In academic research, writing a problem statement can help you to contextualize and understand the significance of your research problem.
Step 1: Contextualize the problem
The problem statement should frame your research problem in its particular context and give some background on what is already known about it.
- For practical research, focus on the concrete details of the situation:
─Where and when does the problem arise?
─Who does the problem affect?
─What attempts have been made to solve the problem?
Step 2: Show why it matters
- The problem statement should also address the relevance of the research
- why is it important that the problem is solved?
- Practical research
- Directly relevant to a specific problem that affects :
─or society more broadly.
- To make it clear why your research problem matters, you can ask yourself:
─What will happen if the problem is not solved?
─Who will feel the consequences?
─Does the problem have wider relevance?
Step 3: Set your aims and objectives
- Finally, the problem statement should frame how you intend to address the problem.
- Your goal should not be to find a conclusive solution
- Try to seek out the reasons behind the problem and propose more effective approaches to tackling or understanding it.
- The aim is the overall purpose of your research. It is generally written in the infinitive form:
─The aim of this study is to determine…
─This project aims to explore…
─I aim to investigate…
- The objectives are the concrete steps you will take to achieve the aim:
─Qualitative methods will be used to identify…
─I will use surveys to collect…
─Using statistical analysis, the research will measure