The very first thing in any research is the problem statement. Defining the problem statement takes first priority in any research work, be it academic or industrial. There exists various views and definitions on problem statement in the academic world. This might create some confusions among students who are new in the field of research.They face difficulties in writing and need expert’s help in research report writing.
A problem statement in respect of a research work can be viewed as the written description of the issue or set of issues that would be addressed by the concerned research work. 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 problem statement is clear the very next question that comes into mind is regarding the types of problem statement. In general, a problem statement can be of the following types:
Casuist Research Problem:
This type of research questions seek to determine right and wrong in respect of conscience or conduct by evaluating moral dilemmas.
Difference Research Problem:
The purpose of this type of research question is to contrast and compare two or more phenomenon.
Descriptive Research Problem:
This sort of research question focuses on ‘What is?’ with the main objective is to describe the importance of a state or situation of a particular phenomenon.
Relational Research Problem:
A link between two or more variables is usually investigated by relational research question. Focus is on examining characteristics or features that are connected in some way.
However, problem statements vary in accordance to the domain or area in which a particular research is to be conducted. Thus, some examples of problem statement is also shared below:
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: How would the society look like once the problem is solved?
Issue statement: Description of the problem in just 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: Method that would be 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 are affected by the problem? For example, customers, companies, investors and similar others.
What are the main boundaries of the issue? Segments, customers, organizational and others.
When did the issue take place and by when it is needed to be fixed?
Where has the issue been taking place? For example, products, processes, geographic locations and others.
Why is it necessary to solve the problem? Impact of resolving the problem on the stakeholders need to be considered over here.
In a nutshell, a problem statement in a research work is an organized description of the principle problem which the current study seeks to resolve. Here, students and researchers can go through books, journals and authentic websites on research methodologies to gain more in-depth view of problem statement.