The Problem: The Heart of the Research Process

The title for Chapter 3 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 a developing a researchable Statement of Problem, 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:

Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. (2010): Pages 44-59

“Article on Problem Statement Development” in the NCU Dissertation Center.

NCU Topic Paper Template (appropriate sections) in the NCU Dissertation Center

NCU Concept Paper Template (appropriate sections) in the NCU Dissertation Center

NCU Concept Paper Best Practices (appropriate sections) in the NCU Dissertation Center

NCU Dissertation Review Form (appropriate sections) in the NCU Dissertation Center

Assignment 3   Week 3: Characteristics of Research Problems

4 Characteristics of Research Problems

Use the resources in the Required Readings of Section 3 to assemble and discuss the Characteristics of a Research Problem. What constitutes a researchable problem? What are the components of a well formed Statement of Research Problem? What constitutes a reasonable theoretical framework for the need of the study?

Length: 5-7 pages (app. 350 words per page). Include 3-5 references.

Your essay should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

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

The learner should continue to accumulate 2 to 3 annotations as part of each Activity.

Learning Outcome: 1, 3, 4

Assignment Outcomes

Evaluate the doctoral research process.

Construct a research problem statement.

Develop an annotated bibliography.

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