Step by Step Guide to Formulate a Research Problem

A research problem is also known as a research question. In both natural and social sciences, it is known as the methodological point of departure in scholarly research. While conducting effective research, it is necessary for you to provide an answer to this question.

Research Problem Guide


If you are going to write a research paper at the undergraduate level, the answer to the research question exists in the form of a thesis statement. A research question will also address such problem which is worth solving. Some essential tips to formulate a research question are given below;

  • Specify the research objectives

A clear statement which can easily define all of your objectives is helpful to you to develop effective research. It is also helpful for the evaluators to get an idea either the research questions of your projects have provided all the possible answers to your questions or not. With the help of clear objectives, it is also easy for the students to find out the possible answers to the research questions of a project. No doubt, to find the manageable objectives is a critical task for the students but with a little effort, you can easily specify the research objectives of your project.

  • Review the context of the research problem

There are some environmental variables or contextual variables which are helpful to you to provide enough idea about the findings of your research problem. You just need to find out all the environmental or contextual variables which can affect your research project. After finding these variables, you will be in a better position to formulate the possible methods which are helpful to you to control these variables.

  • Explore the nature of the problem

As we know that the research problems can be simple and complex. The simplicity or the complexity of the research problem depends upon the number of variables and relationship between these variables. As a researcher, you should try to select such variables for your research project which have a direct relation with the research problems or the research questions. Its reason is that if a student is able to easily explore and understand the nature of a problem, it is easy for him to develop better solutions to the research problems.

  • Define the variable relationships

We can’t ignore these variables while formulating the research questions. For example, if you are going to write a research project of marketing, you will have to get an idea which behaviors are occurring over the time and what is the best design to introduce a new product. Its reason is that these variables have a direct relationship with the sale of the products. This is also considered as an essential stage for problem formulation.

  • The sequence of alternate courses of action

While writing any kind of research project, you will have to keep in mind the sequence of the alternative courses of action. Therefore, while formulating the research problems, it is also necessary for us to anticipate and communicate with the outcomes of the various courses of action. Its reason is that if we don’t keep in mind these courses of action, we will never be able to get the desired results.

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