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A research problem is a definite or clear expression [statement] about an area of concern, a condition to be improved upon, a difficulty to be eliminated, or a troubling question that exists in scholarly literature, in theory, or within existing practice that points to a need for meaningful understanding and deliberate investigation. The research asks the question: “What relationship between variables will be observed if theory aptly summarizes the state of affairs?
This may reveal where gaps exist in understanding a topic or where an issue has been understudied.
Research may be conducted to: 1) fill such gaps in knowledge; 2) evaluate if the methodologies employed in prior studies can be adapted to solve other problems; or, 3) determine if a similar study could be conducted in a different subject area or applied in a different context or to different study sample [i.e., different setting or different group of people].There's nothing inherently wrong with original research, but you must choose research problems that can be supported, in some way, by the resources available to you. University of Wisconsin, Madison; Thesis Statements. If you are not sure if something is researchable, don't assume that it isn't if you don't find information right away--seek help from a librarian! In short, a research topic is something to be understood; a research problem is something that needs to be investigated. Research problems in the social and behavioral sciences are often analyzed around critical questions that must be investigated. Also, authors frequently conclude their studies by noting implications for further research; read the conclusion of pertinent studies because statements about further research can be a valuable source for identifying new problems to investigate.The fact that a researcher has identified a topic worthy of further exploration validates the fact it is worth pursuing.A good problem statement begins by introducing the broad area in which your research is centered, gradually leading the reader to the more specific issues you are investigating.The statement need not be lengthy, but a good research problem should incorporate the following features:1. Personal Experience Don't undervalue your everyday experiences or encounters as worthwhile problems for investigation.Think critically about your own experiences and/or frustrations with an issue facing society, your community, your neighborhood, your family, or your personal life.