What is a Research Problem?

The first and foremost step in a research process is to select and properly define a research problem. In order to define a problem correctly, a researcher must know: what a problem is?

What is a research problem?

A research problem refers to any difficulty which a researcher experiences either in a theoretical or practical situation and, thus, wants to obtain its solution. Generally, a research problem requires the following conditions:

-  An individual or a group having some difficulty or problem.

-   Some objective(s) to attain. Without any objective, one cannot have a problem.

-   Alternative means (or courses of action) to obtain the objective(s). This means that at least two means should be available to a researcher because if he has no options, he cannot have a problem.

-  The researcher should have some doubts related to the selection of alternatives. This means that the research should be able to answer questions regarding the possible alternatives.

-   Some environment(s) to which the difficulty pertains.

Thus, a research problem helps a researcher to find out the best solution for any given problem, i.e., the course of action that can help attain the objective optimally in the context of a given environment.


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