The very first thing in any research is the problem statement. Defining the problem statement is first priority in any research work, be it academic or industrial. There exist various views and definitions of problem statements in the academic world. This might create some confusion among students new to the research field. They face difficulties in writing and need expert help in research report writing.
The problem statement for a research work describes the issue or set of issues that the research work will address. So, If one looks at the problem statement in a different way, a problem statement might present a goal that a particular research work seeks to achieve.
Well, once the concept of the problem statement is clear, the next question that comes into mind is regarding the types of the problem statement. Hence, in General, a problem statement can be of the following types:
Casuist Research Problem:
This research question seeks to determine right and wrong regarding conscience or conduct by evaluating moral dilemmas.
Difference Research Problem:
This type of research question aims to contrast and compare two or more phenomena.
Descriptive Research Problem:
This sort of research question focuses on ‘What is?’ with the main objective being to describe the importance of a state or situation of a particular phenomenon.
Relational Research Problem:
Typically, researchers explore the connection between two or more variables by formulating a relational research question, which centres on exploring the characteristics or features that link them. However, the problem statement may differ based on the specific domain or field in which the research is being conducted. As a result, here are some examples of problem statements.
However, merely knowing about the various types of problem statements might not help a new researcher to develop a good problem statement. The following tips might be useful in this regard:
Vision: What would society look like once we solve the problem?
Issue statement: Description of the problem in 2-3 sentences using particular issues. One thing important to note here is that a problem statement is not a “lack of a solution” statement.
Process: This Method is used to solve the concerned problem.
Here, addressing the “5 whys” could help in developing a well-organized problem statement. Let’s have a look at the “5 whys”.
Who: Who is affected by the problem? For example, customers, companies, investors, and similar others.
What: What are the main boundaries of the issue? Segments, customers, organizations, and others.
When: When did the issue occur, and by when is it needed to be fixed?
Where: Where has the issue been taking place? For example, products, processes, geographic locations, and others.
Why: Why is it necessary to solve the problem? The impact of resolving the problem on the stakeholders must be considered here.
A problem statement in a research work is an organized description of the principle problem that the current study seeks to resolve. Here, students and researchers can go through books, journals, and authentic websites on research methodologies to gain a more in-depth view of the problem statement.