How to write doctoral dissertation or thesis problem statements– an exercise


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the problem statement is the heart of a doctoral dissertation, theses, or indeed any research paper. These slides were done for a presentation I doctoralnet limited online April 20, 2014. You can find more interactive components and tools on our website @ HT TP://

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How to write doctoral dissertation or thesis problem statements– an exercise

  1. 1. We will start in just a moment How to write your problem statement: An exercise
  2. 2. Interactive session
  3. 3. Steps 1. Write down what you consider the problem to be in one sentence. 2. List three significant pieces of literature that backup the fact that this situation is indeed a problem. 3. Write another sentence that answers the question, “I know this is a problem because…”
  4. 4. Let’s test some out
  5. 5. Writing
  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 NOTE: Literature often comes first – so play with the order until you like how it reads Go HERE to use our Automation© Tool to help
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. Discussion Was this helpful for you? What questions still remain?
  9. 9. Upcoming News/Events 1. Big news! Accelerate your PhD this summer with a highly focused, practice- accepting applications now: dissertation-or-thesis HIM 2. Scholarships available for PhD dissertation or thesis help– targeting students in developing parts of the world and/or research into significant issues. 1. Upcoming Conferences