Defining the Research Problem

Sasmita Mishra

What is a Research Problem?
A

research problem in general refers to some difficulty which a researcher experiences in the context of either a theoratical or practical situation and wants a solution for the same.

Components of a research problem
 There

must be an individual or a group which has some difficulty or the problem  There must be some objective(s) to be attained at. If one wants nothing one cannot have a problem.  There must be alternative means (courses of action) for obtaining the objective.  There must remain some doubt in the mind of a researcher with regard to the selection of alternatives. Research must answer the relative efficiency of the possible alternatives.  There must be some environment(s) to which the

Selecting the problem
The following points must be taken into account while selecting a problem
   

 

Subject which is overdone must not be selected. Controversial subject should not be choosen by an average researcher. Too narrow or too vague problems should not be chosen. The problem should be chosen in such a way that the ingredients required for the study should be within the reach of a researcher. The importance of the subject, time ,efficiency of the researchers is also an essential requisite factor. Selection of problem must be preceded by a preliminary study.

Necessity of defining the problem
 Problem

clearly stated is a problem half solved.  An unambiguously defined problem helps in discriminating relevant data from irrelevant ones.  Ill defined problem creates hurdles in the way of research. To summaries, a well defined problem helps in selecting appropriate techniques, collecting appropriate data and determining what relationships to be studied.

Techniques involved in defining a problem
Defining a problem involves the task of laying down boundaries within which it is to be studied. The usual approach of defining a problem is that researcher himself put a question. However, the following points are wise to consider  State the problem in general way  Understand the nature of the problem  Survey the available literature  Develop ideas through disscussion  Rephrase the research problem into a working proposition

Conclusion
Defining a research problem very often follows a sequential pattern – the problem is stated in a general way, the ambiguities are resolved, thinking and rethinking process results in a more specific formulation of the problem so that it may be realistic one in terms of the available data and resources and is also analytically meaningful.

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