A research problem refers to some difficulty which a researcher experiences in either a theoretical or practical situation and want to get a solution for the same.
In other words, a research problem is a specific issue, difficulty, contradiction, or gap knowing that you will aim to address in your research. You might look for practical problems aimed at contributing to change, or theoretical problems aimed at expanding knowledge.
Bear in mind that some research will do both of these things, but usually, the research problem focuses on one or the other. The type of research problem you choose depends on your broad topic of interest and the type of research you want to do.
CHARACTERISTICS OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
- The variables in the problem must be clear
- It should be limited in scope and should be specific,
- It must have a goal
- It should be free from ethical constraints
- Good research problems must be researchable.
SOURCES OF RESEARCH PROBLEMS
- Social problems like unemployment, crimes, female genital mutilation, etc
- Theory deduction
- Funding agencies
- Past researches and literature review .
- Casual observation. Sometimes casual observation of what is going on in our life and environment may trigger our desire to know more, and to have concrete knowledge of what is going on it can lead to the formulation of a hypothesis and conducting of systematic research.
- Related literature
- Current social and economic issues
- Personal interest and experience
- Replication of previous studies. This occurs when the studies made in other fields or areas are conducted in different fields and areas. For example, one can replicate the study of the effect of population pressure on the environment which was done in one district to another district to see if he will get the same results.
- Clarification of contradictory research results