What is research problem?
It’s a clear and definite statement or expression about your chosen area of concern, a difficulty to eliminate, a condition to improve, or a troubling problem that exists in theory, literature, and practice. A research problem indicates a need for its meaningful investigation.
Why is research problem important?
- It sets the scope.
- It ties your work to reach goals and actions.
Characteristics of research problem
- Specific – Problem should be stated specifically. A clear statement that describes the objectives will help you carry out successful and concrete research.
- Measurable – Data collection and other simulation/ real-time methods (current trend). The researcher should try to fix the expected output type which will be produced in future.
- Achievable – Data should be realistic and use correct statistical method to get precise results. It should be easily achieved, solved, and answered by Researcher.
- Realistic – Results should be real not manipulated. It should be possible for researchers to perform experiments to solve the problem.
- Time bound – Shorter the completion is the better with minimum cost.
Elements of a Research Problem
- Why ? – Why is there an investigation, inquiry or study.
- What? – What is to be investigated or studies.
- Where? – Where the research is to be conducted.
- When? – period of study or a data to be gathered .
- Who? – From whom the data can be collected.
Source of Research Problem
- Personal Experience – Day to day experience of the researcher.
- Practical Experience – worked under a project.
- From literature – Book materials/article/publication/patent.
- Previous Research – knowledge gathered from previous research.
- Existing theories – moving practical solution for proved theory.
- Social issues – familiarity with social concerns.
- Brainstorming – These sessions are good technique.
- Consultation with experts – experts have problem significant problem with them.
Formulation of a Research Problem
- Identify a broad field or subject area of interest to you
- Dissect the broad area into subareas
- Select what is the most interest to you
- Raise research question
- Formulate objectives
- Assess your objective
- Double check
Common mistakes in formulation
- Not emphasizing on “why” the problem you are trying to solve is important
- Weak structuring of problem
- Insufficiently motivated research questions.
- Un-researchable problems.
- Favored research methods – tendency to recast a research
- Blind data mining