Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tips for Finding and Selecting Research Problems

Research problems can be difficult to find and evaluate for investigation. Doctoral students who seek to work on a dissertation often look to seasoned researchers to help them narrow their problem into a specific thesis statement that can be applied to the research process. Even seasoned researchers often can find it difficult to find topics of interest. In either event all research starts with a recognition of a problem and then the exploration of the problem.

Recognition of a problem occurs when the problem enters our awareness. Sometimes it can be as simple as thinking about a topic your interested in and finding a problem through discovery. It is important to remember that easy to find research problems often already have existing research or are too broad to be of any good.

Many researchers spend years to find a sold research problem. When you are getting into the specifics you won't know what the problem is unless you have looked at all the other research out there or are ingrained in the field. Scientific problem recognition and eventual solution happen more through willful intent then through example.

Research should always seek to develop some new piece of information or some new understanding even though that understanding is small. It may not be ground breaking or earth shattering but could be important in its particular field. Finding research problems often relates to seeking out unanswered questions.

Finding a research problem can be difficult but is often beneficial to look for a few things that might be helpful.

Look into Bigger Problems. Large problems have many small components. Sometimes these components are covered but there will be many other aspects of the problem that were not covered. Take a big problem and research down to a specific problem.

Look for Information that Doesn't Connect: Information should connect well together in a parsimonious explanation. When information is not connecting together well then we know we have an issue related to explanation.

Look for the Novel: Topics of interest that are novel often have emerging information that either hasn't been studied or been replicated in new ways. Stay ahead of the market by looking for new novel discoveries.

Look for Topics of Interest: Find what interests you and continue to study it until you come across something new or question that hasn't been answered.

Look for Practical Problems: If you work for an employer and they are experiencing a problem work on something practical that is an answer for them. Not only will it have industry application but could get you some kudos.

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