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Formulating a Research Problem

Formulating a Research Problem

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Formulating a Research Problem

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  1. Formulating a Research Problem

  2. To be Discussed!!! • The Research Problem • The importance of Formulating a Research Problem • Sources of Research Problem • Consideration in selecting a research problem • Steps in the formulation of a research problem • Establishing operational definitions

  3. The Research Problem Process of problem formulation: • Your expertise in research methodology • Your knowledge of the subject area • Your understanding of the issues to be examined • The extent to which the focus of your study in predetermined

  4. The Research Problem • Specific idea required for the basis of your inquiry • Make sure that idea is researchable • Important that not all question can be transformed into research problems and some may prove to be extremely difficult to study • Powers, Meenaghan & Twoomey said; Potential research questions may occur to us on a regular basis, but the process of formulating them in a meaningful way is not at all an easy task

  5. The Research Problem • It requires: • Considerable knowledge of subject area and research methodology • First identifying and then specifying a research problem might seem like research tasks that ought to be easy and quickly accomplished

  6. The Research Problem • The importance of Research Problem • Identification of destination before undertaking a journey. • Kerlinger said: • If one wants to solve a problem, one must generally know what the problem is. It can be said that a large part of the problem lies in knowing what one is trying to do • Must have clear idea about what you want to find

  7. The Research Problem • The importance of Research Problem • The research can take number of forms • The way you formulate a problem determines almost every step that follows: • The type of study design that can be used • The type of sampling strategy that can be employed • The research instrument that can be used or developed • The type of analysis that can be undertaken

  8. The research problem • The importance: • Formulation of a problem is like the input into a study and the ‘output’ the quality of the contents of the research report and validity • GI-GO • In the beginning you may become more confused but this normal and a sign of progression. • Remember: confusion if often but a first step towards clarity • Remember: this is the most crucial step

  9. Sources of Research Problems • Four P’s • People • Problems • Programs • Phenomena

  10. Sources of Research problems • Most research studies are based on at-least combination of two p’sand it varies from study to study • You may select a group of individual ( a group or a community as such - “people”), either the existence of certain issues or problems relating to their lives, to ascertain attitude of a group of people towards an issue “Problem”; to establish existence of a regularity “phenomenon” or to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention “program”

  11. Sources of Research problems • Focus: • Study of an issue, an association or a phenomenon for example; the relationship between unemployment and street crime, smoking and cancer or fertility and mortality, which is done on the basis of information collected from individuals, groups, communities or organizations. • Every research study has two aspects • The study population • The subject area

  12. Sources of Research problems

  13. Considerations in selecting a research problem • Interest • Magnitude • Measurement of concepts • Level of expertise • Relevance • Availability of data • Ethical issues

  14. Steps in the formulation of a research problem • Step 1: identify a broad field or subject area of interest to you • Step 2: Dissect the broad area into subareas • Step 3: Select what is of most interest to you • Step 4: Raise research questions • Step 5: Formulate objectives • Step 6: Assess your objectives • Step 7: Double-check

  15. The Formulation of Objectives • Objectives are goals you set out to attain in your study. • Two headings • Main objectives • Sub-objectives The main objective is an overall statement of the thrust of study The sub-objectives are the specific aspects of the topic that you want to investigate within the main framework of your study. The objectives should start with words such as ‘to determine ‘, ‘to find out’, ‘to ascertain’, ‘to measure’, ‘to explore’