How to write Research statement of problem

In research, especially when writing a thesis, and dissertations, a statement of the problem is used to emphasize the need to embark on a study on a given topic.

It explains the what, when, why and how the issues addressed in the research came about, as well as their implication for the development of the geographical area being studied. An ideal statement of problem paints a mental picture of the prevalence of the research problem in the jurisdiction at issue.

Take, for instance, a researcher whose research topic is “The prevalence of prostitution among female college students in Delta State: causes, implication and the way forward”. From the topic it is therefore expected that the researcher should provide details on the frequency of the occurrence of pregnancy among female college students in delta state, the researchers are also expected to provide detailed information on the demography of the victims as touching religious, and socio-economic status of victims.

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This is to say that the statement of the problem should explore the characteristics of the affected group, if previous studies on these variables reported higher frequency among girls from Christian or Islamic background, nor was the status quo more pronounced among female college students from perceived economic disadvantaged homes.

This enables the researcher to gain insight into the possible factors fostering the prevalence of the status quo in his area of study.  If the information presented by the writer showed that the prevalence of female prostitution was more pronounced among college girls from poor homes, this creates a pathway and a logical connection of poverty as one of the factors fueling such behaviour among this stratum of college students in Delta State.

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It is also expected that the researcher provides information on the consequence of the phenomenon on the overall development of the population at issue, it is essential for the researcher to acknowledge and provide information on previous attempts made to curb the status quo, this proves to the reader that the researcher is vast knowledge on current developments in his line of research, and as such intends to bring something new to the table.


By so doing the researcher has successfully manipulated the emotions of his/her readers, exposing them to the troubles of the future, which might result, if the issue is not addressed. At this point, the reader’s mind is already captivated waiting for the researcher to provide the way forward.

In summary, a good statement of the problem should create a picture of the reality of the research problem, efforts already put in place, and the implication for the future.

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  • Steve Jonathan

    Very helpful, thanks

  • Dorothy Duty

    Before you start to write your research statement, you need to understand what it is and what it’s supposed to do. A research statement of problem is a brief description of the problem that you plan to address in your research paper. It explains the problem that you will be researching and why it needs to be addressed. The research statement of problem should be no more than a few sentences long.

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