In businesses, academic fields, and other organizations, it’s imperative to write problem statements to conduct research or start new projects. This is the first and most important step to kickstart any of those important processes. It’s a no-brainer that a well-defined and well-understood problem is important to come up with and implement efficient solutions. Furthermore, it helps people to understand the importance and impact of the problem on the ones who are affected by it. Even though the format of writing a problem statement in different fields varies vastly; it can either be a stand-alone document to address a certain issue that a project wants to address or it’s a paragraph long to conduct research, there is a general process on how to write it and what contents to include in it. This article will guide you on how to make a statement of the problem for both research and projects.
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What is a Statement of the Problem?
A statement of the problem, also known as a problem statement, is a sentence that explains the problem that your project or research is trying to address. It outlines the negative points of the current situation your project or research is dealing with and it explains why addressing these problems should matter.
How to Write a Statement of the Problem
1. Explain the Problem and the Reasons Why It is Important
Start by providing details on what the problem is all about. Then provide reasons why is it a problem and why it’s important to solve it. If the problem has been attempted to solve before, state what are those attempts and why they didn’t work out. Provide concise and clear details about it.
2. Explain the Financial Costs that the Problem Has Brought Along
While stating the problem to the stakeholders, especially if you’re presenting a problem that your project proposal wants to address, you also need to point out the financial costs these problems bring and how they are costing an organization or company money or damaging their reputation. Explain it in a way that is understandable to everyone you’re proposing to. Try to state the exact dollar amount of the problem’s cost.
3. Back Up Your Claims
Once you’ve made your claim about the problems that you’ve enumerated and given a reason as to why they are a problem, it’s time to support them with evidence. Do your research and prepare your data. They should be strong enough to support your claims. Don’t forget to cite your sources.
4. Propose a Solution
This part is where you will describe your proposed solutions to the problem. It’s vital to propose practical solutions and approaches to your problem to make it realistic and achievable. Start by stating objectives that your solutions should achieve to address the problems effectively. You can also point out scenarios in which the problem doesn’t exist or show how the problem will get worse if it’s not fixed right away. Then you can demonstrate how the solution will work. Address what the solution will work on such as revenue increase or customer satisfaction.
What are the characteristics of a statement of the problem?
A good research problem should have the following characteristics:
- It should address a gap in knowledge
- It should be significant enough to contribute to the existing body of research
- It should lead to further research in the future
- The problem should render itself to investigation through a collection of data
- It should be of interest to the researcher and suit his/her skills, time, and resources
- The approach toward solving the problem should be ethical
Why are problem statements important?
A problem statement is important because it helps identify the goals of a project or research clearly and it also outlines the scope of a project. It also guides all the activities to be done and the decisions to be made by the people who are working on the project.
Even though they’re a lot of points to be included in the problem statement, you only need to write a few short paragraphs to address all of them. Conclude the statement by summarizing the problem and its solution. A straight to the point argument to state the problem, reasons why it needs to be fixed, solutions to best address them all. Make sure your problem statement is not long-winded and should be written concisely and clearly. To help you get started making the statement of the problem, download our free sample templates above to use as your guide!
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