Scientific research involves systematically defining, formulating, and analysing a research problem. This process focuses mostly on being objective and gathering a multitude of information. However, do you know what the basis of a research process is? Yes, the right formulation of research problem is the most basic element in any research process that many students are unaware of. It is the research problem which guides the researcher throughout the whole research process and does not let him get off track.
Being an important element of research and considering your knowledge on the formulation of research problem, today’s topic is all about this crucial element. There will be a brief description of the top 7 steps that you can exercise to formulate a good research problem. Before that, let’s define a research problem and why formulating it is so important in a research process. Hence, let’s get started with today’s article.
What is a research problem in research?
A research problem is a statement which addresses a research question, a research gap, and an assertion. The researchers use a problem statement to define the aims and objectives of their research. What do they want to achieve through their research? What problem do they want to address by doing this particular research? These are some questions that a research problem addresses. The perfectly crafted research problem helps the researcher a lot in identifying key concepts, terms, and variables.
Why is the formulation of research problem important?
Being the basic element in a research process, formulating a good and perfect research problem holds much importance. It makes you aware of the tasks that you need to perform in your research process. However, some other points that highlight its importance are as follows:
- A research problem helps the researcher understand the true procedure of research.
- Helps in determining the research aims and objectives
- Generates or helps in generating research questions
7-step research process to formulate a research problem
Creating a research problem is an important step in any kind of research. It helps you outline your research study well and formulate the research questions, aims, and objectives. However, do you know how the formulation of research problem works? What are the steps involved in this process? As guessed, you know nothing about it. Therefore, a brief description of the 7 steps is as follows:
1. Identify the problem
First things first, the first step is about identifying the research problem that you want to address. It could be something that society takes as a problem, or some knowledge or information required by society or the research field. To identify the research problem, you must look deeply into your field, class notes, and teacher’s instructions about the research process. Looking at the community where you live can also let you identify the problem. for more info https://thebodynarratives.com/
2. Review the literature
So, you have identified the problem that you intend to research. Good. Now the next step that you need to carry out is reviewing the literature. It means that you must look at the past knowledge published in your field and identify if there is any gap present in that knowledge. Identifying this gap is important because research is only worth it if it adds something to the existing knowledge. So, perform an extensive review of the literature.
3. Clarify the problem
Most of the time, the initial problem formulated at the start of the research process is too broad in scope that it becomes difficult to research. As you have recently done a good review of the literature, it is now time to clarify the research problem further. This clarification is mostly based on the new insights that you get from the literature. So, make the problem as much clear and comprehensive as possible. However, if you are not able to do this, hire a professional masters dissertation help. It can formulate a clearer and more comprehensive problem.
4. Raise research questions
Raising these questions is an important step in the formulation of research problem. Ask yourself, “What is it that you want to get out of this research?” Make a list of the questions that come to your mind while researching the problem. The more questions you raise, the more chances that you are going to formulate a perfect research problem.
5. Determine variables and their relationship
Identification of the variables holds much importance in the process of formulating a research problem. The reason is that research is normally based on finding the relationship between the variables. So, what if you do not know the variables at all? It means you are lacking something and determining the research variables is that something. To do this, analyse your initially set research problem and determine the research variables. Anticipating the relationship between those variables is also important.
6. Select and include important variables
A perfect research study is one which includes the most relevant variables to the study. So, after determining those variables, you must know which variables are relevant to the problem identified at the start. For example, you want to research the causes of obesity in children. There are many variables that can cause obesity in children, but you cannot take all of them into consideration. Therefore, select and include only the important and closest ones.
7. Formulate the research problem
The last in the formulation of research problem is the formulation itself. After performing all the steps mentioned above, it is time that you put all the information together and formulate a research problem which is clear, comprehensive, and studies a research gap. Formulate it and stick to it. Do not change your problem once it is defined and developed unless necessary.
Conclusively, a research problem is a basic element in a research study. Without a clear and comprehensive research problem, you should better forget quality research. It is the research problem which guides the whole research. Therefore, keep the 7 steps mentioned in mind during the formulation of research problem.