What is a Research Problem?

A research problem is a question that the research hopes to answer specific issue or gap in existing knowledge

posed in form of a question (contrast with hypothesis which is a tentative statement, an assumption)

Why is Research Problem Required?

  • it acts as introduction to the reader
  • provides framework
  • contextualizes


  1. Must be important or necessary
  2. based on factual evidence (NOT HYPOTHETICAL)
  3. Must be relevant
  4. suggests a meaningful method of resting hypothesis

Steps in Formulating Research Problem

Identify broad field → Dissect the subareas → selected interested sub-area → raise research questions → formulate objective → Assess Objective → Double Check

A("Identify Broad Field")
B("Dissect subareas")
C("Select interested subarea")
D("Raise Research Questions")
E("Formulate Objective")
F("Assess Objective")
G("Double Check")
  • decide interest area
  • break it down to more specific areas
  • Raise research questions how? impact? what does it do, etc
  • Formulate the objective root objectives and sub-objectives
Link to original

Sources of Research Problems

personal and practical experience critical appraisal of literature previous research existing theories consumer feedback performance improvement activities social issues brainstorming intuition exposure to field consultations with experts