How to Formulate a Research Problem

Formulation of a research problem is the first step to execute research on a particular area that you have chosen for. Since research is time-consuming, you can’t take a risk investing your money and time in conducting research on a topic that is not of your own interest or that is causing you difficulty writing your thesis or a research paper because of lack of knowledge about the subject. To avoid these issues later, formulation of a research problem is crucial. Following are the steps that are involved in it.

Choose a subject area and divide it into sub-areas

The first step in formulating a research problem is picking up a subject area that you have knowledge about. Unless you have depth knowledge about a subject area, you won’t be able to find a research problem. 

However, you may also find your curiosity in a topic that you won’t be familiar enough to carry out research. In that case, you should take advice from your supervisor.

For instance, if you have chosen an area domestic violence, the next step will be diving this area in sub-areas like reasons for domestic violence, types of domestic violence, the impact of domestic violence on children etc. 

Choose the most interesting sub-area

It’s apparent that you can’t cover all sub-areas in your research. You will select a particular issue that you’ll be passionate about. For example, in the aforementioned issues, you’ll choose one. It could be either the reasons for domestic violence or the impact of domestic violence on children. 

Generate Research Questions

Frame as many research questions as you can. Out of them, you will choose those questions that you would like to answer. Make sure that you select those questions that can be answered through your scientific methods. 

For instance, if you start your research on the impact of domestic violence on children, you can design the following questions: how badly domestic violence affects children? How many children are affected around the world? What can be done to make a difference?

Decide Objectives

Your research objectives should be lucid that you will meet through effective research. Your whole study will be around objectives. To illustrate, the purposes of your research on the above topic will be to find out how children suffer from domestic violence, to measure the effectiveness of policies to ameliorate the condition etc.

Formulation of a research problem is vital to ensure that you can easily finish your research on a chosen topic.

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