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How to write a problem statement for your dissertation

Example 2 (Qualitative Study)

❶Different audiences will have different sets of knowledge, different reasons for reading, and different attitudes toward your problem, so try to keep your intended audience in mind as you write. You could start by either providing a brief history of how things are, or you could paint a picture of how they should be in an ideal situation.

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Example 1 (Quantitative Study)
What makes a problem statement good?

Is it actively costing your business money? Is it damaging your brand image and thus indirectly costing your business money? Be as exact and specific about the financial burden of your problem — try to specify an exact dollar amount or a well-supported estimate for your problem's cost. For our airline example, we might proceed to explain the problem's financial cost like this: On average, the current boarding system wastes roughly four minutes per boarding session, resulting in a total of 20 wasted man-hours per day across all ABC flights.

Back up your assertions. No matter how much money you claim your problem is costing your company, if you can't back up your claims with reasonable evidence, you may not be taken seriously. As soon as you start making specific claims about how serious your problem is, you'll need to start supporting your statements with evidence.

In some cases, this may be from your own research, from data from a related study or project, or even from reputable third-party sources. In some corporate and academic situations, you may need to explicitly reference your evidence in the text of your problem statement, while in other situations, it may be enough to simply use a footnote or another form of shorthand for your citations.

If you're unsure, ask your boss or teacher for advice. Let's reexamine the sentences we used in the previous step. They describe the cost of the problem, but don't explain how this cost was found.

A more thorough explanation might include this: Based on internal performance tracking data, [1] on average, the current boarding system wastes roughly four minutes per boarding session, resulting in a total of 20 wasted man-hours per day across all ABC flights.

When you've explained what the problem is and why it's so important, proceed to explain how you propose to deal with it. As with the initial statement of your problem, your explanation of your solution should be written to be as clear and concise as possible.

Stick to big, important, concrete concepts and leave any minor details for later — you'll have plenty of opportunities to get into every minor aspect of your proposed solution in the body of your proposal. In our airline example, our solution to the problem of inefficient boarding practices is this new system we've discovered, so we should briefly explain the broad strokes of this new system without getting into the minor details.

We might say something like, "Using a modified boarding system proposed by Dr. Edward Right of the Kowlard Business Efficiency Institute which has passengers board the plane from the sides in rather than from the back to the front, ABC Airlines can eliminate these four minutes of waste. Explain the benefits of the solution.

Again, now that you've told your readers what should be done about the problem, it's a very good idea to explain why this solution is a good idea. Since businesses are always trying to increase their efficiency and earn more money, you'll want to focus primarily on the financial impact of your solution — which expenses it will reduce, which new forms of revenue it will generate, and so on.

You can also explain non-tangible benefits, like improved customer satisfaction, but your total explanation shouldn't be too much longer than a few sentences to a paragraph.

In our example, we might briefly describe how our company could conceivably benefit from the money saved with our solution. A few sentences along these lines might work: In addition, by being the first American airline to adopt this solution, ABC stands to gain considerable recognition as an industry trend-setter in the areas of value and convenience.

Conclude by summarizing the problem and solution. After you've presented the ideal vision for your company, identified the problem keeping your from achieving this ideal, and suggested a solution, you're almost done. All that's left to do is to conclude with a summary of your main arguments that allows you transition easily into the main body of your proposal. There's no need to make this conclusion any longer than it needs to be — try to state, in just a few sentences, the basic gist of what you've described in your problem statement and the approach you intend to take in the body of the article.

In our airline example, we might conclude like this: In this proposal, the alternative boarding protocols developed by Dr. Right are analyzed for their feasibility and steps for effective implementation are suggested. For academic work, don't forget a thesis statement. When you have to write a problem statement for school, rather than for work, the process will be largely the same, but there may be extra items you'll need to take into account to assure a good grade.

For instance, many composition classes will require you to include a thesis statement in your problem statement. The thesis statement sometimes just called the "thesis" is a single sentence that summarizes your entire argument, boiling it down to its bare essentials. A good thesis statement identifies both the problem and the solution as succinctly and clearly as possible. As our thesis statement, we might use this sentence, which acknowledges the problem and the solution we're about to propose: Other times, you'll have more freedom — check with your teacher if you're not sure.

Follow the same process for conceptual problems. Not all problem statements are going to be for documents dealing with practical, tangible problems. Some, especially in academics and especially in the humanities , are going to deal with conceptual problems — problems that have to do with the way we think about abstract ideas.

In these cases, you can still use the same basic problem statement framework to present the problem at hand while obviously shifting away from a business focus. In other words, you'll want to identify the problem often, for conceptual problems, this will be that some idea is not well-understood , explain why the problem matters, explain how you plan to solve it, and sum up all of this in a conclusion.

For instance, let's say that we're asked to write a problem statement for a report on the importance of religious symbolism in The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

In this case, our problem statement should identify some poorly-understood aspect of the religious symbolism in the novel, explain why this matters for instance, we might say that by better understanding the religious symbolism in the novel, it's possible to draw new insights from the book , and lay out how we plan to support our argument.

If there's one thing to keep in mind when writing problem statements, it's this. Problem statements shouldn't be any longer than they need to be to accomplish their task of laying out the problem and its solution for the reader. No sentence should be wasted. Any sentence that doesn't directly contribute to the problem statement's goals should be removed. Use clear, direct language.

Don't get bogged down in minor details — problem statements should deal only with the essentials of your problem and solution. In general, keep your problem statement as short as possible without sacrificing its informativeness. A problem statement is no place to add your own personal commentary or "flavor", as this makes the problem statement longer for no practical purpose.

You may or may not have the opportunity to be more long-winded in the body of your document, depending on the seriousness of your topic and audience. Write for your audience.

When making a problem statement, it's important to remember that you're writing for someone else, not for yourself. Different audiences will have different sets of knowledge, different reasons for reading, and different attitudes toward your problem, so try to keep your intended audience in mind as you write.

You want your problem statement to be as clear and easy for your audience to understand as possible, which means you may need to change your tone, style, and diction from one audience to another. As you write, try to ask yourself questions like: Don't use jargon without defining it. As noted above, your problem statement should be written so that it's as easy for your audience to understand as possible. This means that, unless you're writing for a technical audience that is likely to be knowledgeable in the terminology of the field you're writing about, you'll want to avoid using technical jargon too heavily and to make sure that you define any pieces of jargon that you do use.

Never make the assumption that your audience automatically has all of the technical knowledge that you do or you risk alienating them and losing readers as soon as they encounter terms and information they're not familiar with. For instance, if we're writing for a board of highly-educated physicians, it may be OK to assume that they'll know what the term "metacarpal" means.

However, if we're writing to an audience made up of both physicians and wealthy hospital investors who may or may not be medically trained, it's a good idea to introduce the word "metacarpal" with its definition — the bone between the first two joints of the finger. Stick to a narrow, defined problem. Center the keywords section. Lee Johnson has written for various publications and websites since , covering science, music and a wide range of topics.

He studies physics at the Open University, with a particular interest in quantum physics and cosmology. He's based in the UK and drinks too much tea. The database based on Word Net is a lexical database for the English Language. About the Author Lee Johnson has written for various publications and websites since , covering science, music and a wide range of topics.

More Classroom Articles What is a Dissertation? Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name. We have already told you how you should write the problem statement of your dissertation. In this section of the guide, we will discuss the things you should avoid while composing the problem statement:.

Small though this section maybe, it is still composed of certain essential elements that make it what it is. Here is a list of the things that absolutely must be a part of the problem statement of your dissertation. You can use this section of our guide as a checklist before you hand in your dissertation to make sure that the problem statement contains everything that is needed.

We have briefly touched upon this in an earlier section of this guide, but in this section, we will be elaborating on the kind of language that you should ideally use with the help of an example. First of all, your language should be simple and straightforward. This is not the section you should try to show off your vocabulary in so steer clear of fancy words and industry jargons. However, if you must mention jargons, make sure you explain that jargon in clear and simple terms so that your readers do not get confused.

Also, make sure that you only use words and terms that are absolutely required since the scope of the problem statement is quite short. Despite these layoffs, their workload is quite high, and illness-related absenteeism is prevalent among them. As a result, they are unable to pay attention to or acquire the skills necessary to lead the gifted children in their classrooms.

As you can see, the language used here is simple, straightforward and formal. In this problem statement, the problem is the fact that school teachers of Springfield are unable to lead the gifted children in their classrooms. This means that your main research question is going to centre round the practical techniques that these teachers can employ in order to guide the gifted children in their classroom in a better manner.

Make sure this kind of clarity exists in the problem statements that you compose for your dissertation. Proofreading and editing are the only ways you can polish the problem statement of your dissertation and make sure that it turns out to be perfect.

While editing the problem statement, bear in mind that it is inclusive of all the essential elements that we had mentioned in a section above without exceeding the word count in any way.

Also, make sure that the data you present is accurate and authentic. Most importantly, your problem statement should make complete sense on its own. Finally, subject this section to a strict proofreading check to eliminate all sorts of silly mistakes such as those in spelling, punctuation or grammar. While at this stage this guide might seem very overwhelming, make sure you make good use of it. Our guide on problem statements can not only help you compose a flawless problem statement but a flawless dissertation as well that will surely make your assessors happy.

If you face any problem though, you can always count on our dissertation writing services in UK. The problem statement is after only a section of your dissertation, and you may need help with more than just this section. If you find your dissertation to be a too overwhelming a task to do on your own, you should give MyAssigmenthelp. We never miss a deadline, and we do not even charge a lot for our services.

Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Present the research methodology used in the problem statement To make your problem statement as crystal clear as possible, you will have to state the paradigm of your research and the methodology you used in within the first sentence itself.

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Dec 02,  · Before you write a problem statement, you should always define the problem that you will address in your dissertation.. See an example of a problem definition. You need it for two main reasons: The problem statement is the stepping-stone to your main research you haven’t identified a problem, you cannot /5().

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When your problem statement is vague or unrealistic, it is very difficult to get your chairperson and committee members interested enough to care about our dissertation research. You will conduct legitimate research as you work to complete your dissertation.

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Our guide on problem statements can not only help you compose a flawless problem statement but a flawless dissertation as well that will surely make your assessors happy. If you face any problem though, you can always count on our dissertation writing . The thesis statement model used in this example is a thesis with reasons. Even though television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it is not always intellectually stimulating.

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l The heart of a doctoral dissertation IS the PROBLEM STATEMENT. This is the place help ___ and lead to____. Recipes for Success True Experimental and Quasi Experimental Design Problem Statements that follow. What could make these statements better? Recipes for Success. The Problem Statement By Dr. Marilyn Simon Find this and many other dissertation guides and resources at The problem statement is one of the most important components of your study.