Why to define research problem?
Sources of research problem.
Steps in defining research problem.
Consideration in selecting a research problem
What is a bad research?
To understand some basic concepts of research and its
To identify appropriate research topics.
To select and define research problem and parameters.
To prepare a project proposal or to write research report.
The broad general area expected to investigate.
It is a broad idea or concept from which many problems may be delineated.
Research in common term refers to search of knowledge.
A situation or circumstance that requires a solution to be described, explained, or
what you will do,
will it withstand scientific scrutiny,
how you will do it, and
what you may achieve!!!!
Is the problem/topic significant enough?
Is it feasible (practical/possible for me to do it)?
Is it free of unknown hazards/dangers?
Is it clear (unambiguous)?
From where ???????
Resource persons - professors
Own critical observations
The problem statement should address all six questions:
what, how, where, when, why, and who
1. Identify a broad topic.
2. Identify a narrow topic within the broad topic.
3. Raise questions.
4. Formulate objectives.
Examples of Broad Topics
Sustain release parenterals / novel drug delivery system.
Dermal delivery of drugs using different vesicular carriers.
Examples of a narrow topic:
Solid lipid nanoparticles.
Nuclear over hauses effect in NMR.
Biomarkers used in cancer therapy.
When selecting a narrow topic think how it can
contribute towards solving the BIG PROBLEM !!!
Lack of crop varieties
adapted to climate
Farming Patterns do not
Farmers can’t afford
Farmers unaware of
1. Interest: A research is usually time consuming, and involves hard work and possibly
unforeseen problems. One should select topic of great interest to sustain the required
2. Magnitude: It is extremely important to select a topic that you can manage within
the time and resources at your disposal. Narrow the topic to something so it becomes
manageable, specific and clear.
3. Measurement of concepts: Make sure that you are clear about the indicators
and measurement of concepts (if used) in your study.
4. Level of expertise: Make sure that you have adequate level of expertise for the
task you are proposing since you need to do the work yourself.
5. Relevance: Ensure that your study adds to the existing body of knowledge, bridges
current gaps and is useful in policy formulation.
6. Availability of data: Before finalizing the topic, make sure that data are available.
7. Ethical issues: How ethical issues can affect the study population and how ethical
problems can be overcome should be thoroughly examined at the problem formulating
8. Overdone subject: Subject which is overdone should not be chosen, for it will
be difficult task to throw any new light in such a case.
9. Controversial subject: Should not become the choice of an average researcher.
10. Too Narrow topic should be avoided
The opposites of what have been discussed.
Looking for something when it simply is not to be found.
Plagiarizing other people’s work.
Falsifying data to prove a point.
Misrepresenting information and misleading participants.
By selecting a research problem we come to know what type of research
will be helpful for us & society.
Drawbacks can be overcome which the other researchers has phased.
We also come to know availability of data and ethical issue related to it.
It will be helpful to know what we will achieve after the research is over.
We can also know weather the topic is significant enough, feasible & free
of unknown hazards or dangers.
Kothari, C.R., 1985, Research Methodology-methods And Techniques, New
Delhi, New Age International Publishers, Wiley Eastern Limited. Second Revised
Edition, PG. No. 1, 24-27.
John W. Best, James V. Kahn., Research In Education, Published By Pearson
Education Problem, Tenth Edition, Pg. No. 6, 28, 30-33.
Selecting, Refining & Defining Research Problems By Dr. Nazik Zakari, Dr. Hanan
A. Ezzat, Dr. Olfat Salem, Nursing Administration & Education Department.
Framework of Problem-Based Research: A Guide for Novice Researchers on the
Development of a Research-Worthy Problem Volume 11, 2008.