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Defining the

Research Problem


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A research problem refers to some

difficulty that a researcher
experiences in the context of either a
theoretical or practical situation
and wants to obtain a solution for
the same.


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Selection of problem
A research problem rightly and rationally selected
helps the researcher to complet the project with in the
prescribed time limit and the budgeted amount.
the right selection of a research problem will boost
the morale of the researcher.
in the selection of a problem aresearcher should take
in consideration the following factor.

research interest:-the researcher should possess probing
attitude, tenacity of spirit and dedication to thoroughness.
a researcher will be able to imbibe these three virtues, if
he has personal interest in the result of study. if the
researcher has little interest, the project will become a
shree drudgery.

Topic of Significance
if a student selects a problem which could be
applied in practice, he may be able to attract the
attention of the people in the practicle field of
the results of the study will also be used by the
people in the business.
if the student selects a significant theoretical
problem, he can keep in touchwith leading
scholars in the field.
the constant touch of the researcher with scholars
will stimulate his thinking and enthusiasm

novelty of the idea

it is derived from latin word "nova"
it is nothing but new, orginal, (innovative and
creativity things)
A novel problem may offer scope for new ways
of looking at the problem. A novel problem
conceived by the researcher is a sign ensuring
his promising research career.

Researcher's resources
the resources of the researcher are his inteligence,
training and experiences and other facilities such as
funds, clerical and technical assistance, library facilities
and availability of time. time is the foremost factor in
choosing a problem.
in a social research, library resources such as books,
journals, research reports, research journals,
professional journals,bibliographies.
if library resources are poor, the researcher has to select
a problem for which he can gather primary data.

Availability of data
the researcher has to examine whether the data
for the project are available in plenty.
if the study is based on secoundary data, the
researcher has to find out whether the data is with
in his research.
if the research is based on primary data, the
researcher has to see wheather the respondents
will answer the question.

Benefits of the Research

the results of a research study may give
intellectual satisfaction to the researcher.
he get recognition for his work from his
colleagues and outside scholars.
the researcher can also publish his thesis.
the research study is a service done to the
profession, institution and society.

Feasibility of the Study

the factors such as availability of equipments,
subjects, library facilities and time should be
noted before selecting a problem.
a researcher need not be in a hurry in choosing a
problem. spending considerable time in selecting
a topic would not be a waste at all.
a young researcher is often tempted to think that
his study must result in some extraordinary

What is Formulation
Formulation is a term used in various senses
in various applications, both the material
and the abstract or formal. Its fundamental
meaning is the putting together of
components in appropriate relationships or
structures, according to a formula.
(The action of devising or creating

(A particular expression of an idea, thought, or


Formulation of a Problem
Formulation of a research problem is translating
and transforming the selected problem in to a
scientific research question.
there are seven factors strengthening such careful
1.Proper Formulation of the problem provides a
sense of direction to the research.
2.Proper Formulation specifies the scope of

3.proper formulation indicates the limitations of
4.proper formulation clarifies the problem.
5.proper formulation




6.proper formulation expresses the context of the

problem and
7.proper formulation provides economy in research.

Steps in Formulation
A researcher has to follow the undermentioned steps one
by one in formulating a research problem.
1.Developing a title
2.working out conceptual model
3.Defining the objectives
4.Limiting the scope
5.Formulation of hypothesis
6.Operational definitions of concepts

Steps in formulation
Developeng a title-the title of the
study indicates the intention of the
researcher and shows the focus of the
study. it reveals wheather the study is
a case, a statistical, exploratory,
formalized and observational survey,
descriptive, casual and experimental
study. the title should be specific

Working out conceptual model

A problem may be selected from
theory or ideas derived from theory.
once a problem area is conceived,
the researcher could develop and
define the problem statement.

Defining the objectives

the research must first of all decide the
questions to be answered. then he has to
decide wheather the study is descriptive or
analysis, the researcher has to find answers
to the following questions.
what data are available or obtainable?
what are the constraints?
can say constraints be modified or removed?

Analytical & Descriptive

Analytical research is a type of research that utilises
critical thinking to find out facts about a given topic
and from the answers obtained develop new and
useful ways of doing things. Critical thinking is a
method of thinking that puts assumptions into
question to decide whether a given claim is true or
Descriptive research is used to obtain information
concerning the current status of the phenomena to
describe "what exists" with respect to variables or
conditions in a situation

Limiting the scope

the researcher must demarcrate
(Separate or distinguish from),(To set
the boundaries). the geographical
limits, time limit and magnitude of
the problem.

Formulation of hypothesis
hypothesis is a proposition or principle
which is assumed in order to draw
logical conclusion.
hypothesis is a provisional idea based
on limited amount of evidence.
once hypothesis is tested with the
help of evidence, it beco,es a thesis.
hypothesis gives direction to research.

operational definations of
the operational definition enables to
form specific ideas regarding the
data needed. a word gives multiple

sources of identifying research


lectures and discussion
daily experience
field study
explore areas of disatisfaction
look for current developement
maintain a dairy

Understanding the nature of

the problem
How did the problem come to you? Where did you hear it
first, from whom? What induced you to consider the
problem at all? Discuss, talk it out with colleagues, find
out the various perspectives to the problem.
Always consider the environment, the surrounding within
which the problem is to be studied and understood.
Identify who is concerned with the problems and talk,
talk and talk to the people involved.



Develop ideas through

An experience survey means talking to relevant
people in the field, those with the experience. Such
people are in a position to enlighten you on aspects of
the study and their advice and comments are
You can not only define the problem more
specifically, but also arrive at a general approach to
the problem, techniques that might be used and even
possible solutions.


Talk to whom?

Yourself, your friends, family, teachers

Icons within the community
Business associations and groups



Keep working on defining the research problem

till you are clear in your mind what is the
nature of the problem, the question that you
are addressing.
Unless this is clear your research gets