How to write your Research Problem Statement at WBS (for any queries please contact Terri Carmichael at email@example.com, Anthony Stacey ay Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org or your supervisor)
Your Research Problem statement is the foundation and focus of your research report. It is a clear, stand‐alone statement that makes explicit what it is you are aiming to discover or establish. Get this right and you are setting yourself up for success. If your Research Problem is poorly worded, unfocused or ambiguous, the rest of your research is likely to go off‐track very early; you will do a great deal of unnecessary reading and writing, losing sight of the big picture (and probably your mind!). Writing your Research Problem Statement 1. First select your research topic, which is the issue or subject area that you intend to investigate – see the document “Finding a Research Topic”, available at www.wbs.ac.za . 2. Describe the business or management problem based on your topic that you intend to research. Do this right at the beginning of your research proposal or report as laid out in the templates (remember to reference any facts that you are basing your research on). This will set the scene for your Research Problem statement, so that you can write a clear, stand alone Research Problem. 3. A Research Problem is not the same as a business problem, ie it is not a “problem” in the normal sense of the word; it is research jargon that happens to be a bit confusing. You can think of your Research Problem as the unknown part of your business problem. 4. We prefer Research Problem statements to have an outcomes based verb at or near the beginning. Some good outcome based verbs are: Identify formulate assess create derive compile ascertain 5. Verbs such as “understand”, “explore”, “investigate”, “examine” and “discuss” are poor verbs as they describe ...
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