Identifying a research problem involves identifying a gap or issue in the existing knowledge or understanding of a particular topic. This can be done by reviewing relevant literature, observing real-world phenomena, or identifying practical problems that need to be addressed.
Formulating research questions involves converting the identified research problem into specific questions that can be answered through research. These questions should be clear, focused, and specific, and should guide the research process.
Here is a step-by-step process for identifying a research problem and formulating research questions:
1. Identify a broad topic of interest: Start by selecting a general area or topic that you are interested in exploring. This could be related to your field of study, a current issue, or a gap in existing knowledge.
2. Review existing literature: Conduct a thorough review of existing literature on the topic to identify what is already known and what gaps or unanswered questions exist. This will help you identify the research problem.
3. Identify the research problem: Based on the literature review, identify the specific gap or issue that you want to address through your research. This could be a contradiction in findings, a lack of research in a specific area, or a practical problem that needs to be solved.
4. Refine the research problem: Once you have identified the research problem, refine it to make it more specific and focused. Consider the scope of your research, the resources available, and the feasibility of addressing the problem.
5. Formulate research questions: Based on the refined research problem, formulate specific research questions that can be answered through research. These questions should be clear, concise, and focused on addressing the research problem. It is important to ensure that the research questions are answerable and can be investigated within the constraints of the research project.
6. Evaluate and revise the research questions: Review the formulated research questions to ensure they align with the research problem and are relevant to the research objectives. Seek feedback from peers, advisors, or experts in the field to refine and improve the research questions.
Remember that research questions should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). They should guide the research process and help you collect and analyze data to address the research problem.