Research Problem

Section 3: Research Problem

The title for Chapter 2 in your text is �The Problem: The Heart of the Research Process.� Locating a researchable doctoral level research problem is a critical first step in the dissertation process. This course is devoted to that step in the process; and in developing a researchable Problem Statement, that is to be refined throughout much of the entire dissertation process.

The following is a sample of a common issue for purpose statements from the Graduate School. Please read carefully to avoid making these common errors.

Sample Problem Statement Direction

Please provide further explanation of your purpose statement see the direction from the Dissertation Review Form (DRF) below.

Problem Statement (approximately 250 to 300 words) Note: Articulation of a concise problem statement is key to a successful proposal/dissertation manuscript. The problem statement is a brief discussion of a problem or observation succinctly identifying and documenting the need for and importance of the study.

1. Present general issue/observation that in theory or practice leads to the need for the study (in most cases citations within the last 5 years should be included).

2. Present focused problem that leads to the need for a research response. For some degree programs (DBA, PhD) the problem identified might be a practical problem or issue.

Clearly describe and document the problem that prompted the study. Whose problem is it? What are the potential negative consequences if the study is never conducted? Include appropriate sources to document the existence of a problem worthy of doctoral level research.

Many things are not studied, but it does not necessarily mean it is a problem. Why is this a problem? What are the potential negative consequences if this topic is never studied? Whose problem is it? Is it an economic problem? Social problem? What is the nature of this problem and whom does it affect? Describe and document.

Required Reading:

Please refer to each Activity for required readings within Activity Resources.

Assignment 4   Research Problem Development

Thus far you have read and written about what makes a problem researchable, as well as the components of a well formed problem statement. This week you will gain practice in writing a problem statement.

Activity Resources

NCU Template Applied Degree CP 2013

Main Task: Drafting a Problem Statement

Based on the feedback you received on the topics submitted during the Week 2 Activity, select one of those topics, and draft a Problem Statement. The draft Problem Statement should be supported by research literature and should have the characteristics identified in Week 3.

The documents in the NCU Dissertation Center will be helpful in the actual development of this draft. Use the �comment� feature of Word to annotate the presence of those characteristics identified in Week 3 within your draft. The length and format of this document should conform to the specifications in the NCU Template Applied Degree CP 2013 document.

Continue to accumulate 2 to 4 annotations as part of each Activity.

Submit your document in the Course Work area below the Activity screen.

Learning Outcomes: 3, 4

Assignment Outcomes

Construct a research problem statement.

Develop an annotated bibliography.

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