What is a Research Problem?
Published byat August 12th, 2021 , Revised On June 22, 2022
Once you have chosen a research topic, the next stage is to explain the research problem: the detailed issue, ambiguity of the research, gap analysis, or gaps in knowledge and findings that you will discuss.
Here, in this article, we explore a research problem in a dissertation or an essay with some research problem examples to help you better understand how and when you should write a research problem.
A research problem is a specific statement relating to an area of concern and is contingent on the type of research. Some research studies focus on theoretical and practical problems, while some focus on only one.
The problem statement in the dissertation, essay, research paper, and other academic papers should be clearly stated and intended to expand information, knowledge, and contribution to change.
Why is Research Problem Critical?
An interesting research topic is only the first step. The real challenge of the research process is to develop a well-rounded research problem.
A well-formulated research problem helps understand the research procedure; without it, your research will appear unforeseeable and awkward.
Research is a procedure based on a sequence and a research problem aids in following and completing the research in a sequence. Repetition of existing literature is something that should be avoided in research.
Therefore research problem in a dissertation or an essay needs to be well thought out and presented with a clear purpose. Hence, your research work contributes more value to existing knowledge. You need to be well aware of the problem so you can present logical solutions.
Step 1: Identifying Problem Area – What is Research Problem
The most significant step in any research is to look for unexplored areas, topics, and controversies. You aim to find gaps that your work will fill. Here are some research problem examples for you to better understand the concept.
Practical Research Problems
To conduct practical research, you will need practical research problems that are typically identified by analysing reports, previous research studies, and interactions with the experienced personals of pertinent disciplines. You might search for:
- Problems with performance or competence in an organization
- Institutional practices that could be enhanced
- Practitioners of relevant fields and their areas of concern
- Problems confronted by specific groups of people within your area of study
If your research work relates to an internship or a job, then it will be critical for you to identify a research problem that addresses certain issues faced by the firm the job or internship pertains to.
Examples of Practical Research Problems
Theoretical Research Problems
Theoretical research relates to predicting, explaining, and understanding various phenomena. It also expands and challenges existing information and knowledge.
Identification of a research problem in theoretical research is achieved by analysing theories and fresh research literature relating to a broad area of research. This practice helps to find gaps in the research done by others and endorse the argument of your topic.
Here are some questions that you should bear in mind.
- A case or framework that has not been deeply analysed
- An ambiguity between more than one viewpoints
- An unstudied condition or relationships
- A problematic issue that needs to be addressed
Theoretical issues often contain practical implications, but immediate issues are often not resolved by these results. If that is the case, you might want to adopt a different research approach to achieve the desired outcomes.
Examples of Theoretical Research Problems
Step 2: Understanding the Research Problem
The researcher further investigates the selected area of research to find knowledge and information relating to the research problem to address the findings in the research.
Background and Rationale
- Population influenced by the problem?
- Is it a persistent problem, or is it recently revealed?
- Research that has already been conducted on this problem?
- Any proposed solution to the problem?
- Recent arguments concerning the problem, what are the gaps in the problem?
Particularity and Suitability
- What specific place, time, and/or people will be focused on?
- Any aspects of research that you may not be able to deal with?
- What will be the concerns if the problem remains unresolved?
- Who are the benefices of the problem resolution (e.g. future researcher or organization’s management)?
Example of a Specific Research Problem
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