What is a 'problem statement'
- Defines and states the issue in order to frame specific questions and connects what should be happening with what is actually happening.
- Integration: a starting point for research
- Context: helps the reader(s) understand the importance of your topic and problem; who will benefit from addressing this problem
- Value: raises the awareness of the problem/issue, i.e. is this problem important to the experts in the field
- Frames the research cycle surrounding the research topic
- Supported by the literature
Examples: Which of these problem statements are good and why? Which are are not that good and how would you fix them?
- Do children living in urban neighborhoods near public transportation hubs experience more health issues than children in general?
- Why are obesity levels of families living in rural 'food deserts' higher than families living in metropolitan areas?
- Will small businesses be able to meet the health insurance needs of their disabled employees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
- What are the benefits of an 'opt-out' vaccination policy?
- Do teenagers who have access to 'school-based health clinics' have a lower rate of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) than teenagers in general?
Rowlands, Katherine Dudden. Problem Statements and Research Questions. http://www.csun.edu/~krowlands/Content/Writing_Mentor/Problem%20Statements%20and%20Research%20Questions/ [Date accessed:September 29-October 1, 2013].