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Problem Statement: Writing Guide + Examples

A problem statement is a key step in a research project. It is important that you create it before starting research. It will help you define main questions you need answers and plan the structure of your paper.

Do you need to learn more about writing this task? This article will shed more light on the basics of a research statement, its purpose and how you can create it. A brief step by step guide on writing robust issue descriptions will be provided below. Stay with us and you will get prepared for conducting your own research!

What Is a Problem Statement?

A problem statement provides an effective definition of an issue that you must examine in your work. It also servers the following purposes:

  • Put an issue into a context.
  • Explain the relevance of an issue and why you have chosen it for your project.
  • Define objectives of your research. You should specify main steps you're planning on in order to can solve it.

At the same time, your problem statement should not be too wordy. It should contain only relevant details. It should be direct when describing all things mentioned above.

Why Problem Statement Is Important in Research?

Role of the problem statement in a research paper lies in creating a solid, well-organized basis for your study. It is an essential step in understanding the significance of an issue and finding effective solutions. This is why you should write a strong approach to an issue before planning your research steps. It will serve as a guide for you. Also, with its help you can quickly solve any issue you can encounter when writing a paper.

How to Write a Problem Statement for Research: Step-by-Step Guide

How to write a good problem statement? Most importantly, it should help you better understand full meaning and context of an issue. Better make sure you don't miss anything at the start of your project.

We have prepared this quick guide on writing good approach to an issue. Let us explain it in detail.

Step 1. Offer Background in Your Problem Statement

Begin writing a problem statement by examining background of selected issue. Depending on the type of your research, focus on its practical or theoretical aspects. For practical issue, explain who or what is affected by this process. Tell what attempts have been made to find some solution. For theoretical one, explain what is already known about an issue from credible sources. Tell whether it is limited to any certain geographic location or period of time.

Second, give it some context. Explain how this particular issue stands in a way of different processes. You may even explain those processes! After all, it is way easier for readers to sympathize with topic if they understand it.

Step 2. Explain Why the Problem Statement Matters

Statement of the problem should provide clear arguments for relevance of an issue. Unless it is obvious from context, you need to start with clear answers to questions like these:

  • Is your problem connected to some other important ones?
  • Which direct or indirect consequences can this issue bring for society, economics or environment?
  • What can happen if it is not solved?
  • What benefits can be gained by solving it?
  • Will solving an issue contribute to better understanding of related area(s)?

Step 3. Find Effective Approaches in Your Problem Statement

Next step is exploring your possibilities given the context. Science project problem statement should determine the paths you are going to take with your research.

Your approaches may:

  • Address the aspects that make the heaviest impact and, therefore, need to be solved as soon as possible.
  • Investigate connection with similar issues to find whether other solutions could be applied to this one.
  • Explore the solutions suggested by other researchers if any are available.

Step 4. Show Research Objectives in Your Problem Statement

A statement of the problem in research paper should provide full description of your aim and objectives. The aim is typically not only about finding some solution. It examines the factors causing the issues and sets the research strategy.

The following objectives can be used:

  • Research methods which identify different aspects of an issue, and relations between factors.
  • Research activities you perform to collect necessary data.
  • Mathematical or statistical operations to measure the data you have collected.

Problem Statement Examples

We have prepared an example of problem statement in a research paper for your convenience. Keep in mind that you need to focus on composing proper structure of your report for maximum efficiency.

Problem Statement Example: “Employees of Newton Inc company should get an opportunity to get access to healthy food without spending too much time commuting during the lunch break. The company office is situated far from any of the local restaurants and the local traffic is typically high in every direction during the lunch hours. Evidence shows that most workers choose to eat snacks at the office to avoid spending too much time getting their lunch.Our aim is to let the employees have more free time during their lunch breaks and also reduce risks for their health. A possible solution could be setting up a cafeteria in the office building, with daily deliveries from a reputable food vendor. Surveys among the company’s employees will be conducted to find out whether this solution would be popular. Also, other companies’ experience will be examined.”

Writing a Problem Statement: Final Thoughts

Today we have provided you with quick guide on how to write a problem statement. Feel free to use it for your own research ideas.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Writing a Problem Statement

In this section we have answered several popular questions about research problem statements. Some of them could be useful for you.

What is a good problem statement?

A good problem statement should provide clear definition of an issue at the beginning. You must include clear and concise explanation of its context. Also, add some absolute or relative measurements that quantify that gap. However you should not focus on possible causes or specific solutions at this stage.

Where do you put a problem statement in a research paper?

A problem statement in a research paper is to be put after thesis and research questions. Its purpose is to provide more details about specific area around your topic that is described in the thesis and to explain your objectives to show how you will obtain answers to the research questions.

What is the significance of a problem statement in a research paper?

A problem statement plays an important role in your research as it organizes the information you initially have about your subject. The purpose is to introduce the reader to the importance of the topic being studied. Besides, it helps you find appropriate ways to conduct the research and find the answers.

How long should a problem statement be in research proposal?

In problem statement you'd usually need 1 page to explain an issue your process improvement project will address. Depending on which format your tutor or your institution recommends, it also may include your approaches and your objectives. List of three or four items is enough for each of these two elements.

Joe Eckel is an expert on Dissertations writing. He makes sure that each student gets precious insights on composing A-grade academic writing.

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