Characteristics of a Research Problem

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NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY
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Learner: Terry L Green

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BTM8102-8| Kris Iyer, PhD|
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Characteristics of Research Problems| GreenTBTM8102-3|
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Characteristics of Research Problems
One of the core activities and the culminating event of doctoral study is the development of a dissertation. Central to the development of this dissertation is the need of the learner to construct a viable research problem. In this paper, this writer will cover the topic of developing a research problem suitable for doctoral level research. A properly constructed researchable problem establishes the where and what kind of research the writer is attempting to accomplish. The researchable problem must identify the particular objective of the study. In order to gain a better understanding, discussed in this paper is what constitutes a research problem? What are the components of a well developed statement of that research problem? In addition, what constitutes a realistic theoretical framework for the need of the overall study? To begin this discussion, requires an examination of the need and relationship of doctoral research to the research problem. The research question is the foundational element of any academic research. Leedy and Ormrod (2010) states, that the research question is the basis from which all research evolves. Considering the importance of the research question, it is of vital importance that the construction of the problem is accurate. Following the steps outlined below provides assurance of the accuracy of the research problem. What constitutes a researchable problem?

Again, referring to Leedy and Ormrod (2010), they state the research question exactly details the nature of what investigation is undertaken. The research question assists the writer in defining what to think about, what to read, how to collect data and how to perform analysis on the data collected. A worthy research problem possesses three discrete characteristics. These characteristics are 1) clearly stating the problem in succinct and accurate terms, 2) identifying and stating sub-problems, and 3) describing the hypotheses and/or research questions (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). For the first of these characteristics, clearly stating the problem in succinct and accurate terms the researcher must strive to write the problem in clear language understandable by the intended audience. The...
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