How to write a great problem statement1


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Dissertation Help for problem statements - the heart of every thesis but hard to get "just right." These slides were part of a presentation for our weekly webconferences: and are also available on our main site:

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How to write a great problem statement1

  1. 1. How to Write a Great Problem Statement.1 Less is More on Problem Statements
  2. 2. Start by Reading Award Winners Qualitative Digital photography is a recent, novel information technology that has been widely and rapidly adopted across a variety of domains. To understand the role of digital photography as a technology used in scientific work, this study will examine marine mammal researchers who use photo-identification as a tool for gathering, organizing and analyzing data about whales, dolphins, otters, seals, manatees, and other marine animals. Many marine mammal researchers have recently switched from film to digital photography, and we will see that this seemingly minor change has contributed to a number of fundamental alterations to the ways in which they do their scientific work. The study itself examines the role of new technologies entering scientific practice and regular use by focusing on digital photography. Orlikowski calls this perspective the "practice lens" for studying technology: Rather than trying to understand why and how a given technology is more or less likely to be appropriated in various circumstances, a practice lens focuses on knowledgeable human action and how its recurrent engagement with a given technology constitutes and reconstitutes particular emergent structures of using the technology (technologies-in-practice). (Orlikowski, 2000, p. 421) The central goal of using this approach in this research project is to understand the consequences of this digitization and computerization of photography for marine mammal scientists. It is also hoped that this research will contribute in general to a fuller understanding of the roles technologies can play in regular use. From: Meyer, E. T. (2007). Socio-technical perspectives on digital photography: Scientific digital photography use by marine mammal researchers. Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science Indiana University, , Bloomington, Indiana, USA. • List the attributes/points of discussion in order • esis-statement- examples.html
  3. 3. Start by Reading Award Winners Quantitative Researchers have argued that relationship capital is intrinsically linked to shareholder value (Bontis & Serenko, 2009; Daum, 2002; Kaplan & Norton, 2004; Lacey, 2007; see also Ledingham, 2003; MacMillan et al., 2004; Porter, 1985, 2008; Prior, 2006, 2007). The problem is how to understand the empirical relationship between the quality of a firm's relationship with its stakeholders and shareholder value. To confront this problem, I designed and tested a statistical model and instrument that enables researchers to empirically link stakeholder generated relationship capital to shareholder value. From: Finch, D. (2010). The stakeholder scorecard: Evaluating the influence of stakeholder relationships on corporate performance. Doctor of Philosophy, Walden, MN, USA. • List the attributes/points of discussion in order • esis-statement- examples.html
  4. 4. Start by Reading Award Winners Mixed Methods • List the attributes/points of discussion in order • esis-statement- examples.html The Standish Group (2004) found 29% of IT projects succeeded, 18% of projects completely failed, and 53% partially failed because they were either over budget or did not meet quality standards. The finding indicates 71% of IT projects did not meet all project goals. A. Evans (2003) and N. Evans (2004a, 2004b) determined that poor information systems (IS) lead to failures that cost the industry about $100 billion per year. In addition, businesses continue spending a marginal cost from “1.5 to 3.5[%] of revenue across most industries” (Britt, 2002, p. 1) on IT but they are seldom effectively managing and optimizing the expected return on investment (ROI). Organizations tend to have difficulty managing IT applications and related business processes (Anderson & Weiss, 2004; Bygstad, 2004) such as the managerial leadership aspects between business and IT units (N. Evans, 2004b; Hatzakis, 2004). They find it difficult to minimize risks and optimize performance (Shere, 2004). As ExampleCo’s revenue is approximately $2 billion per year, 1.5 to 3.5% of $2 billion equals $15 to $45 million (Britt, 2002). Thus, ExampleCo could have spent from $45 to $105 million on IT from January 2004 to December 2006. Between 2004 and 2006, ExampleCo consolidated redundant IT structures and business processes. Because business processes were embedded in IT structures and applications, business-IT fusion could enhance the chance of success for the horizontal integration. This qualitative evaluation using a case study design focused on managerial leadership practices for business-IT fusion and triangulated from survey and documents to determine to what extent the managerial leadership practices for business-IT fusion existed and how synergy was created to improve organizational performance. Triangulated inquiry refers to a combination of several data sources to minimize “deficiencies intrinsic to a single- investigator, single-site, single-theory, single method, or single-unit of analysis” (Hilton, 2002, p. 2). .
  5. 5. Criteria/Checklist Note: Because of the brevity required in a problem statement, all of the following are given only one to two sentences. A smooth introduction that synthesizes past research A clear explanation of the local problem, which can be addressed through this research Evidence or data on which that problem is founded A clear explanation of the goals of the research; these may be stated as purpose and focus for the study The literature of the field making it evident that your study either builds upon or has the potential to derive new understanding in the field A clear explanation of the theoretical foundation is included Research questions or hypotheses around which the study revolves Objectives for the study or contributions to your field Potentially a statement for the implications for positive social change Page 71
  6. 6. Exercise This situation in/within ____ (societal organization/institution/ policy, etc.) has created a problem_____ (describe it in a few words). In ____(name the context of your study), this problem plays out and creates this situation ____(be specific and give data to quantify the issue). While it is being addressed in this manner ____(describe current activities), however, there is need for this study to ____(discuss purpose of study generally). This problem impacts _____ (name population) because _____ (describe impact). Literature discusses the following as being likely to impact the issue ____(describe variables and cite references). This study contributes to the body of knowledge needed to address this problem by answering the following questions ____(the research questions) Pages 69,70 Go HERE to use our Automation© Tool to help
  7. 7. Let’s Talk 1. What are your “take aways?” 2. What questions do you still have?
  8. 8. Upcoming News/Events • Accelerator Program - Cost $1000, some $500 scholarships What is involved: Weekly web meetings with group, mid week check ins using live chat + 1:1 professor feedback throughout. Guaranteed to move your work dramatically forward as long as you attend all meetings and make milestones or your money back. Some $500 scholarships available (use scholarship form on site and make note you would like to use it towards the accelerator program) - Also financing through PayPal. • We announce our scholarship program. Do you need to finish your thesis/dissertation, but money is a problem? Register at Doctoralnet and visit dissertation-help . A good option is available for you! • Writing group ongoing – first one (or two for paying members) session is free – contact for invitation to the private space where the online meetings are held. Sample writing group can be listened to HERE New Conferences Up – On Site/through BigMarker
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