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What is a Problem Statement? [with examples]

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The statement of the problem is one of the first things that a colleague or potential client will read. With the vastness of the information available at one’s fingertips in the online9 world, your work may have just a few seconds to draw in a reader to take a deeper look at your proposal before moving on to the next option. It explains quickly to the reader, the problem at hand, the need for research, and how you intend to do it.

A strong, clear description of the problem that drew you to your research has to be straightforward, easy to read and, most important, relevant. Why do you care about this problem? How can solving this problem impact the world? The problem statement is your opportunity to explain why you care and what you propose to do in the way of researching the problem.

A problem statement is an explanation in research that describes the issue that is in need of study . What problem is the research attempting to address? Having a Problem Statement allows the reader to quickly understand the purpose and intent of the research. The importance of writing your research proposal cannot be stressed enough. Check for more information on Writing a Scientific Research Project Proposal .

It is expected to be brief and concise , and should not include the findings of the research or detailed data . The average length of a research statement is generally about one page . It is going to define the problem, which can be thought of as a gap in the information base. There may be several solutions to this gap or lack of information, but that is not the concern of the problem statement. Its purpose is to summarize the current information and where a lack of knowledge may be presenting a problem that needs to be investigated .

The purpose of the problem statement is to identify the issue that is a concern and focus it in a way that allows it to be studied in a systematic way . It defines the problem and proposes a way to research a solution, or demonstrates why further information is needed in order for a solution to become possible.

What is Included in a Problem Statement?

Besides identifying the gap of understanding or the weakness of necessary data, it is important to explain the significance of this lack.

-How will your research contribute to the existing knowledge base in your field of study?

-How is it significant?

-Why does it matter?

Not all problems have only one solution so demonstrating the need for additional research can also be included in your problem statement. Once you identify the problem and the need for a solution, or for further study, then you can show how you intend to collect the needed data and present it.

How to Write a Statement of Problem in Research Proposal

It is helpful to begin with your goal. What do you see as the achievable goal if the problem you outline is solved? How will the proposed research theoretically change anything? What are the potential outcomes?

Then you can discuss how the problem prevents the ability to reach your realistic and achievable solution. It is what stands in the way of changing an issue for the better. Talk about the present state of affairs and how the problem impacts a person’s life, for example.

It’s helpful at this point to generally layout the present knowledge and understanding of the subject at hand, before then describing the gaps of knowledge that are currently in need of study. Your problem statement is a proposed solution to address one of these gaps.

A good problem statement will also layout the repercussions of leaving the problem as it currently stands. What is the significance of not addressing this problem? What are the possible future outcomes?

Example of Problem Statement in Research Proposal

If, for example , you intended to research the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the immune system , you would begin with a review of the current knowledge of vitamin D’s known function in relation to the immune system and how a deficiency of it impacts a person’s defenses.

You would describe the ideal environment in the body when there is a sufficient level of vitamin D. Then, begin to identify the problems associated with vitamin D deficiency and the difficulty of raising the level through supplementation, along with the consequences of that deficiency. Here you are beginning to identify the problem of a common deficiency and the current difficulty of increasing the level of vitamin D in the blood.

At this stage, you may begin to identify the problem and narrow it down in a way that is practical to a research project. Perhaps you are proposing a novel way of introducing Vitamin D in a way that allows for better absorption by the gut, or in a combination with another product that increases its level in the blood.

Describe the way your research in this area will contribute to the knowledge base on how to increase levels of vitamin D in a specific group of subjects, perhaps menopausal women with breast cancer. The research proposal is then described in practical terms.

How to write a problem statement in research?

Problem statements differ depending on the type and topic of research and vary between a few sentences to a few paragraphs.

However, the problem statement should not drag on needlessly. Despite the absence of a fixed format, a good research problem statement usually consists of three main parts:

Context: This section explains the background for your research. It identifies the problem and describes an ideal scenario that could exist in the absence of the problem. It also includes any past attempts and shortcomings at solving the problem.

Significance: This section defines how the problem prevents the ideal scenario from being achieved, including its negative impacts on the society or field of research. It should include who will be the most affected by a solution to the problem, the relevance of the study that you are proposing, and how it can contribute to the existing body of research.

Solution: This section describes the aim and objectives of your research, and your solution to overcome the problem. Finally, it need not focus on the perfect solution, but rather on addressing a realistic goal to move closer to the ideal scenario.

Here is a cheat sheet to help you with formulating a good problem statement.

1. Begin with a clear indication that the problem statement is going to be discussed next. You can start with a generic sentence like, “The problem that this study addresses…” This will inform your readers of what to expect next.

2. Next, mention the consequences of not solving the problem . You can touch upon who is or will be affected if the problem continues, and how.

3. Conclude with indicating the type of research /information that is needed to solve the problem. Be sure to reference authors who may have suggested the necessity of such research.

This will then directly lead to your proposed research objective and workplan and how that is expected to solve the problem i.e., close the research gap.

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Table of Contents

What Is a Research Problem Statement?

A research problem statement is a clear, concise, and specific statement that describes the issue or problem that the research project addresses. It should be written in a way that is easily understandable to both experts and non-experts in the field.

To write a research problem statement, you should:

  • Identify the general area of interest: Start by identifying the general area of research that interests you.
  • Define the specific problem: Narrow down the general area of interest to a specific problem or issue.
  • Explain the significance of the problem: Provide context for the problem by explaining why it is important to study and what gap in current knowledge or understanding it fills.
  • Provide a clear and concise statement: State the problem in a clear and concise manner, making sure to use language that is easily understood by your intended audience.
  • Use a scientific and objective tone: The problem statement should be written in a neutral and objective tone, avoiding any subjective language and personal bias .

An Example of a Research Problem Statement

“The increasing prevalence of obesity in children is a growing public health concern. Despite the availability of information on healthy eating and physical activity, many children are still not engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors. The problem this study addresses is the lack of understanding of the barriers and facilitators to healthy lifestyle behaviors in children.”

When to Write a Problem Statement in Research?

A research problem statement should be written at the beginning of the research process, before any data collection or analysis takes place. This is because the statement sets the foundation for the entire research project by clearly defining the problem that the research is trying to address.

Writing a problem statement early in the research process helps to guide the research design and methodology , and ensures that the research is focused on addressing the specific problem at hand. It also helps to ensure that the research is relevant and addresses a gap in current knowledge or understanding.

In addition, a well-written problem statement effectively communicates the purpose and significance of the research to potential funders, collaborators, and other stakeholders. It also generates interest and support for the research project.

It’s also important to note that, during the research process, the statement can be refined or updated as new information is discovered or as the research progresses. This is normal and it’s a good idea to revise the statement as needed to ensure that it remains clear and concise and that it accurately reflects the current focus of the research project.

What Does a Research Problem Statement Include?

A research problem statement typically includes the following elements:

1. The research topic:

The general area of interest or field of study that the research project addresses.

2. The specific problem or issue:

A clear and concise statement of the problem or issue that the research project aims to address.

3. The significance of the problem:

A discussion of why the problem is important and what gap in current knowledge or understanding it fills.

4. The research questions:

A set of questions that the research project aims to answer, in order to address the problem or issue.

5. The research objectives:

A set of specific and measurable objectives that the research project aims to achieve.

6. The scope of the research:

A description of the specific population, setting, or context that the research project will focus on.

7. The theoretical framework:

A discussion of the theoretical concepts and principles that inform the research project.

8. The research design:

A description of the research methodologies that will be used to collect and analyze data in order to address the research questions and objectives.

It’s important to note that the problem statement is usually brief and concise, typically a few sentences or a short paragraph. But it should provide enough information to convey the main idea of the research project.

Important Features of Research Problem Statement

The problem statement should be clear and easy to understand. Write it in a way that is accessible to both experts and non-experts in the field.

2. Specificity

The statement should be specific and clearly define the problem or issue that the research project aims to address. It should be narrow enough to be manageable, but broad enough to be of interest to others in the field.

3. Significance

The statement should explain why the problem is important and what gap in current knowledge or understanding it fills. It should provide context for the research project and help to justify its importance.

4. Relevance

The statement should be relevant to the field of study and address an issue that is currently of concern to researchers.

5. Research questions

The statement should include a set of research questions that the research project aims to answer in order to address the problem or issue.

6. Research objectives

The statement should include a set of specific and measurable objectives that the research project aims to achieve.

The statement should define the specific population, setting, or context that the research project will focus on.

8. Theoretical framework

The statement should provide an overview of the theoretical concepts and principles that inform the research project.

9. Research design

The statement should provide an overview of the research methodologies. This will be useful collect and analyze data in order to address the research questions and objectives.

Difference Between a Thesis Statement and a Problem Statement

A thesis statement and a problem statement are related but distinct elements of a research project.

A thesis statement is a statement that summarizes the central argument or claim of a research paper or essay. It presents the main idea of the paper and sets the direction for the rest of the content. It’s usually located at the end of the introduction, and it’s often one sentence.

A problem statement, on the other hand, is a statement that describes a specific problem or issue that the research project aims to address. It sets the foundation for the entire research project by clearly defining the research problem. It is usually located at the beginning of a research paper or proposal, and is of one or a few paragraphs.

In summary, a thesis statement is a summary of the main point or key argument of the research paper. A problem statement describes the specific issue that the research project aims to address. A thesis statement is more focused on the final outcome of the research. While a problem statement is focused on the current state of knowledge and the gap in understanding that the research project aims to fill.

In Conclusion

A problem statement is a critical component of the research project, as it provides a clear and concise roadmap for the research, and helps to ensure that the research is well-designed and addresses a significant and relevant issue.

We hope this blog has clarified your doubts and confusion associated with research problem statement and helps you write an effective statement for your research project!

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How to Write a Statement of the Problem for Your Research Proposal

Defining your research problem is essential when conducting an experiment. In this article, you will learn how to write a statement of the problem for your research proposal. Learn about the characteristics of a good statement of the problem and examples of research questions.

Updated on May 17, 2022

A researcher working on a problem statement for a new article

You are a great researcher. You are full of ideas and questions as to where to go next with your work. You would not be in this position if you were not good at coming up with interesting questions within your area.

One problem, though, is knowing where to spend your time, energy, and money. Which ideas, questions, and problems are worthwhile?

You need to be able to define a good research problem. A research problem addresses an existing gap in knowledge in your field and leads to further investigations by you and other researchers. Inspiring others with your research problem will lead to citations, enhancing your and your institution's impact.

In order to write a clear and useful problem statement, you need to describe a question and its consequences.

One key way to assess the ‘usefulness' of your research ideas is to learn how to express them as clear problems.

In this article, we will talk about how to write a statement of the problem for your next research proposal. This is important not just for assessing the ‘usefulness' of research ideas, but also for formulating a grant application or proposal. We'll talk about how to explain your research ideas to others in the form of a problem statement in your proposal.

What is a statement of the problem in research?

All research projects should start with a clear problem statement. A problem statement is a formulation of an issue which is usually a ‘gap' within your area. A research gap is an unanswered question, an issue, controversy, or untested hypothesis that has not yet been addressed.

The trick with research problems is working out whether they are actually worth investing the time, energy, and money to figure out. This comes with experience, or you could just read on!

Since a clear problem statement is going to form the basis of your next research project, the question is: How can I write one?

How is this done? The first step is to become familiar with the basic elements of a problem statement in effective research.

Characteristics of a problem statement

A research problem statement has two key attributes:

  • The problem must be challenging and original, but also potentially achievable by your team.
  • The problem must not be incremental. In other words, don't try to address a small change or advance on an existing study that leads to no new scientific insight. This could be damaging to your and your team's reputation, and will likely not lead to a meaningful publication.

Developing a ‘good' research problem statement, therefore, involves systematic planning and setting time-based, realistic objectives. Your problem has to be achievable.

You'll also need to apply feasible research methods based on an approach that best suits the research question. Your methods have to make sense. They must be usable. In other words, you must be able to acquire statistically sufficient and relevant data that is reproducible.

Finally, the problem you define means you'll need to train team members in this particular research area and methods.

Writing a statement of the problem

Stating a research problem is done by defining it within the general area of your research. This depends on your previous work and experience. It may be an area you want to move into or a topic related to what you have already worked on as a researcher. Examples could include a question in astrophysics within physics, robotics within engineering, nutrition within medicine, or marine biology within ocean and Earth science.

Once you've determined your overall area (and you'll know this already of course), it's time to drill down, decide, and define a research problem within that field.

First , your statement should identify a problem that needs to be addressed within your selected sub-area.

This will almost certainly require literature work, but the idea may arise from:

  • Discussions you've had with colleagues;
  • Discussions at a conference;
  • A paper you've read.

Second , your problem statement should be a “good research problem.” This will require further investigation and reading as you consider “what has been done?” and “what needs to be done?”

Third , search for more information, perhaps by:

  • Locating relevant books, papers and other materials;
  • Evaluating the quality and authority of the information collected;
  • Maintaining a regular literature review throughout the project;
  • Making regular notes on background material;
  • Deciding how this literature search will be carried out within the research group;
  • Deciding how information gained will be disseminated to the group (e.g., via each researcher carrying out a regular literature review in their sub-area and information disseminated at group meetings or via email at regular intervals).

This process may well change or modify how your research problem is stated or formulated.

Once your research problem has been identified, research questions within the problem need to be specified.

How long should your statement of the problem be?

Not too long. One page is more than enough for a clear and effective problem statement.

Research questions within your problem

The first stage of writing your research problem statement involves formulating your questions in a meaningful way. In the context of important questions, we are looking for things that many readers across different disciplines find to be interesting. But at the same time, set your question within your field.

Thus, once a research problem has been established, several questions can be written down. These questions should specify exactly what needs to be determined to address the problem.

These questions should also be specific enough that they can be answered using appropriate available research methods - or methods that could be made available to the research group (e.g. by buying or borrowing equipment).

These questions should require complex in-depth investigation, analysis, and argument. They should not be simple enough that they can be answered easily with well-established facts or yes/no answers.

All research questions should be focused, specific, appropriately complex, and relevant to the overall aims of the project.

Examples of questions and next steps

  • How do government regulations prevent companies from polluting water systems?
  • What factors have influenced population growth in the fastest growing countries?
  • How can a bespoke thermal desorption unit be designed and built for use in detection of trace particulate matter in a polluted environment (e.g., a busy city street)?
  • What methods and procedures can be used to understand, and hence control, fundamental chemical processes that occur in flames?
  • How can measurement protocols used in mass spectrometry in a university research laboratory be developed and standardized to enable direct comparison with related measurements in a government laboratory?

Once the problem and questions have been identified, the resources required to carry out the research will need to be assessed. This will involve:

  • Identifying the equipment needed. Find out what is available and what needs to be purchased.
  • Assessing which consumables (e.g., chemicals) are needed for the project, and determining if they can be obtained on a regular basis (i.e., in the right quantities at the appropriate times).
  • Identifying the software, data-analyses and other computer support needed. Assess what needs to be purchased.
  • Assessing what laboratory and office space is needed. And if more is required, discuss this with the relevant laboratory manager.
  • Identifying what support for travel is needed for the group, as well as what resources are required for the group to attend relevant conferences and training of group personnel.

Final thoughts

Defining and writing a clear statement of a problem as the basis of a project is the first - and most important - step in any research. The tips and ideas in this article will help you clearly identify the purpose of the research you are developing.

A clear research problem statement will likely form the skeleton of the Introduction of your final article. If you are able to clearly direct your reader (the most important person in the publishing process) to an important and interesting question, they will likely stay engaged, and use and cite your article in the future.

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  • How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

Published on October 12, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on November 21, 2023.

Structure of a research proposal

A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will conduct your research.

The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements:

Introduction

Literature review.

  • Research design

Reference list

While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same. A research proposal serves as a blueprint and guide for your research plan, helping you get organized and feel confident in the path forward you choose to take.

Table of contents

Research proposal purpose, research proposal examples, research design and methods, contribution to knowledge, research schedule, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research proposals.

Academics often have to write research proposals to get funding for their projects. As a student, you might have to write a research proposal as part of a grad school application , or prior to starting your thesis or dissertation .

In addition to helping you figure out what your research can look like, a proposal can also serve to demonstrate why your project is worth pursuing to a funder, educational institution, or supervisor.

Research proposal length

The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.

One trick to get started is to think of your proposal’s structure as a shorter version of your thesis or dissertation , only without the results , conclusion and discussion sections.

Download our research proposal template

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Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We’ve included a few for you below.

  • Example research proposal #1: “A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management”
  • Example research proposal #2: “Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use”

Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes:

  • The proposed title of your project
  • Your supervisor’s name
  • Your institution and department

The first part of your proposal is the initial pitch for your project. Make sure it succinctly explains what you want to do and why.

Your introduction should:

  • Introduce your topic
  • Give necessary background and context
  • Outline your  problem statement  and research questions

To guide your introduction , include information about:

  • Who could have an interest in the topic (e.g., scientists, policymakers)
  • How much is already known about the topic
  • What is missing from this current knowledge
  • What new insights your research will contribute
  • Why you believe this research is worth doing

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As you get started, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the most important research on your topic. A strong literature review  shows your reader that your project has a solid foundation in existing knowledge or theory. It also shows that you’re not simply repeating what other people have already done or said, but rather using existing research as a jumping-off point for your own.

In this section, share exactly how your project will contribute to ongoing conversations in the field by:

  • Comparing and contrasting the main theories, methods, and debates
  • Examining the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches
  • Explaining how will you build on, challenge, or synthesize prior scholarship

Following the literature review, restate your main  objectives . This brings the focus back to your own project. Next, your research design or methodology section will describe your overall approach, and the practical steps you will take to answer your research questions.

To finish your proposal on a strong note, explore the potential implications of your research for your field. Emphasize again what you aim to contribute and why it matters.

For example, your results might have implications for:

  • Improving best practices
  • Informing policymaking decisions
  • Strengthening a theory or model
  • Challenging popular or scientific beliefs
  • Creating a basis for future research

Last but not least, your research proposal must include correct citations for every source you have used, compiled in a reference list . To create citations quickly and easily, you can use our free APA citation generator .

Some institutions or funders require a detailed timeline of the project, asking you to forecast what you will do at each stage and how long it may take. While not always required, be sure to check the requirements of your project.

Here’s an example schedule to help you get started. You can also download a template at the button below.

Download our research schedule template

If you are applying for research funding, chances are you will have to include a detailed budget. This shows your estimates of how much each part of your project will cost.

Make sure to check what type of costs the funding body will agree to cover. For each item, include:

  • Cost : exactly how much money do you need?
  • Justification : why is this cost necessary to complete the research?
  • Source : how did you calculate the amount?

To determine your budget, think about:

  • Travel costs : do you need to go somewhere to collect your data? How will you get there, and how much time will you need? What will you do there (e.g., interviews, archival research)?
  • Materials : do you need access to any tools or technologies?
  • Help : do you need to hire any research assistants for the project? What will they do, and how much will you pay them?

If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Methodology

  • Sampling methods
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Likert scales
  • Reproducibility

 Statistics

  • Null hypothesis
  • Statistical power
  • Probability distribution
  • Effect size
  • Poisson distribution

Research bias

  • Optimism bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Implicit bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Anchoring bias
  • Explicit bias

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.

A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.

All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.

Critical thinking refers to the ability to evaluate information and to be aware of biases or assumptions, including your own.

Like information literacy , it involves evaluating arguments, identifying and solving problems in an objective and systematic way, and clearly communicating your ideas.

The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a dissertation committee) that your research topic is relevant and worthy of being conducted.

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How to Write a Problem Statement in Research

what is research proposal statement of problem

What is a Research Problem Statement?

A research problem statement is a concise statement describing the problem or issue addressed by the research study. The research problem should be composed in a way that both experts and non-experts in the field can understand.

Every research paper describes the investigation of a problem: by adding knowledge to the existing literature, revisiting known observations, or finding concrete solutions. What contribution your publication makes to your field or the scientific community at large depends on whether your research is “basic” (i.e., mainly interested in providing further knowledge that researchers can later apply to specific problems) or “applied” (i.e., developing new techniques, processes, and products).

In any case, a research proposal or research paper must clearly identify and describe the “problem” that is being investigated, so that the reader understands where the research comes from, why the study is relevant, if the applied methods are appropriate, and if the presented results are valid and answer the stated questions. This is known as the “statement of the problem.”

Table of Contents:

  • What is a Research Problem?

How to Write a Problem Statement in a Research Paper

  • Statement of the Problem Example 
  • Where Does the Problem Statement Go in Your Paper?

Consider Using Professional Editing Services

Understanding how to write a research problem.

Your research problem defines the gap in existing knowledge you want to address (e.g., global warming causes), an issue with a certain process (e.g., voter registration) or practices (e.g., patient treatment) that is known and well documented and needs a solution, or some surprising phenomena or earlier findings that point to the need for further investigation. Your approach can be theoretical or practical, and the specific type of problem you choose to address depends on the type of research you want to do. 

In any case, your paper should not repeat what other studies have already said. It also should not ask a question that is too broad in scope to be answered within your study, nor should it be so vague that your reader cannot grasp your motivation or focus. To avoid such problems, you need to clearly define your research question, put it into context, and emphasize its significance for your field of research, the wider research community, or even the general public.

When including your statement of the research problem, several key factors must be considered in order to make a statement that is clear, concise, relevant, and convincing to readers. Think about the following elements not as “steps” to writing your problem statement, but as necessary conditions on which your statement can be firmly grounded and stand out.

Provide context for your study

Putting your research problem in context means providing the reader with the background information they need to understand why you want to study or solve this particular problem and why it is relevant. If there have been earlier attempts at solving the problem or solutions that are available but seem imperfect and need improvement, include that information here.

If you are doing applied research, this part of the problem statement (or “research statement”) should tell the reader where a certain problem arises and who is affected by it. In basic or theoretical research, you make a review of relevant literature on the topic that forms the basis for the current work and tells the reader where your study fits in and what gap in existing knowledge you are addressing.

Establish the relevance of this research

The problem statement also needs to clearly state why the current research matters, or why future work matters if you are writing a research proposal. Ask yourself (and tell your readers) what will happen if the problem continues and who will feel the consequences the most. If the solution you search for or propose in your study has wider relevance outside the context of the subjects you have studied, then this also needs to be included here. In basic research, the advancement of knowledge does not always have clear practical consequences—but you should clearly explain to the reader how the insights your study offers fit into the bigger picture, and what potential future research they could inspire.

Define specific aims and Objectives

Now that the reader knows the context of your research and why it matters, briefly introduce the design and the methods you used or are planning to use. While describing these, you should also formulate your precise aims more clearly, and thereby bring every element in your paper together so that the reader can judge for themselves if they (a) understand the rationale behind your study and (b) are convinced by your approach.

This last part could maybe be considered the actual “statement of the problem” of your study, but you need to prepare the reader by providing all the necessary details before you state it explicitly. If the background literature you cite is too broad and the problem you introduced earlier seems a bit vague, then the reader will have trouble understanding how you came up with the specific experiments you suddenly describe here. Make sure your readers can follow the logical structure of your presentation and that no important details are left out.   

Research Problem Statement Example

The following is a sample statement of the problem for a practical research study on the challenges of online learning. Note that your statement might be much longer (especially the context section where you need to explain the background of the study) and that you will need to provide sources for all the claims you make and the earlier literature you cite. You will also not include the headers “context”, “relevance” and “aims and objectives” but simply present these parts as different paragraphs. But if your problem statement follows this structure, you should have no problem convincing the reader of the significance of your work.

Providing context: Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, most educational institutions around the world have transitioned to a fully online study model, at least during peak times of infections and social distancing measures. This transition has not been easy and even two years into the pandemic, problems with online teaching and studying persist (reference needed) . While the increasing gap between those with access to technology and equipment and those without access has been determined to be one of the main challenges (reference needed) , others claim that online learning offers more opportunities for many students by breaking down barriers of location and distance (reference needed) .  

Establishing relevance: Since teachers and students cannot wait for circumstances to go back to normal, the measures that schools and universities have implemented during the last two years, their advantages and disadvantages, and the impact of those measures on students’ progress, satisfaction, and well-being need to be understood so that improvements can be made and demographics that have been left behind can receive the support they need as soon as possible.

Defining aims and objectives: To identify what changes in the learning environment were considered the most challenging and how those changes relate to a variety of student outcome measures, we conducted surveys and interviews among teachers and students at ten institutions of higher education in four different major cities, two in the US (New York and Chicago), one in South Korea (Seoul), and one in the UK (London). Responses were analyzed with a focus on different student demographics and how they might have been affected differently by the current situation.

Where Does the Problem Statement Go in Your Paper? 

If you write a statement of the problem for a research proposal, then you could include it as a separate section at the very beginning of the main text (unless you are given a specific different structure or different headings, however, then you will have to adapt to that). If your problem statement is part of a research paper manuscript for publication in an academic journal, then it more or less constitutes your introduction section , with the context/background being the literature review that you need to provide here.

If you write the introduction section after the other parts of your paper, then make sure that the specific research question and approach you describe here are in line with the information provided in the research paper abstract , and that all questions you raise here are answered at the end of the discussion section —as always, consistency is key. Knowing where to put the research question can depend on several important contextual factors.

Receive instant editing with Wordvice.AI, our automated grammar checker . Then hand over your manuscript or paper to a professional English editing service for paper editing , thesis editing , or other academic editing services .

And if you need advice on how to write the other parts of your research paper , on how to make a research paper outline if you are struggling with putting everything you did together, or on how to come up with a good research question in case you are not even sure where to start, then head over to the Wordvice academic resources website where we have a lot more articles and videos for you.

How to Write an Effective Statement of the Problem

How to write an effective statement of the problem

As PhD students or early career researchers, one of the most important tasks in your academic journey is drafting a research proposal that will help you get the necessary funds and support for performing your research. You may find that, among the different components of a proposal, writing the statement of the problem is perhaps the most challenging since it sets the tone for your proposal. A badly written statement of the problem not only sets the precedent for an unconvincing research proposal, but may also indirectly point to your lack of understanding about your own research. Therefore, it is essential to dedicate sufficient time and effort toward drafting this particular component of a research proposal. And, if you, like many others are struggling with writing statement of the problem in research proposal, then this article might help you out.  

What is the statement of the problem in research proposals?

Before we begin deep-diving into the details, let us understand what a statement of the problem actually signifies. A statement of the problem should ideally be a comprehensive summary of the question that will be addressed as a part of the research, while convincing the reader that the time spent on the research is worth the monetary investment.   

Naturally therefore, a lot needs to be taken into consideration while writing this component. Here are some of the key characteristics of the statement of problem in research proposals: 

  • Addresses a distinct gap area – a research proposal will only be truly significant if you are describing a gap area that is distinct and unexplored. To identify this unique and distinct gap area, you may need to perform some background research regarding the current issues in your field as well as your ability to address them using your specific skill-set or knowledge. The more relevant a problem is to real-world issues, the better are your chances of getting it funded. Therefore, this is a key point you must remember even before writing a statement of the problem.  
  • Provides a clear solution – apart from addressing a distinct gap area, the statement of the problem should also provide a clear solution to solve the issue at hand. Further, this clarity should be demonstrated adequately. Therefore, it is important to be practical while choosing the gap area and to ensure that the solution is attainable as well as feasible.  
  • Leads to further research in the same or relevant field – the statement of the problem should not only describe the research that you are going to undertake, but should also set the stage for any further research that could be carried out in order to contribute toward the existing knowledge base. 
  • Is reproducible and subject to investigation – a good statement of the problem is always subject to scrutiny and allows for a critical analysis of the feasibility and efficacy of the solution that is being provided. It is important to demonstrate that, although you are addressing a distinct gap area, the solution/research work is reproducible.  

what is research proposal statement of problem

The ideal structure when writing a statement of the problem

Apart from the above-mentioned key characteristics, there is also a structural approach that you can follow in order to draft a good statement of the problem.  

  • Begin with a short background of the gap area that you wish to address with your research. In this part, you may also include some aspects about any previous work that was done to address the gap area. 
  • After the background, you can proceed to discuss the consequences of not addressing that particular gap area. Additionally, you can also discuss about the potential benefits of addressing the gap area properly. Here, you can briefly introduce your solution and also talk about how your solution might help circumvent any roadblocks that previous studies might have encountered.  
  • You can then proceed to describe your solution in depth, by talking about the specific areas that will be addressed with the help of your research. Avoid adding too many technical details in this part as you would be describing them in depth in the latter part of your proposal. Here you can also talk about the greater significance of your research – this should include indirect benefits that are not addressed by your research but are nonetheless relevant.  
  • Keep the length crisp and precise – the main intention is to get the reader invested in your research proposal, and also keep him/her interested enough to read through the rest of the proposal.  

We hope that the above guidelines help you in drafting a strong statement of the problem, which can translate into a compelling research proposal. 

Further reading

1. The basics of writing a statement of the problem for your research proposal. Editage Insights https://www.editage.com/insights/the-basics-of-writing-a-statement-of-the-problem-for-your-research-proposal (2018). 

2. Graffin, G. How to Write Statement of a Problem in Research. Research Prospect https://www.researchprospect.com/how-to-write-statement-of-a-problem-in-research/ (2021). 

3. What is a Problem Statement? With Examples | Author Services Blog. Elsevier Author Services – Articles https://scientific-publishing.webshop.elsevier.com/research-process/what-problem-statement-examples/ (2022). 

4. How to write the problem statement for your research | CW Authors. https://www.cwauthors.com/article/how-to-write-the-statement-of-a-problem. 

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  • Know the Difference: Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing 
  • 4 Key Writing Styles and Examples of Academic Writing  

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How to Write a Statement of the Problem in Research

Madalsa

Table of Contents

The problem statement is a foundation of academic research writing , providing a precise representation of an existing gap or issue in a particular field of study.

Crafting a sharp and focused problem statement lays the groundwork for your research project.

  • It highlights the research's significance .
  • Emphasizes its potential to influence the broader academic community.
  • Represents the initial step for you to make a meaningful contribution to your discipline.

Therefore, in this article, we will discuss what is a statement of the problem in research and how to craft a compelling research problem statement.

What is a research problem statement?

A research problem statement is a concise, clear, and specific articulation of a gap in current knowledge that your research aims to bridge. It not only sets forth the scope and direction of your research but also establishes its relevance and significance.

Your problem statement in your research paper aims to:

  • Define the gap : Clearly identify and articulate a specific gap or issue in the existing knowledge.
  • Provide direction : Serve as a roadmap, guiding the course of your research and ensuring you remain focused.
  • Establish relevance : Highlight the importance and significance of the problem in the context of your field or the broader world.
  • Guide inquiry :  Formulate the research questions or hypotheses you'll explore.
  • Communicate intent : Succinctly convey the core purpose of your research to stakeholders, peers, and any audience.
  • Set boundaries : Clearly define the scope of your research to ensure it's focused and achievable.

When should you write a problem statement in research?

Initiate your research by crafting a clear problem statement. This should be done before any data collection or analysis, serving as a foundational anchor that clearly identifies the specific issue you aim to address.

By establishing this early on, you shape the direction of your research, ensuring it targets a genuine knowledge gap.

Furthermore, an effective and a concise statement of the problem in research attracts collaborators, funders, and supporters, resonating with its clarity and purpose. Remember, as your research unfolds, the statement might evolve, reflecting new insights and staying pertinent.

But how do you distinguish between a well-crafted problem statement and one that falls short?

Effective vs. ineffective research problem statements

Imagine a scenario where medical researchers aim to tackle a new strain of virus. Their effective problem statement wouldn't merely state the existence of the virus. Instead, it would delve into the specifics — the regions most affected, the demographics most vulnerable, and the current limitations in medical interventions.

Whereas an ineffective research problem statement is vague, overly broad, or ambiguous, failing to provide a clear direction for the research. It may not be rooted in existing literature, might lack clarity on its significance, or could be framed in a way that makes the research objectives unachievable or irrelevant.

To understand it better, let's consider the topic of “Remote work and employee productivity.”

Effective problem statement

“Over the past decade, there has been a 70% increase in organizations adopting remote work policies. While some studies suggest remote work enhances employee productivity, others indicate potential declines due to distractions at home.

However, there’s a lack of comprehensive research examining the specific factors in a remote environment that influence productivity. This study aims to identify and analyze these factors, providing organizations with actionable insights to optimize remote work policies.”

Why is this statement of a problem in research effective?

  • Specificity : The statement provides a clear percentage to highlight the rise in remote work.
  • Context : It acknowledges existing research and the conflicting findings.
  • Clear gap identification : It points out the lack of comprehensive research on specific factors affecting productivity in remote work.
  • Purpose : The statement concludes with a clear aim for the research.

Ineffective problem statement

"People are working from home a lot now, especially since there are so many internet tools. Some say it's good; others say it's not that great. This research will just look into the whole work-from-home thing and see what's up."

Why is this statement of a problem in research ineffective?

  • Informal language : Phrases like "what's up" and "the whole work-from-home thing" are not suitable for academic writing.
  • Vagueness : The statement doesn't provide any specific data or context about the rise of remote work.
  • Lack of clear focus : It's unclear what aspect of remote work the research will address.
  • Ambiguous purpose : The statement doesn't specify the research's objectives or expected outcomes.

After gaining an understanding of what an effective research problem statement looks like, let's dive deeper into how to write one.

How to write a problem statement in research?

Drafting your research problem statement at the onset of your research journey ensures that your research remains anchored. That means by defining and articulating the main issue or challenge you intend to address at the very beginning of your research process; you provide a clear focus and direction for the entire study.

Here's a detailed guide to how you can write an effective statement of the problem in research.

Identify the research area : Before addressing a specific problem, you need to know the broader domain or field of your study. This helps in contextualizing your research and ensuring it aligns with existing academic disciplines.

Example: If you're curious about the effects of digital technology on human behavior, your broader research area might be Digital Sociology or Media Studies.

Conduct preliminary literature review : Familiarize yourself with existing research related to your topic. This will help you understand what's already known and, more importantly, identify gaps or unresolved questions in the existing knowledge. This step also ensures you're advancing upon existing work rather than replicating it.

Example: Upon reviewing literature on digital technology and behavior, you find many studies on social media's impact on youth but fewer on its effects on the elderly.

Read how to conduct an effective literature review .

Define the specific problem : After thoroughly reviewing the literature, pinpoint a particular issue that your research will address. Ensure that this chosen issue is not only of substantial importance in its field but also realistically approachable given your resources and expertise. To define it precisely, you might consider:

  • Highlighting discrepancies or contradictions in existing literature.
  • Emphasizing the real-world implications of this gap.
  • Assessing the feasibility of exploring this issue within your means and timeframe.

Example: You decide to investigate how digital technology, especially social media, affects the mental well-being of the elderly, given the limited research in this area.

Articulate clearly and concisely : Your problem statement should be straightforward and devoid of jargon. It needs to convey the essence of your research issue in a manner that's understandable to both experts and non-experts.

Example: " The impact of social media on the mental well-being of elderly individuals remains underexplored, despite the growing adoption of digital technology in this age group. "

Highlight the significance : Explain why your chosen research problem matters. This could be due to its real-world implications, its potential to fill a knowledge gap or its relevance to current events or trends.

Example: As the elderly population grows and becomes more digitally connected, understanding the psychological effects of social media on this demographic could inform digital literacy programs and mental health interventions.

Ensure feasibility : Your research problem should be something you can realistically study, given your resources, timeframe, and expertise. It's essential to ensure that you can gather data, conduct experiments, or access necessary materials or participants.

Example: You plan to survey elderly individuals in local community centers about their social media usage and perceived mental well-being, ensuring you have the means to reach this demographic.

Seek feedback : Discuss your preliminary problem statement with peers, mentors, or experts in the field. They can provide insights, point out potential pitfalls, or suggest refinements.

Example: After discussing with a gerontologist, you decide to also consider the role of digital training in moderating the effects of social media on the elderly.

Refine and Revise : Based on feedback and further reflection, revise and improve your problem statement. This iterative process ensures clarity, relevance, and precision.

Example: Your refined statement reads: Despite the increasing digital connectivity of the elderly, the effects of social media on their mental well-being, especially in the context of digital training, remain underexplored.

By following these detailed steps, you can craft a research problem statement that is both compelling and academically rigorous.

Having explored the details of crafting a research problem statement, it's crucial to distinguish it from another fundamental element in academic research: the thesis statement.

Difference between a thesis statement and a problem statement

While both terms are central to research, a thesis statement presents your primary claim or argument, whereas a problem statement describes the specific issue your research aims to address.

Think of the thesis statement as the conclusion you're driving towards, while the problem statement identifies a specific gap in current knowledge.

For instance, a problem statement might highlight the rising mental health issues among teenagers, while the thesis statement could propose that increased screen time is a significant contributor.

Refer to the comparison table between what is a thesis and a problem statement in the research below:

Common mistakes to avoid in writing statement of the problem in research

Mistakes in the research problem statement can lead to a domino effect, causing misalignment in research objectives, wasted resources, and even inconclusive or irrelevant results.

Recognizing and avoiding these pitfalls not only strengthens the foundation of your research but also ensures that your efforts concede impactful insights.

Here's a detailed exploration of frequent subjective, qualitative, quantitative and measurable mistakes and how you can sidestep them.

Being too broad or too narrow

A problem statement that's too broad can lack focus, making it challenging to derive specific research questions or objectives. Conversely, a statement that's too narrow might limit the scope of your research or make it too trivial.

Example of mistake: "Studying the effects of diet on health" is too broad, while "Studying the effects of eating green apples at 3 pm on heart health" is overly narrow.

You can refine the scope based on preliminary research. The correct way to write this problem statement will be "Studying the effects of a high-fiber diet on heart health in adults over 50." This statement is neither too broad nor too narrow, and it provides a clear direction for the research.

Using unnecessary jargon or technical language

While academic writing often involves academic terms, overloading your problem statement with jargon can alienate readers and obscure the actual problem.

Example of Mistake: "Examining the diurnal variations in macronutrient ingestion vis-à-vis metabolic homeostasis."

To ensure it’s not complicated, you can simplify and clarify. "Examining how daily changes in nutrient intake affect metabolic balance" conveys the same idea more accessible.

Not emphasizing the "Why" of the problem

It's not enough to state a problem; you must also convey its significance. Why does this problem matter? What are the implications of not addressing it?

Example of Mistake: "Many students are not engaging with online learning platforms."

You can proceed with the approach of highlighting the significance here. "Many students are not engaging with online learning platforms, leading to decreased academic performance and widening educational disparities."

Circular reasoning and lack of relevance

Your problem statement should be grounded in existing research or observed phenomena. Avoid statements that assume what they set out to prove or lack a clear basis in current knowledge.

Example of Mistake: "We need to study X because not enough research has been done on X."

Instead, try grounding your statement based on already-known facts. "While several studies have explored Y, the specific impact of X remains unclear, necessitating further research."

Being overly ambitious

While it's commendable to aim high, your problem statement should reflect a challenge that's achievable within your means, timeframe, and resources.

Example of Mistake: "This research will solve world hunger."

Here, you need to be realistic and focused. "This research aims to develop sustainable agricultural techniques to increase crop yields in arid regions."

By being mindful of these common mistakes, you can craft a problem statement that is clear, relevant and sets a solid foundation for your research.

Over-reliance on outdated data

Using data that is no longer relevant can mislead the direction of your research. It's essential to ensure that the statistics or findings you reference are current and pertinent to the present scenario.

Example of Mistake: "According to a 1995 study, only 5% of the population uses the internet for daily tasks."

You always cross-check the dates and relevance of the data you're using. For a contemporary study on internet usage, you'd want to reference more recent statistics.

Not specifying the sample size or demographic

A problem statement should be clear about the population or sample size being studied, especially when making generalizations or claims.

Example of Mistake: "People prefer online shopping to in-store shopping."

Here, you would benefit from specifying the demographic or sample size when presenting data to avoid overgeneralization. " In a survey of 1,000 urban residents aged 18-35, 70% expressed a preference for online shopping over in-store shopping. "

Ignoring conflicting data

Cherry-picking data that supports your hypothesis while ignoring conflicting data can lead to a biased problem statement.

Example of Mistake: "Research shows that all students benefit from online learning."

You’ve to ensure a balanced view by considering all relevant data, even if it contradicts your hypothesis. " While many studies highlight the advantages of online learning for students, some research points to challenges such as decreased motivation and lack of face-to-face interaction. "

Making unsubstantiated predictions

Projecting future trends without solid data can weaken the credibility of your problem statement.

Example of Mistake: "The demand for electric cars will increase by 500% in the next year."

Base your predictions on current trends and reliable data sources, avoiding hyperbolic or unsupported claims. " With the current growth rate and recent advancements in battery technology, there's potential for a significant rise in the demand for electric cars. "

Wrapping Up

A well-crafted problem statement ensures that your research is focused, relevant, and contributes meaningfully to the broader academic community.

However, the consequences of an incorrect or poorly constructed problem statement can be severe. It can lead to misdirected research efforts, wasted resources, compromised credibility, and even ethical concerns. Such pitfalls underscore the importance of dedicating time and effort to craft a precise and impactful problem statement.

So, as you start your research journey , remember that a well-defined problem statement is not just a starting point; it guides your entire research journey, ensuring clarity, relevance, and meaningful contributions to your field.

Frequently Asked Questions

A problem statement is a clear, concise and specific articulation of a gap in current knowledge that your research aims to bridge.

The Problem Statement should highlight existing gaps in current knowledge and also the significance of the research. It should also include the research question and purpose of the research.

Clear articulation of the problem and establishing relevance; Working thesis (methods to solve the problem); Purpose and scope of study — are the 3 parts of the problem statement.

While the statement of the problem articulates and delineates a particular research problem, Objectives designates the aims, purpose and strategies to address the particular problem.

Here’s an example — “The study aims to identify and analyze the specific factors that impact employee productivity, providing organizations with actionable insights to optimize remote work policies.”

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  • How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

Published on 30 October 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on 13 June 2023.

Structure of a research proposal

A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will conduct your research.

The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements:

Introduction

Literature review.

  • Research design

Reference list

While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same. A research proposal serves as a blueprint and guide for your research plan, helping you get organised and feel confident in the path forward you choose to take.

Table of contents

Research proposal purpose, research proposal examples, research design and methods, contribution to knowledge, research schedule, frequently asked questions.

Academics often have to write research proposals to get funding for their projects. As a student, you might have to write a research proposal as part of a grad school application , or prior to starting your thesis or dissertation .

In addition to helping you figure out what your research can look like, a proposal can also serve to demonstrate why your project is worth pursuing to a funder, educational institution, or supervisor.

Research proposal length

The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.

One trick to get started is to think of your proposal’s structure as a shorter version of your thesis or dissertation , only without the results , conclusion and discussion sections.

Download our research proposal template

Prevent plagiarism, run a free check.

Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We’ve included a few for you below.

  • Example research proposal #1: ‘A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management’
  • Example research proposal #2: ‘ Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use’

Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes:

  • The proposed title of your project
  • Your supervisor’s name
  • Your institution and department

The first part of your proposal is the initial pitch for your project. Make sure it succinctly explains what you want to do and why.

Your introduction should:

  • Introduce your topic
  • Give necessary background and context
  • Outline your  problem statement  and research questions

To guide your introduction , include information about:

  • Who could have an interest in the topic (e.g., scientists, policymakers)
  • How much is already known about the topic
  • What is missing from this current knowledge
  • What new insights your research will contribute
  • Why you believe this research is worth doing

As you get started, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the most important research on your topic. A strong literature review  shows your reader that your project has a solid foundation in existing knowledge or theory. It also shows that you’re not simply repeating what other people have already done or said, but rather using existing research as a jumping-off point for your own.

In this section, share exactly how your project will contribute to ongoing conversations in the field by:

  • Comparing and contrasting the main theories, methods, and debates
  • Examining the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches
  • Explaining how will you build on, challenge, or synthesise prior scholarship

Following the literature review, restate your main  objectives . This brings the focus back to your own project. Next, your research design or methodology section will describe your overall approach, and the practical steps you will take to answer your research questions.

To finish your proposal on a strong note, explore the potential implications of your research for your field. Emphasise again what you aim to contribute and why it matters.

For example, your results might have implications for:

  • Improving best practices
  • Informing policymaking decisions
  • Strengthening a theory or model
  • Challenging popular or scientific beliefs
  • Creating a basis for future research

Last but not least, your research proposal must include correct citations for every source you have used, compiled in a reference list . To create citations quickly and easily, you can use our free APA citation generator .

Some institutions or funders require a detailed timeline of the project, asking you to forecast what you will do at each stage and how long it may take. While not always required, be sure to check the requirements of your project.

Here’s an example schedule to help you get started. You can also download a template at the button below.

Download our research schedule template

If you are applying for research funding, chances are you will have to include a detailed budget. This shows your estimates of how much each part of your project will cost.

Make sure to check what type of costs the funding body will agree to cover. For each item, include:

  • Cost : exactly how much money do you need?
  • Justification : why is this cost necessary to complete the research?
  • Source : how did you calculate the amount?

To determine your budget, think about:

  • Travel costs : do you need to go somewhere to collect your data? How will you get there, and how much time will you need? What will you do there (e.g., interviews, archival research)?
  • Materials : do you need access to any tools or technologies?
  • Help : do you need to hire any research assistants for the project? What will they do, and how much will you pay them?

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement.

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.

A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.

All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.

Critical thinking refers to the ability to evaluate information and to be aware of biases or assumptions, including your own.

Like information literacy , it involves evaluating arguments, identifying and solving problems in an objective and systematic way, and clearly communicating your ideas.

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How to write a problem statement

what is research proposal statement of problem

What is a problem statement?

Why write a problem statement, when are problem statements commonly written, how do i write a problem statement, the format of a problem statement, the trademarks of a good problem statement, an example of a problem statement, frequently asked questions about problem statements, related articles.

A problem statement is a clear and concise description of the problem or issue a team aims to address in a project.

A problem statement identifies a problem’s current state, desired future state, and the gaps that lie between the two. It doesn't define the solution to the problem or provide a road map for solving the problem; it only gives an outline of what the problem is.

However, the researcher or team can later use the problem statement to validate that their work delivered an outcome that resulted in the solution.

A problem statement is a useful communication tool, as it keeps the whole team on track and tells them why the project is important. A problem statement helps someone to define and understand the problem, identify the goals of the project, and outline the scope of work.

A problem statement is especially relevant for projects that aim to improve processes, as it allows for the easier development of solutions. Referencing it helps guide the activities carried out and aids the research team in staying focused. The information in a problem statement also helps a team make important decisions.

When the desired solution is implemented later on, a problem statement can help make sure that steps are put into place to prevent the original problem from recurring in the future.

Problem statements are used in both academic and business contexts. In a business environment, project managers can use them to help execute process improvement projects.

But in an academic setting, they can help researchers to contextualize and understand the significance of the problem in a research project. This guide focuses on academic problem statements.

Before planning or writing out your academic problem statement, ask yourself some important questions, and make notes with your answers:

  • What is the problem?
  • How often does the problem occur?
  • Where does the problem occur?
  • When does the problem occur?
  • Who does the problem impact?
  • What causes the problem?
  • How would things ideally work if the problem wasn't present?
  • Why is this a problem, and why does it matter?
  • What impact does the problem cause?
  • Which possible solution/s to the problem are you going to propose?
  • What are the predicted benefits or outcomes of your solutions?

When you write your problem statement, split it into four sections:

  • Problem: Here, simply define what your problem is, clearly and concisely. Make it no longer than one or two sentences.
  • Background: This is the section where you can describe what causes the problem, how often it occurs, where and when it occurs, and who the problem impacts.
  • Relevance: You'll want to show how the problem is relevant, as well as why it matters and requires a solution. This is a great space to specify why it's a problem and what impacts it causes. If it fits comfortably, you can also articulate how things would ideally work if the problem wasn't present.
  • Objectives: This section doesn't require great detail or length, as the problem statement isn't the area of your research project in which to specifically problem-solve. However, you should lay out a brief plan of what you're going to do to investigate and how that should help you formulate solutions. You can also hypothesize on possible solutions you're going to propose, and the benefits you predict from these.

A quality problem statement should be:

  • Concise: You should be able to summarize your problem, as well as the different elements of how and why it's a problem, in succinct sentences. If you can't, revisit your initial notes and clarify what you want to achieve with your project.
  • Specific: Only write about one issue in a problem statement, even if there's more than one impact of that issue. Your research and actions then only have to focus on solving the one problem, and there's no confusion.
  • Measurable: Be clear about how you're able to measure and convey both the problem and your proposed objectives. This is usually by communicating the problem in terms of degree and frequency.

Below is an academic problem statement example. You don't need to include any headers in your real problem statement, but we'll do so here to show you how the sections of the document function in practice.

There is worryingly low uptake of free cervical cancer screening in the UK amongst women aged 25 to 35.

According to an assessment conducted by X Health Trust, only 60% of 25- to 35-year-old female patients attended cervical cancer screening appointments within the last two years.

This could be due to several contributing factors:

  • Female patients in this age group may be more likely to believe they are not susceptible to cervical cancer due to their younger age.
  • There has been an absence of regular and informative public health announcements on this subject within the last seven years.
  • Cervical cancer screening has a reputation for being an unpleasant experience, which could be off-putting for patients due to attend one.

Cervical cancer is the 14th most common cancer in females in the UK, representing a notable health risk. As of 2017, there were around 3,200 new cervical cancer cases, with 850 consequent deaths, in the UK every year.

Although mortality rates in the UK for cervical cancer are highest in females aged 85 to 89, incidence rates for the disease are still highest in females aged 30 to 34.

When cervical cancer is diagnosed at its earliest stage, 96% of people diagnosed will survive their disease for one year or more. This is compared with only 50% of people when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.

Screening is a vital health service as many cervical cancer patients will be symptomless until they are in a later stage of the disease.

We are going to conduct a survey of 10,000 females in the UK between the ages of 25 and 35. We will first ask them the question of whether they have attended a cervical screening appointment in the last five years. For those who answer “no,” we will then present them with multiple-choice options that answer the question, “why not?”

From the results we gather, we should be able to accurately assess the most common reasons why there is a low uptake in cervical cancer screening in this age group. We will then propose interventions to the medical community based on our findings.

Our ultimate goal is to increase the uptake of cervical cancer screening by females between 25 and 35 in the UK over the next five years.

🔲 Background

🔲 Relevance

🔲 Objectives

A problem statement helps you define and understand a problem, identify the goals of your project, and outline the scope of your work. A problem statement is especially important for projects that aim to improve processes, as it allows for the easier development of solutions.

A good problem statement is concise, specific and measurable. It summarizes the different elements of how and why it's a problem. It focusses on solving this one problem, and there is no confusion as to what the problem is and how it is solved. It is clear how the problem can be solved and how this can be measured.

To start a problem statement, first ask yourself some important questions to define the problem, like:

  • Which possible solutions to the problem are you going to propose?

When you write your problem statement, split it into these sections:

A smart problem statement is concise, specific and measurable. It should briefly describe the problem, where it is occurring, the timeframe over which it has been occurring, and the size and magnitude of the problem.

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Problem Statement – When to Use it & Examples

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Problem-statement-Definition

In the process of crafting a research proposal , the problem statement holds paramount importance as it captures the reader’s attention from the get-go. Thus, it is imperative to comprehend its essence and what it encompasses. This article offers a thorough set of guidelines for determining and articulating a well-defined problem statement in the research process . Further, it emphasizes that an effective problem statement can not only frame the study but also serve as a foundation for the subsequent research steps.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

  • 1 Problem Statement – In a Nutshell
  • 2 Definition: Problem statement
  • 3 When is a problem statement required?
  • 4 1. Contextualize the problem statement
  • 5 2. Why does the problem statement matter?
  • 6 3. Objectives and aims for the problem statement

Problem Statement – In a Nutshell

  • The problem statement is a description of the topic or issue that a researcher will explore.
  • The statement should feature four primary elements: context, precise problem, relevance, and objectives.
  • Problem statements may differ in theoretical and practical research.

Definition: Problem statement

A problem statement is a research proposal or paper description that explains what the research will address and why the issue needs to be addressed.

The statement is important in research and business proposals because it is one of the first things your instructor, colleagues, or potential customers will read in your document.

Once you have recognized the problem you want to explore in your project, you can come up with a problem statement by asking the questions below:

  • What information is currently available about the problem? (Give context)
  • What should we know about the topic? (Explain the precise issue)
  • Why is this topic important? (Explain its relevance)
  • What do you intend to do to find out more about the issue? (Explain the research objectives)

When is a problem statement required?

A problem statement is applicable in various situations. Also, you can use the statement when dealing with a practical or theoretical problem, like in science.

In each case, the problem statement will look different. However, the basic principles for writing it are constant.

A problem statement is required in:

Problem-statement-3-steps-

1. Contextualize the problem statement

The first thing you should do when preparing a problem statement is to contextualize the problem. Here, you should give some background about the issue and what is already known.

For instance, you can quote findings from a previous study about the issue. The approach may differ depending on the problem.

Practical problem statement

A practical problem involves everyday issues arising in institutions, businesses, and lives.

In such cases, your problem statement should answer the following questions:

  • Who does the problem affect?
  • Where does the problem arise?
  • When does it happen?
  • What steps have been made to resolve the issue?

The number of college dropouts in Texas has been increasing rapidly over the past decade compared to other states in the US. Studies show that around 1/5 of students that enroll in colleges do not see their studies through to graduation. The state has tried making colleges a friendlier environment to resolve the issue. However, this approach has not provided the expected results.

Theoretical problem statements

A theoretical problem results from abstract thinking and does not necessarily apply to everyday life. Theoretical research usually applies to scientific, historical, and geographical subjects. Therefore, your approach to theoretical research is usually different from a practical one.

When writing the problem statement for theoretical research problems, you should answer the questions below:

  • What existing knowledge is there about the problem?
  • Is the problem restricted to a specific period?
  • Is the problem restricted to a specific geographical region?
  • Is there scholarly literature that defines or debates the problem?

Over the past decade, social media “influencing” has become a significant element in the marketing sector. Research indicates that most people between 13 and 45 years old are likely to respond better to product marketing via public figures than traditional methods. Therefore, research on effective marketing schemes has shifted its focus to social media and the internet. However, little has been done to explore why this shift is happening and whether it is positive or negative.

2. Why does the problem statement matter?

Another significant element of the statement is the relevance of the research. In other words, why is the research problem worth exploring?

In practical research, you can explain the relevance of the problem by answering the questions below:

  • What will transpire if the issue is not addressed?
  • Who will be affected the most?
  • Do similar issues exist in other contexts?

The high college dropout rate has already adversely affected Texas’ economy. However, if the issue is not addressed, students will no longer see the need to join colleges. Also, it may trickle down to the high school level as the value of education decreases among students. Besides the students, parents will also be affected by the dropouts because of increased crime rates and the declining economy. Therefore, addressing this issue will benefit Texas and other states.

Theoretical problem statement

For theoretical research, you can explain the relevance of the problem by asking the following questions:

  • How will the problem’s resolution advance the comprehension of the subject?
  • What benefits will the research have in future studies?
  • Does the issue impact society directly or indirectly?

The social media “influencing” era can be viewed as positive or negative. In-depth research is required to fully understand why this generation responds to influences from social media. Expounding on social media habits may help develop more theories regarding the influences of the internet and social media on the current generation. It will also help with policy development.

3. Objectives and aims for the problem statement

After explaining the context of the research problem and its relevance, the next step is describing how you aim to address it.

The overall goal of any research is to find conclusive solutions for a specific problem and suggest the best ways to implement the solutions. However, you can only achieve this by determining the causes or reasons for the issue.

  • I intend to investigate (the dropout rates in Texas).
  • This project seeks to explore (the increasing college dropout rates in Texas).
  • I purpose to determine (the causes of the increased college dropout rates in Texas).

The objectives are slightly different from the aims. Instead, objectives are steps you intend to apply to achieve your aim.

  • I will use surveys to gather data (on the reasons students drop out of college in Texas).
  • Using qualitative procedures, this research will identify (the number of college dropouts in the past decade).
  • Statistical analysis will be applied to identify (the rates of college acceptance in Texas).

This project seeks to understand students’ college experiences and factors contributing to the increasing dropout rates in Texas. I will use statistical analysis to gather insight into the rates of college acceptances and graduations in the region.

This study intends to investigate the impact of the social media “influencing” era on the marketing sector and what practitioners can expect. Qualitative methods will be applied to identify the impact of social media and the success rates of social media marketing.

What is a problem statement?

A problem statement is a precise explanation of the issues a research project pursues to address. It includes:

  • Precise issue
  • Relevance of the study

When should you write a problem statement?

This statement is necessary for academic projects by university or college students.

However, businesses and institutions also need project statements (independent documents) when recommending improvement projects.

What is the value of a problem statement?

This statement provides readers with an overview of your project.

It also serves as a communication tool for those working on the project (it helps them know issues they should address).

What are the key fundamentals of a statement problem?

The key elements of a statement problem are:

  • Precise problem identification

Therefore, your statement should explain each of these elements.

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Research Methods in Dentistry pp 87–114 Cite as

Writing a Research Proposal

  • Fahimeh Tabatabaei 3 &
  • Lobat Tayebi 3  
  • First Online: 10 April 2022

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A research proposal is a roadmap that brings the researcher closer to the objectives, takes the research topic from a purely subjective mind, and manifests an objective plan. It shows us what steps we need to take to reach the objective, what questions we should answer, and how much time we need. It is a framework based on which you can perform your research in a well-organized and timely manner. In other words, by writing a research proposal, you get a map that shows the direction to the destination (answering the research question). If the proposal is poorly prepared, after spending a lot of energy and money, you may realize that the result of the research has nothing to do with the initial objective, and the study may end up nowhere. Therefore, writing the proposal shows that the researcher is aware of the proper research and can justify the significance of his/her idea.

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The first step in research is to outline the research problem – this might be an area of concern, a gap in the existing knowledge or a deviation in something that has been previously established, which warrants further investigation. 

Importance of the problem statement

The statement of a problem defines and describes the research hypothesis or question(s), along with the broad method that will be used to solve the problem . The statement of the problem serves as the basis for the introductory section of your project proposal. A well-formulated statement of the problem sets the stage for the rest of your study , including how you will address the problem and any anticipated outcomes or answers. Once you have very clearly laid out the core issue, problem or question that you’re investigating, you’ll have a much sharper focus for conducting and writing up the rest of your study. A clear and straightforward statement will also inform and impress your reader in grasping the issues that your proposed project will address.

Defining the ‘problem’

The research question should be compelling and must have an underlying basis. While formulating the problem statement, as a keen researcher, you should consider the current state of the topic in question, along with any other observations or educated guesses. 

As you are defining the ‘problem’ that you are addressing in your research, consider the following questions: 

  • What is the problem?
  • Why is it a problem, and why does it need to be resolved? 
  • What are the likely benefits of solving the problem? 
  • Besides the central question, what are smaller, specific questions that need to be asked and answered?

Clarifying and refining the problem statement

In the initial stages of writing, the problem statement might be a bit rough around the edges. A final and more refined form will emerge as you reflect more deeply over the topic and delve into the literature. The current status of the topic , including what is known and what is not , will help you refine your original problem statement to a clearer and more specific one.

Wrapping it up

To conclude the section, briefly summarise the problem and emphasise the need to fix it. All potential advantages and anticipated outcomes and implications should be mentioned here. Contextualising the problem in a broad sense will also strengthen your case.

Sample problem statement

In a detailed project proposal, the statement of the problem could be nearly a page long, over several paragraphs . In a report or paper, the problem is typically expressed in a few sentences in the Introduction . Here is an example based on a fictional study.

Early and targeted warning of dengue outbreaks is critical for vector control. Current studies have primarily focused on the role of weather conditions in dengue forecasting. Environmental and microenvironmental suitability for mosquito breeding has been sorely neglected as a crucial factor, particularly in the urban setting. The surge in dengue and other mosquito-borne infections in India metropolitan cities in 2020–2021 highlights the urgent need to identify conducive features to better track and predict outbreaks. This study proposes a framework for implementing intra-urban dengue forecasting by… Through this investigation, we aim to develop a set of early predictors for improved surveillance of dengue in large urban swathes in Indian metropolitan cities. 

Dos and don’ts of writing a problem statement

  • Write the actual problem statement as a declarative statement or as a question .
  • Explain in the statement how previous studies have not addressed the issue or have fallen short due to certain limitations.
  • Outline in your statement how you plan to overcome or circumvent previous roadblocks to fill these deficiencies.
  • Ensure the statement is lucid and to the point, without any distracting information.
  • Cite credible sources where needed.

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what is research proposal statement of problem

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Research Problem – Definition, Steps & Tips

Published by Jamie Walker at August 12th, 2021 , Revised On October 3, 2023

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.

This article will assist in identifying and elaborating a research problem if you are unsure how to define your research problem. The most notable challenge in the research process is to formulate and identify a research problem. Formulating a problem statement and research questions while finalizing the research proposal or introduction for your dissertation or thesis is necessary.

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.

Formulating a research problem is the first step of conducting research, whether you are writing an essay, research paper,   dissertation , or  research proposal .

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What is a Research Problem

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

Decreased voter participation in county A, as compared to the rest of the country.

The high employee turnover rate of department X of company Y influenced efficiency and team performance.

A charity institution, Y, suffers a lack of funding resulting in budget cuts for its programmes.

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

Long-term Vitamin D deficiency affects cardiac patients are not well researched.

The relationship between races, sex, and income imbalances needs to be studied with reference to the economy of a specific country or region.

The disagreement among historians of Scottish nationalism regarding the contributions of Imperial Britain in the creation of the national identity for Scotland.

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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?

How to Write a First Class Dissertation Proposal or Research Proposal

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?
  • What are the benefices of the problem resolution (e.g. future researcher or organisation’s management)?

Example of a Specific Research Problem

A non-profit institution X has been examined on their existing support base retention, but the existing research does not incorporate an understanding of how to effectively target new donors. To continue their work, the institution needs more research and find strategies for effective fundraising.

Once the problem is narrowed down, the next stage is to propose a problem statement and hypothesis or research questions.

If you are unsure about what a research problem is and how to define the research problem, then you might want to take advantage of our dissertation proposal writing service. You may also want to take a look at our essay writing service if you need help with identifying a research problem for your essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is research problem with example.

A research problem is a specific challenge that requires investigation. Example: “What is the impact of social media on mental health among adolescents?” This problem drives research to analyse the relationship between social media use and mental well-being in young people.

How many types of research problems do we have?

  • Descriptive: Describing phenomena as they exist.
  • Explanatory: Understanding causes and effects.
  • Exploratory: Investigating little-understood phenomena.
  • Predictive: Forecasting future outcomes.
  • Prescriptive: Recommending actions.
  • Normative: Describing what ought to be.

What are the principles of the research problem?

  • Relevance: Addresses a significant issue.
  • Re searchability: Amenable to empirical investigation.
  • Clarity: Clearly defined without ambiguity.
  • Specificity: Narrowly framed, avoiding vagueness.
  • Feasibility: Realistic to conduct with available resources.
  • Novelty: Offers new insights or challenges existing knowledge.
  • Ethical considerations: Respect rights, dignity, and safety.

Why is research problem important?

A research problem is crucial because it identifies knowledge gaps, directs the inquiry’s focus, and forms the foundation for generating hypotheses or questions. It drives the methodology and determination of study relevance, ensuring that research contributes meaningfully to academic discourse and potentially addresses real-world challenges.

How do you write a research problem?

To write a research problem, identify a knowledge gap or an unresolved issue in your field. Start with a broad topic, then narrow it down. Clearly articulate the problem in a concise statement, ensuring it’s researchable, significant, and relevant. Ground it in the existing literature to highlight its importance and context.

How can we solve research problem?

To solve a research problem, start by conducting a thorough literature review. Formulate hypotheses or research questions. Choose an appropriate research methodology. Collect and analyse data systematically. Interpret findings in the context of existing knowledge. Ensure validity and reliability, and discuss implications, limitations, and potential future research directions.

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This article is a step-by-step guide to how to write statement of a problem in research. The research problem will be half-solved by defining it correctly.

How to write a hypothesis for dissertation,? A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested with the help of experimental or theoretical research.

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What (Exactly) Is A Research Proposal?

A simple explainer with examples + free template.

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Reviewed By: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | June 2020 (Updated April 2023)

Whether you’re nearing the end of your degree and your dissertation is on the horizon, or you’re planning to apply for a PhD program, chances are you’ll need to craft a convincing research proposal . If you’re on this page, you’re probably unsure exactly what the research proposal is all about. Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Overview: Research Proposal Basics

  • What a research proposal is
  • What a research proposal needs to cover
  • How to structure your research proposal
  • Example /sample proposals
  • Proposal writing FAQs
  • Key takeaways & additional resources

What is a research proposal?

Simply put, a research proposal is a structured, formal document that explains what you plan to research (your research topic), why it’s worth researching (your justification), and how  you plan to investigate it (your methodology). 

The purpose of the research proposal (its job, so to speak) is to convince  your research supervisor, committee or university that your research is  suitable  (for the requirements of the degree program) and  manageable  (given the time and resource constraints you will face). 

The most important word here is “ convince ” – in other words, your research proposal needs to  sell  your research idea (to whoever is going to approve it). If it doesn’t convince them (of its suitability and manageability), you’ll need to revise and resubmit . This will cost you valuable time, which will either delay the start of your research or eat into its time allowance (which is bad news). 

A research proposal is a  formal document that explains what you plan to research , why it's worth researching and how you'll do it.

What goes into a research proposal?

A good dissertation or thesis proposal needs to cover the “ what “, “ why ” and” how ” of the proposed study. Let’s look at each of these attributes in a little more detail:

Your proposal needs to clearly articulate your research topic . This needs to be specific and unambiguous . Your research topic should make it clear exactly what you plan to research and in what context. Here’s an example of a well-articulated research topic:

An investigation into the factors which impact female Generation Y consumer’s likelihood to promote a specific makeup brand to their peers: a British context

As you can see, this topic is extremely clear. From this one line we can see exactly:

  • What’s being investigated – factors that make people promote or advocate for a brand of a specific makeup brand
  • Who it involves – female Gen-Y consumers
  • In what context – the United Kingdom

So, make sure that your research proposal provides a detailed explanation of your research topic . If possible, also briefly outline your research aims and objectives , and perhaps even your research questions (although in some cases you’ll only develop these at a later stage). Needless to say, don’t start writing your proposal until you have a clear topic in mind , or you’ll end up waffling and your research proposal will suffer as a result of this.

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what is research proposal statement of problem

As we touched on earlier, it’s not good enough to simply propose a research topic – you need to justify why your topic is original . In other words, what makes it  unique ? What gap in the current literature does it fill? If it’s simply a rehash of the existing research, it’s probably not going to get approval – it needs to be fresh.

But,  originality  alone is not enough. Once you’ve ticked that box, you also need to justify why your proposed topic is  important . In other words, what value will it add to the world if you achieve your research aims?

As an example, let’s look at the sample research topic we mentioned earlier (factors impacting brand advocacy). In this case, if the research could uncover relevant factors, these findings would be very useful to marketers in the cosmetics industry, and would, therefore, have commercial value . That is a clear justification for the research.

So, when you’re crafting your research proposal, remember that it’s not enough for a topic to simply be unique. It needs to be useful and value-creating – and you need to convey that value in your proposal. If you’re struggling to find a research topic that makes the cut, watch  our video covering how to find a research topic .

Free Webinar: How To Write A Research Proposal

It’s all good and well to have a great topic that’s original and valuable, but you’re not going to convince anyone to approve it without discussing the practicalities – in other words:

  • How will you actually undertake your research (i.e., your methodology)?
  • Is your research methodology appropriate given your research aims?
  • Is your approach manageable given your constraints (time, money, etc.)?

While it’s generally not expected that you’ll have a fully fleshed-out methodology at the proposal stage, you’ll likely still need to provide a high-level overview of your research methodology . Here are some important questions you’ll need to address in your research proposal:

  • Will you take a qualitative , quantitative or mixed -method approach?
  • What sampling strategy will you adopt?
  • How will you collect your data (e.g., interviews, surveys, etc)?
  • How will you analyse your data (e.g., descriptive and inferential statistics , content analysis, discourse analysis, etc, .)?
  • What potential limitations will your methodology carry?

So, be sure to give some thought to the practicalities of your research and have at least a basic methodological plan before you start writing up your proposal. If this all sounds rather intimidating, the video below provides a good introduction to research methodology and the key choices you’ll need to make.

How To Structure A Research Proposal

Now that we’ve covered the key points that need to be addressed in a proposal, you may be wondering, “ But how is a research proposal structured? “.

While the exact structure and format required for a research proposal differs from university to university, there are four “essential ingredients” that commonly make up the structure of a research proposal:

  • A rich introduction and background to the proposed research
  • An initial literature review covering the existing research
  • An overview of the proposed research methodology
  • A discussion regarding the practicalities (project plans, timelines, etc.)

In the video below, we unpack each of these four sections, step by step.

Research Proposal Examples/Samples

In the video below, we provide a detailed walkthrough of two successful research proposals (Master’s and PhD-level), as well as our popular free proposal template.

Proposal Writing FAQs

How long should a research proposal be.

This varies tremendously, depending on the university, the field of study (e.g., social sciences vs natural sciences), and the level of the degree (e.g. undergraduate, Masters or PhD) – so it’s always best to check with your university what their specific requirements are before you start planning your proposal.

As a rough guide, a formal research proposal at Masters-level often ranges between 2000-3000 words, while a PhD-level proposal can be far more detailed, ranging from 5000-8000 words. In some cases, a rough outline of the topic is all that’s needed, while in other cases, universities expect a very detailed proposal that essentially forms the first three chapters of the dissertation or thesis.

The takeaway – be sure to check with your institution before you start writing.

How do I choose a topic for my research proposal?

Finding a good research topic is a process that involves multiple steps. We cover the topic ideation process in this video post.

How do I write a literature review for my proposal?

While you typically won’t need a comprehensive literature review at the proposal stage, you still need to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the key literature and are able to synthesise it. We explain the literature review process here.

How do I create a timeline and budget for my proposal?

We explain how to craft a project plan/timeline and budget in Research Proposal Bootcamp .

Which referencing format should I use in my research proposal?

The expectations and requirements regarding formatting and referencing vary from institution to institution. Therefore, you’ll need to check this information with your university.

What common proposal writing mistakes do I need to look out for?

We’ve create a video post about some of the most common mistakes students make when writing a proposal – you can access that here . If you’re short on time, here’s a quick summary:

  • The research topic is too broad (or just poorly articulated).
  • The research aims, objectives and questions don’t align.
  • The research topic is not well justified.
  • The study has a weak theoretical foundation.
  • The research design is not well articulated well enough.
  • Poor writing and sloppy presentation.
  • Poor project planning and risk management.
  • Not following the university’s specific criteria.

Key Takeaways & Additional Resources

As you write up your research proposal, remember the all-important core purpose:  to convince . Your research proposal needs to sell your study in terms of suitability and viability. So, focus on crafting a convincing narrative to ensure a strong proposal.

At the same time, pay close attention to your university’s requirements. While we’ve covered the essentials here, every institution has its own set of expectations and it’s essential that you follow these to maximise your chances of approval.

By the way, we’ve got plenty more resources to help you fast-track your research proposal. Here are some of our most popular resources to get you started:

  • Proposal Writing 101 : A Introductory Webinar
  • Research Proposal Bootcamp : The Ultimate Online Course
  • Template : A basic template to help you craft your proposal

If you’re looking for 1-on-1 support with your research proposal, be sure to check out our private coaching service , where we hold your hand through the proposal development process (and the entire research journey), step by step.

Literature Review Course

Psst… there’s more!

This post is an extract from our bestselling Udemy Course, Research Proposal Bootcamp . If you want to work smart, you don't want to miss this .

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50 Comments

Myrna Pereira

I truly enjoyed this video, as it was eye-opening to what I have to do in the preparation of preparing a Research proposal.

I would be interested in getting some coaching.

BARAKAELI TEREVAELI

I real appreciate on your elaboration on how to develop research proposal,the video explains each steps clearly.

masebo joseph

Thank you for the video. It really assisted me and my niece. I am a PhD candidate and she is an undergraduate student. It is at times, very difficult to guide a family member but with this video, my job is done.

In view of the above, I welcome more coaching.

Zakia Ghafoor

Wonderful guidelines, thanks

Annie Malupande

This is very helpful. Would love to continue even as I prepare for starting my masters next year.

KYARIKUNDA MOREEN

Thanks for the work done, the text was helpful to me

Ahsanullah Mangal

Bundle of thanks to you for the research proposal guide it was really good and useful if it is possible please send me the sample of research proposal

Derek Jansen

You’re most welcome. We don’t have any research proposals that we can share (the students own the intellectual property), but you might find our research proposal template useful: https://gradcoach.com/research-proposal-template/

Cheruiyot Moses Kipyegon

Cheruiyot Moses Kipyegon

Thanks alot. It was an eye opener that came timely enough before my imminent proposal defense. Thanks, again

agnelius

thank you very much your lesson is very interested may God be with you

Abubakar

I am an undergraduate student (First Degree) preparing to write my project,this video and explanation had shed more light to me thanks for your efforts keep it up.

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Very useful. I am grateful.

belina nambeya

this is a very a good guidance on research proposal, for sure i have learnt something

Wonderful guidelines for writing a research proposal, I am a student of m.phil( education), this guideline is suitable for me. Thanks

You’re welcome 🙂

Marjorie

Thank you, this was so helpful.

Amitash Degan

A really great and insightful video. It opened my eyes as to how to write a research paper. I would like to receive more guidance for writing my research paper from your esteemed faculty.

Glaudia Njuguna

Thank you, great insights

Thank you, great insights, thank you so much, feeling edified

Yebirgual

Wow thank you, great insights, thanks a lot

Roseline Soetan

Thank you. This is a great insight. I am a student preparing for a PhD program. I am requested to write my Research Proposal as part of what I am required to submit before my unconditional admission. I am grateful having listened to this video which will go a long way in helping me to actually choose a topic of interest and not just any topic as well as to narrow down the topic and be specific about it. I indeed need more of this especially as am trying to choose a topic suitable for a DBA am about embarking on. Thank you once more. The video is indeed helpful.

Rebecca

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thank you very much ,because have learn a lot things concerning research proposal and be blessed u for your time that you providing to help us

Cheruiyot M Kipyegon

Hi. For my MSc medical education research, please evaluate this topic for me: Training Needs Assessment of Faculty in Medical Training Institutions in Kericho and Bomet Counties

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Siyanda

Your effort is much appreciated – you have good articulation.

You have good articulation.

Douglas Eliaba

I do applaud your simplified method of explaining the subject matter, which indeed has broaden my understanding of the subject matter. Definitely this would enable me writing a sellable research proposal.

Weluzani

This really helping

Roswitta

Great! I liked your tutoring on how to find a research topic and how to write a research proposal. Precise and concise. Thank you very much. Will certainly share this with my students. Research made simple indeed.

Alice Kuyayama

Thank you very much. I an now assist my students effectively.

Thank you very much. I can now assist my students effectively.

Abdurahman Bayoh

I need any research proposal

Silverline

Thank you for these videos. I will need chapter by chapter assistance in writing my MSc dissertation

Nosi

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Imam

thanks so much for this wonderful presentations, i really enjoyed it to the fullest wish to learn more from you

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I really enjoy the in-depth knowledge on research proposal you have given. me. You have indeed broaden my understanding and skills. Thank you

David Mweemba

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Andrea Eccleston

This article was most informative and easy to understand. I now have a good idea of how to write my research proposal.

Thank you very much.

Georgina Ngufan

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Charity

Thank you for the clarity

Mondika Solomon

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azeem kakar

very very wonderful…

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Gaza vote: What happened in the Commons yesterday - and can the Speaker Lindsay Hoyle be sacked?

After a taxing day that left Sir Lindsay fighting for his political life, we take a look at how we got here.

Political reporter @NifS

Thursday 22 February 2024 13:32, UK

Lindsay Hoyle

Raised voices, walk-outs, calls for resignations, even a few tears - it was a hairy day over in parliament on Wednesday and not the usual scenes expected from an opposition day debate.

So what rattled Westminster and its MPs? And how did the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, find himself at the centre of the furore?

Politics live: Tens of MPs sign no-confidence motion in Speaker after Commons chaos

We take a look at how the saga played out.

What was supposed to happen?

As the third largest party in the Commons, the SNP is entitled to three opposition days in parliament every session - letting them pick the topic to be debated on the floor of the chamber.

Wednesday was one of those days, and the party chose the Israel-Hamas war, laying down a motion calling for an "immediate ceasefire" in the Middle East.

More on Conservatives

Deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden MP

Deputy PM refuses to say whether Lee Anderson is 'racist' following attack on Sadiq Khan

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield react during a visit to Woodland View Primary School in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, Britain January 4, 2024. Jacob King/Pool via REUTERS

'Muslims are fair game when it comes to racism': Sadiq Khan slams PM for failing to condemn Lee Anderson comments

what is research proposal statement of problem

Calls for Lee Anderson to be kicked out of Conservatives over 'divisive and dangerous' comments

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This has been a long-held position of the SNP, so the proposal came as no surprise.

But it did lead to mounting pressure on the Labour Party to shift its position - which had, until this point, echoed the government's calls for a "pause" - as the last time a ceasefire vote took place, there was a raft of resignations from their frontbench.

So, on Tuesday - and after days of speculation - shadow foreign secretary David Lammy announced Labour would be putting forward an amendment to the SNP motion , calling for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire".

There were still caveats in place, including ensuring both sides laid down their weapons and that all the Israeli hostages were released, but it was seen as a big shift for Labour.

Come Wednesday, the stage was set for the debate - but little did we know about the chaos that was coming.

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David Lammy MP calls for immediate humanitarian ceasefire

Why is the Speaker in trouble?

At the start of a debate on a motion, it is down to the Speaker to decide if any amendments to it can be debated and voted on.

But parliamentary convention says that if the motion has been put forward by an opposition party, like the SNP, it cannot be amended by another opposition party, like Labour - only by the government.

Despite anger from his clerk, and feathers being spat by a number of MPs, Sir Lindsay decided both the government and Labour's amendments to the SNP's motion could and would be voted on, claiming he wanted to give the House as many options as possible when debating such an emotive topic.

The House of Commons is debating a motion to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Conservative MPs accused the Speaker - a Labour MP before taking on the role - of making an "overtly political decision" to help Sir Keir Starmer fend off a rebellion from his own MPs, who could back the SNP motion without a Labour alternative to support.

Then came a curve ball from the Tory Leader of the House, Penny Mordaunt, who decided to pull the government's amendment from the floor.

She announced her party would "play no further part" in proceedings in protest at the actions of Sir Lindsay - something she claimed "undermined the confidence" of MPs in the House's procedures.

Penny Mordaunt Beach Ken

And with that amendment gone - and Tories abstaining from any votes - Labour's amendment was able to pass without a vote.

But that meant the original SNP motion had been changed to Labour's form of words, and the Scottish MPs never got a chance to vote on their own proposal, leading to fury from their benches.

How has he responded?

MPs from the SNP and the Conservatives staged a walkout in protest to what had played out and demanded Sir Lindsay come to the Commons to explain himself.

And eventually, he did, apologising to all sides over what had happened.

The Speaker reiterated his earlier justifications for selecting the Labour amendment, saying he had been trying to ensure all options were on the table for MPs to vote on - as well as protecting MPs' safety.

"I thought I was doing the right thing and the best thing, and I regret it, and I apologise for how it's ended up," he said.

"I do take responsibility for my actions."

But Tory MPs were heard shouting "resign" throughout his apology, and SNP leader Stephen Flynn said he would "take significant convincing" that his position was "not now intolerable".

The SNP's Westminster leader, Stephen Flynn, acknowledged the Speaker's apology but said his party was treated "with complete and utter contempt".

Could Sir Lindsay be replaced?

After all the drama had come to a close in the chamber, there were more parliamentary shenanigans to be had.

More than 50 MPs from both the Tories and the SNP signed up to a no-confidence motion in Sir Lindsay in the form of an early-day motion.

EDMs are rarely debated, but they offer MPs a way of drawing attention to their views and stating them publicly.

So while it may highlight their unhappiness with the Speaker, it doesn't push him out the door.

Yet there is a feeling in the air that Sir Lindsay is going to have to fight to keep his job now and win over his critics.

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what is research proposal statement of problem

How would parliament choose a new Speaker?

According to the Institute for Government, there's no formal means of removing the Speaker from their role.

But MPs can hold a vote of no-confidence in him or her, making it extremely difficult for them to hold on - and perhaps pushing them towards resigning.

If Sir Lindsay did step down - either because of a vote or the threat of one coming his way - the chair would need to be filled.

Candidates would be put forward via written nominations, and if one secured more than 50% of the vote among MPs, a motion would be put to the Commons to confirm their appointment.

If the motion didn't pass, selection and voting would start again.

If nobody secured 50% in the first place, the candidate with the lowest vote share would be removed from the ballot and the vote would be repeated until someone hit the threshold and a winner emerged.

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Study finds chlormequat in Cheerios and Quaker products: What to know about the pesticide

what is research proposal statement of problem

Four out of five Americans likely have a lesser-known pesticide in their bodies thanks to the consumption of certain foods, according to a new study.

Published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology on Thursday, the study found that 80% of tested Americans had the chemical chlormequat in their systems, a plant regulating agent that is currently not approved for use on edible crops in the U.S.

Imported foods treated with chlormequat are allowed to enter the country, however. According to a brief published alongside the study by the advocacy organization Environmental Working Group (EWG), the findings "ring alarm bells," as the chemical is thought to be harmful and was found in common oat and wheat-based products, including Cheerios and Quaker Oats.

Here's what to know about the findings.

What is chlormequat?

Chlormequat chloride is a pesticide used as a plant growth regulator. The agricultural chemical works by decreasing stem height. This prevents crops from bending over, which can make harvesting more difficult. It is most commonly used on wheat, oats and barley, per the EWG.

Chlormequat is not approved for use on edible plants in the U.S. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided in 2018 to allow the importation of foods treated with the chemical. It is approved for use on food crops, mostly grains, in the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada.

What did the study say?

Listeria outbreak: Salad kit from Bristol Farms now included in listeria-related recalls as outbreak grows

The study, published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, found that chlormequat was detected in 77 of 96, or 80%, of Americans tested for chlormequat.

Researchers used urine samples collected from three geographical regions between 2017 and 2023 to test for the presence and concentration of chlormequat in the bodies of the participants. The study found not only that 4 out of 5 Americans have the pesticide in their system, but that the concentration has increased compared to prior years.

The study also found the chemical in 92% of oat-based foods purchased and tested in May 2023, including Quaker Oats and Cheerios.

What products were found to contain chlormequat?

Researchers found the presence of chlormequat in both traditional and organic oat and wheat-based foods.

Researchers tested conventional oat-based products purchased in June and August 2022 and May 2023. Of both sets, chlormequat was detected in 92% of the tested products. Organic oat-based products had a lower detection rate of 12.5%.

A sample of conventional wheat-based products tested in February 2023 also found that 22% had traces of chlormequat.

The study authors tested several individual items from a variety of brands for the presence of chlormequat. The chemical was found in several General Mills products, including Cheerios; Quakers Food products including oatmeal, granola bars and Old Fashioned Oats; and some generic store-brand granola and cereals, including Walmart and Target.

Mollie Wulff, a spokesperson for General Mills, told USA TODAY in a statement: "All our products adhere to all regulatory requirements. Food safety is always our top priority at General Mills, and we take care to ensure our food is prepared and packaged in the safest way possible."

PepsiCo, which owns Quaker Foods, did not immediately respond to request for comment.

What are the effects of chlormequat?

Scientists don't know the exact impact of chlormequat on the human body, as testing has been focused on animals thus far.

Some prior studies have found that chlormequat is linked to infertility , disrupted fetal growth, delayed puberty and disruptions to the metabolic system. However, these studies were performed on mice and rats and have not been conducted on or translated to humans.

EWG said that studies on the pesticide are ongoing but argued, "Although these studies focus only on the chemical’s potential effects on animals, they raise questions about whether it could also harm humans. "

The EWG also noted a 2023 proposal by the EPA to allow the use of chlormequat on barley, oat, triticale and wheat grown in the U.S. for the first time following chlormequat manufacturer Taminco's application to do so in 2019. EWG has said they oppose the plan.

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FTC Proposes New Protections to Combat AI Impersonation of Individuals

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The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking that would prohibit the impersonation of individuals. The proposed rule changes would extend protections of the new rule on government and business impersonation that is being finalized by the Commission today.

The agency is taking this action in light of surging complaints around impersonation fraud, as well as public outcry about the harms caused to consumers and to impersonated individuals. Emerging technology – including AI-generated deepfakes – threatens to turbocharge this scourge, and the FTC is committed to using all of its tools to detect, deter, and halt impersonation fraud.

The Commission is also seeking comment on whether the revised rule should declare it unlawful for a firm, such as an AI platform that creates images, video, or text, to provide goods or services that they know or have reason to know is being used to harm consumers through impersonation.

“Fraudsters are using AI tools to impersonate individuals with eerie precision and at a much wider scale. With voice cloning and other AI-driven scams on the rise, protecting Americans from impersonator fraud is more critical than ever,” said FTC Chair Lina M. Khan. “Our proposed expansions to the final impersonation rule would do just that, strengthening the FTC’s toolkit to address AI-enabled scams impersonating individuals.”

The supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking is being issued in response to comments received during the public comment period on the government and business impersonation rule that pointed to the additional threats and harms posed by impersonation of individuals. As scammers find new ways to defraud consumers, including through AI-generated deepfakes, this proposal will help the agency deter fraud and secure redress for harmed consumers.

Final Rule on Government and Business Impersonation

In addition to the supplemental notice, the FTC has finalized the Government and Business Impersonation Rule, which gives the agency stronger tools to combat scammers who impersonate businesses or government agencies, enabling the FTC to directly file federal court cases aimed at forcing scammers to return the money they made from government or business impersonation scams. This is particularly important given the Supreme Court’s April 2021 ruling in AMG Capital Management LLC v. FTC , which significantly limited the agency’s ability to require defendants to return money to injured consumers.

Government and business impersonation scams have cost consumers billions of dollars in recent years, and both categories saw significant increases in reports to the FTC in 2023. The rule authorizes the agency to fight these scams more effectively.

For example, the rule would enable the FTC to directly seek monetary relief in federal court from scammers that:

  • Use government seals or business logos  when communicating with consumers by mail or online.
  • Spoof government and business emails and web addresses , including spoofing “.gov” email addresses or using lookalike email addresses or websites that rely on misspellings of a company’s name.
  • Falsely imply government or business affiliation  by using terms that are known to be affiliated with a government agency or business (e.g., stating “I’m calling from the Clerk’s Office” to falsely imply affiliation with a court of law).   

The publication of the final rule comes after the two rounds of public comment in response to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking issued in December 2021, a notice of proposed rulemaking issued in September 2022, and an informal hearing in May 2023.

The Commission vote to issue the final rule and the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking and to publish them in the Federal Register was 3-0. Chair Lina M. Khan issued a separate statement that was joined by Commissioners Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Alvaro M. Bedoya.

Both items will appear in the Federal Register shortly. The final rule on government and business impersonation will become effective 30 days from the date it is published in the Federal Register. The public comment period for the SNPRM will be open for 60 days following the date it is published in the Federal Register, and instructions for how to comment will be included in the notice.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition and protect and educate consumers . Learn more about consumer topics at consumer.ftc.gov , or report fraud, scams, and bad business practices at  ReportFraud.ftc.gov . Follow the FTC on social media , read consumer alerts and the business blog , and sign up to get the latest FTC news and alerts .

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  3. FREE 9+ Problem Statement Samples in PDF

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  5. FREE 9+ Problem Statement Samples in PDF

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VIDEO

  1. RESEARCH PROPOSALS, DISSERTATION AND THESIS

  2. Proposal 101: What Is A Research Topic?

  3. ScholarWriterAI

  4. How to Write a Good Research Proposal ?

  5. How to write Research proposal

  6. 10 Effective Tips for writing Problem statement

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Problem Statement

    A problem statement is a concise and concrete summary of the research problem you seek to address. It should: Contextualize the problem. What do we already know? Describe the exact issue your research will address. What do we still need to know? Show the relevance of the problem. Why do we need to know more about this?

  2. What is a Problem Statement? [with examples]

    It defines the problem and proposes a way to research a solution, or demonstrates why further information is needed in order for a solution to become possible. What is Included in a Problem Statement? Besides identifying the gap of understanding or the weakness of necessary data, it is important to explain the significance of this lack.

  3. What is a Problem Statement in Research? How to Write It with Examples

    Examples of problem statement in research proposal Frequently asked questions What is a problem statement? What is the difference between problem statement and thesis statement? Why is a problem statement needed in a research proposal? What is a research problem?

  4. How to Write a Research Problem Statement

    A research problem statement is a clear, concise, and specific statement that describes the issue or problem that the research project addresses. It should be written in a way that is easily understandable to both experts and non-experts in the field. To write a research problem statement, you should:

  5. The basics of writing a statement of the problem for your research proposal

    A statement of the problem is used in research work as a claim that outlines the problem addressed by a study. The statement of the problem briefly addresses the question: What is the problem that the research will address? What are the goals of a statement of the problem?

  6. How to Write a Statement of the Problem for Your Research Proposal

    A problem statement is a formulation of an issue which is usually a 'gap' within your area. A research gap is an unanswered question, an issue, controversy, or untested hypothesis that has not yet been addressed. The trick with research problems is working out whether they are actually worth investing the time, energy, and money to figure out.

  7. The Research Problem & Problem Statement

    A research problem is, at the simplest level, the core issue that a study will try to solve or (at least) examine. In other words, it's an explicit declaration about the problem that your dissertation, thesis or research paper will address. More technically, it identifies the research gap that the study will attempt to fill (more on that later).

  8. How to Write a Statement of a Problem in Research

    A problem statement is a clear and concise description of an issue or challenge that needs to be addressed. It typically outlines the existing gap between the current state (what currently is) and the desired state (what should be).

  9. How to Write a Research Proposal

    Published on October 12, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on November 21, 2023. A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it's important, and how you will conduct your research. The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements: Title page

  10. How to Write a Problem Statement in Research

    A research problem statement is a concise statement describing the problem or issue addressed by the research study. The research problem should be composed in a way that both experts and non-experts in the field can understand.

  11. How to write a statement of problem for your research proposal

    The statement of the problem is a crucial part of a research proposal. It is therefore, very important to write a well-articulated and persuasive problem statement for your research proposal. However, many researchers find this task difficult. This podcast will teach you how write a problem statement in 3 easy steps.

  12. How to Write an Effective Statement of the Problem

    What is the statement of the problem in research proposals? Before we begin deep-diving into the details, let us understand what a statement of the problem actually signifies.

  13. How to Write a Statement of the Problem in Research

    The problem statement is a foundation of academic research writing, providing a precise representation of an existing gap or issue in a particular field of study. Crafting a sharp and focused problem statement lays the groundwork for your research project. It highlights the research's significance.

  14. How to Write a Research Proposal

    Research proposal examples. Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We've included a few for you below. Example research proposal #1: 'A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management'.

  15. How to write a problem statement

    The format of a problem statement. When you write your problem statement, split it into four sections: Problem: Here, simply define what your problem is, clearly and concisely. Make it no longer than one or two sentences. Background: This is the section where you can describe what causes the problem, how often it occurs, where and when it ...

  16. Problem Statement ~ When to Use it & Examples

    A problem statement is a research proposal or paper description that explains what the research will address and why the issue needs to be addressed. The statement is important in research and business proposals because it is one of the first things your instructor, colleagues, or potential customers will read in your document.

  17. Writing a Research Proposal

    Therefore, the problem statement: Is an integral part of the selection of the research topic. Is the essential basis for establishing the research proposal and will constitute a guide for the precise development of the research plan (research objectives and hypotheses, methodology, work plan and budget, etc.)

  18. How to write the problem statement for your research

    The statement of a problem defines and describes the research hypothesis or question(s), along with the broad method that will be used to solve the problem. The statement of the problem serves as the basis for the introductory section of your project proposal. A well-formulated statement of the problem sets the stage for the rest of your study ...

  19. PDF How to write an effective research problem statement

    The answer is yes, for at least three reasons. 1) branding is important - a good title will help the reviewer establish a connection with your proposal 2) a negative first impression will likely linger with the reviewer while reading the rest of the problem statement, and 3) if the title is confusing, chances are the rest of the problem ...

  20. 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."

  21. What Is A Research Proposal? Examples + Template

    Simply put, a research proposal is a structured, formal document that explains what you plan to research (your research topic), why it's worth researching (your justification), and how you plan to investigate it (your methodology).

  22. Q: How to write a problem statement for my research?

    A problem statement is used in research work as a claim that outlines the problem addressed by a study. The problem statement briefly explains the problem that the research will address. If the topic of your research is food safety in the school feeding system, you need to first identify why food safety is lacking in schools.

  23. Gaza vote: What happened in the Commons yesterday

    Raised voices, walk-outs, calls for resignations, even a few tears - it was a hairy day over in parliament on Wednesday and not the usual scenes expected from an opposition day debate.

  24. Chlormequat found in Cheerios, oat foods, per new study: What is it?

    The EWG also noted a 2023 proposal by the EPA to allow the use of chlormequat on barley, oat, triticale and wheat grown in the U.S. for the first time following chlormequat manufacturer Taminco's ...

  25. FTC Proposes New Protections to Combat AI Impersonation of Individuals

    The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking that would prohibit the impersonation of individuals. The proposed rule changes would extend protections of the new rule on government and business impersonation that is being finalized by the Commission today.. The agency is taking this action in light of surging complaints around ...