How To Create A Solid Research Paper Problem Statement: A Step-By-Step Guide
Preparing for writing your research paper begins, of course, with preparing a problem statement. This can be just as stressful to write as the actual paper itself! With this handy step-by-step guide, however, all the stress of the situation will be a thing of the past. With this guide, you will create a very solid research paper problem statement in no time at all!
- Understand your subject
- Ask the non-obvious questions
- Follow others’ examples and guidelines
Obviously, the first step to creating any problem statement is understanding your subject a thoroughly as possible without actually completing the paper. This means that you’ll have to do a lot of reading before you actually write anything! It can seem really tough, but it really is the best way to form your statement effectively. Even just understanding a part of the subject or understanding it in very brief terms, is better than starting from nothing, and it is highly recommended: take it from a professional! It will also make things less stressful since you’ll feel like you already have a great head start!
In order to show that you are really engaging with your subject, you need to be asking questions that others haven’t yet thought of. This means thinking outside the box a little. When you’re reading around your topic, remember to see what other scholars are asking, and don’t include those in your research paper problem statement: They're the questions that are almost certainly already being studied, so it isn’t worth your time considering them. Instead, see what the scholars aren’t asking and then put those in your problem statement. This is, obviously, one of the hardest parts of the processes, and you really need to have a good understanding of what you want to glean from your work.
Your tutor or university may well have given you advice about what you include in your problem statement. You need to make sure to follow this very, very closely. If you have not been given any sort of guide, find other examples - for instance, online - and follow them in order to understand what you need to include and what order it all needs to be in. This is, of course, a vital part of the creation process, and one that is very easy to do: just follow the pre-written rules and try not to leave anything essential out!