Research Problem – Meaning,Components,Selection,Formulation,Techniques

Research Problem


A research problem can be simply defined as a statement that identifies the problem or situation to be studied.

Components of research problem

  1. An individual or a group with some difficulty or problem

  2. Objectives of research that are to be attained

  3. The environment in which the problem exists

  4. Two or more course of action or Alternative means for obtaining the objective

  5. Two or more possible Outcomes

  6. Objective of the study

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Characteristics of a good topic ?

♦ Interest – The topic must be able to keep the researcher interested in it throughout the research process

♦ Data Availability– It must be ensured that the topic can be investigated through the collection and analysis of data

♦ Significant – The topic must contribute towards improvement and understanding of an educational theory or practice

♦ Adequate – The topic must be according to the skills of the researcher, available resources and time restrictions

♦ Ethical – The topic must not embarrass or harm the society

Selecting a Problem

Guidelines for selecting a research problem:-

  1. Subject which is overdone should not be chosen

  2. An average researcher must not choose Controversial topics

  3. Too narrow or too vague problems should be avoided

  4. The chosen subject should be familiar and feasible

  5. Significance and Importance of subject must be given attention

  6. Cost and time factor must be kept in mind

  7. Experience, Qualification and Training of the researcher must be according to the    problem in hand

Formulating a Research Problem

The steps involved in formulating a research problem are as follows:-

  1. Develop a Suitable Title

  2. Build a conceptual model of the problem

  3. Define the objectives of the study

  4. Set up investigative questions

  5. Formulate hypothesis

  6. State the operational definition of concepts

  7. Determine the scope of the study

Necessity of defining a problem

The problem to be investigated must be clearly defined in order to –

  1. Discriminate relevant data from the irrelevant one

  2. To keep a track and make a strategy

  3. Formulate objectives

  4. Choose an appropriate Research Design

  5. Lay down boundaries or limits

Technique involved in defining a research problem

A researcher may define a research problem by:-

  1. Defining the statement of the problem in a general way.

  2. Understanding the nature of the problem.

  3. Surveying the available literature.

  4. Developing ideas through discussions an brain storming

  5. Rephrasing the research problems

There are few rules that must be kept in mind while defining a research problem. They are –

  1. Technical terms should be clearly defined.

  2. Basic assumptions should be stated.

  3. The criteria for the selection should be provided.

  4. Suitability of the time period and sources of data available must be considered.

  5. The scope of the investigation or the limits must be mentioned.

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