research problem.
What is a research problem?
A research problem is the main organizing principle leading the analysis of your paper. It’s a clear and definite statement about your chosen area of concern, a condition to be improved, and a question that a researcher wants to answer.
The purpose of a problem statement is to:
- Introduce the reader to the importance of the topic being studied. The reader is oriented to the significance of the study and the research questions or hypotheses to follow.
- Places the problem into a particular context that defines the parameters of what is to be investigated.
- Provides the framework for reporting the results and indicates what is probably necessary to conduct the study and explain how the findings will present this information. – Sacred Heart University Library
7 Ways to Develop Your Research Problem
Here are the 7 basic steps that will guide you and give you the knowledge you need to formulate a good quality research problem.
1. IDENTIFY THE BROAD STUDY AREA
Broad study areas are areas of your interest, knowledge, concern, expertise, and profession. You should first select a major area that you want to investigate. Broad study area also refers to the entire situation where one sees a possible need for research and problem-solving.
2. DISSECT THE BROAD STUDY AREA INTO SUB-AREAS
Once you select a broad study area, you need to narrow down the area into sub-areas or into a specific topic. In this stage, you need to dissect and define your research broad study area into some subareas. In composing the list of your subareas you should ask others who have enough knowledge of the area you are working on.
3. SELECT WHAT IS OF MOST INTEREST TO YOU
In developing a research problem, you should select what is of most interest to you because it is impossible to study all subareas due to limited resources and time, and it must be the most important contributing factor to your research study. This area should be appropriate to your subject knowledge and should have research substance.
4. RAISE RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Now that you have narrowed down your topic you can now turn your attention to the formulation of your research question and start thinking about what should you explore in your chosen sub-area. Research questions pinpoint exactly what you want to discover or examine and give your work a clear purpose.
5. FORMULATE YOUR RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
Research objectives describe briefly what the research is trying to obtain, it defines the focus of your study or establish the limit of your study. Research objectives can be general or specific,
- General objective. It states what you expect or the primary goal to be achieved in general terms and encompasses the entirety of an investigation or a project.
- Specific objectives. It is the detailed objectives or the breakdown of the general objectives that are designed to be achieved through the investigation. Specific objectives should define exactly what you will do in each chapter of your study, how, where, when and for what purpose.
The difference between research questions and research objects is the way they are written. Research questions are interrogative sentences while research objectives are aim-oriented statements.
6. ASSESS YOUR OBJECTIVES
After formulating your objectives, you can now examine or assess your objectives to work out the possibility of achieving them through your research study.
7. DOUBLE CHECK
It is important to go back or double-check and give final consideration if you are really interested in the study and have sufficient resources to undertake it.