How to Write the Statement of the Problem in Research

dissertation problem statement

Do you want to write a dissertation problem statement for your academic paper? In this case, you probably know already that the dissertation problem statement is the first step towards writing the research proposal. And yes, it is a very important part of your dissertation. Truth be told, everyone working on a complex paper such as a dissertation, that requires extensive research, should start with a dissertation problem statement. You will learn why in just a bit. For now, let’s explain what problem statements really are, how you write them and then show you a couple of excellent examples. We believe that you will be able to do a far better job writing the problem statement if you read a couple of examples.

What Is the Dissertation Problem Statement?

First, we would like to make sure you understand what a problem statement is and what it is used for. Basically, the dissertation problem statement is a short paragraph of condensed ideas that show your readers how your research project will solve a problem. In other words, you will need to briefly state the current problem or problems, and then explain how your work solves them. You need to clearly define the problem and show how you will address it, in a very clear and concise manner. You can then use this statement to write the research proposal. Of course, you can also integrate it into the introduction of your dissertation. The bottom line, the research statement, is considered by many academics and thesis writers to be the heart of your dissertation.

How to Write a Problem Statement for a Dissertation: The 4 Steps

Now that you know what the problem statement is and why it is so important for your dissertation, it’s time to go on to the next step. Let’s show you how to write a problem statement for a dissertation in just 4 steps. Our experienced dissertation writers have put together this guide to help you compose your statement as fast as possible. After all, you have plenty of work to do with research, analysis, writing, editing, etc. We advise you to check our tips to learn more about these steps. Without further ado, the 4 steps to write a problem statement for a dissertation:

  1. Think about the ideal situation or the desired goal. Start the statement with how things should be, in an ideal case.
  2. Think about what prevents this ideal situation. This is the problem you want to solve! Describe what is preventing the goal from being achieved and what stands in the way. In other words, use the second part of the statement to show your reader the problem you will be solving with your dissertation research and with your work.
  3. Enumerate all the consequences of your solution (if the solution works, of course). How will your work improve the situation? What do you aim to achieve? This is the last part of the statement; the part where you show your readers the benefits of your work.
  4. Read everything out loud and make sure it flows. The logic behind the statement must be strong and everything should be very clearly stated. Avoid ambiguity and don’t be afraid to cut our sections that don’t add value to the statement!

This is how a statement of the problem in the thesis generally looks like. To make things even easier for you, we have 3 examples for you.

Three Dissertation Problem Statement Examples

Here are three dissertation problem statement examples that should make it clear how your statement should be organized:

  1. According to various studies, university students are more focused and more efficient when their dorms are equipped with modern facilities (Ideal Situation). Students in Dorm B currently don’t have AC units and temperatures are exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months (Problem). My study plans to discover if students become more focused after AC units are installed in their dorm rooms (Solution).
  2. All children must feel safe on the playground, regardless of where the playground is located in the city (Ideal Situation). Yet children in the northern part of the city fear playing on the playground after 6 PM because of hooligans (Problem). My research shows that proper policing around playgrounds after 6 PM greatly decreases violence against children (Solution).
  3. Nonprofits need adequate funding and a supporting legal system to be able to help communities (Ideal Situation). The lack of funds and severe legal requirements are preventing certain foundations in the city from providing help to specific populations (Problem). My research demonstrates that softening regulations and increasing funding helps nonprofits provide assistance to 30% more people (Solution).

Final Word on Problem Statement

You can use any of the examples above as a thesis proposal template. Keep in mind that the problem statement for the dissertation must put the problem in context, describe all the details of the problem, show why the problem is important, and then clearly show what your research demonstrates. In other words, clearly and concisely show your audience why the problem is serious and how your research uncovers the best solution.

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