Geoff And Francis
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How to Formulate a Research Problem in your PhD Research Proposal

There are two types of research problems, viz., those which relate  to states of nature and those which relate to relationships between variables. At the very outset, the researcher must single out the problem he wants to study, i.e, he must decide the general area of interest or aspect of a subject matter that he would like to inquire into. Initially, the problem may be stated in a broad general way and then the ambiguities, if any related to the problem, are resolved. Then the feasibility of a particular solution has to be considered before a working formulation of the problem can be set up. The formulation of a general topic into a specific research problem, thus constitutes the first step in a scientific inquiry. Essentially two steps are involved in formulating the research problem, viz., understanding the problem thoroughly, and rephrasing the same into meaningful terms from an analytical point of view.    read...