Problem Statement in Research

By Prof. Fazal Rehman Shamil
Last modified on March 3rd, 2022

How to write Problem Statement in Research?

Research is an investigative process in which we discover new facts to increase current knowledge. In research, it is the first and important step to identify the research problem.

The problem statement explains the problem that the research can address. We can also say that a problem statement is a condition to be improved, an area to concern, a difficulty to be removed, or a troubling question to be solved.

Purpose of problem statement

The purposes of the problem statement are as under:

  1. It tells the reader about the importance of the main topic he studies.
  2. It keeps the problem in a certain context.
  3. It provides a framework for presenting the results.

Characteristics of Problem Statement in Research

A good research statement starts concerning the broad area of research. Then gradually it leads us to the narrow questions. It should be clear and concise. A good research problem must incorporate the following characteristics.

Compelling topic

The problem should be significant. Simple curiosity is not enough to conduct the research study. The problem you are going to explore or investigate should be remarkable to you and the community you share. Additionally, the person who chooses the problem must be able to motivate you to concern it.

Support multiple perspectives

The problem must be written in a way that can support multiple perspectives and generations. The problem should generate different points of view from an audience of reasonable people so that it will be easy to find out the solution.

Researchable

The problem should be researchable. The problem must be supported by different resources you have.

Format of writing a research problem

A research problem is written in the following three parts:

  • The ideal

This is part one in which you will describe an ideal situation or the desired goal that can explain how things should be.

  • The reality

In this part, describe the condition that stops you to achieve or realize the goal, value, or state mentioned in part one.

  • The consequences

This part identifies the way to improve the present situation to achieve the goal or ideal.

How to write a problem statement

A problem statement is a tool that is used to gain approval and support of the project from stakeholders and management. There are some elements you must consider while writing a problem statement.

  1. Define how things should work
  2. Define the problem why it matters
  3. Explain the financial cost of your problem
  4. Back up your claims.
  5. Present a solution.
  6. Define the benefits of the solution you proposed.
  7. Summarize and conclude the problem and solution.

Example of problem statements in research

To write a problem statement, you can follow the below template:

  • Problem¬†

Define the problem.

  • Background

Use facts and evidence to describe the problem.

  • Relevance

Define why the problem occurs and make a connection.

  • Objectives

Propose solutions based on groundwork and research.

Problem

The number of consumers in supermarkets has reduced for online shopping.

  • ¬†Background¬†

Surveys suggest that sales are going down in areas where people are 18-25 old age. The sales pattern is impacted by the customers spending in this sector of the population.

  • Relevance

Survey reports that the young generation is adapting to the online modes for buying everyday items. The other supermarkets should improve their service, take steps for online shopping, and adapt to the market trends. These steps will make it possible to increase sales.

  • Objectives

This research tries to inspect the determinants of customer purchasing behavior through quantitative and qualitative research. It will suggest engagement plans to make the sales better in particular areas. Interviews will also be conducted to examine the effect of proposed strategies.

 

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