Examples of Problem Definition in Research

Examples of Problem Definition in Research

Problem definition is one of the vital steps in research because it will be the basis for a subsequent problem statement and, consequently, for the definition of goals and objectives. Only after completing these steps can you identify the main research question of the paper.

Below you can find a sample of a problem definition of a thesis that aims at studying a practical issue. Although your topic might differ, you can use this sample as a guide when defining a problem in your research.

Problem Definition (Sample)


A school director in Liverpool is looking for a third-year pedagogy student who can find new educational opportunities for talented students. The aim of the research is to help gifted students improve their knowledge, set new educational goals, and develop. The premise for the director’s decision is a survey that was conducted earlier among students and their parents. The survey revealed that many children do not want to attend school because they are bored and need more challenge.

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The UK Ministry of Education has been investigating the issue for several years [provide evidence and in-text citations]. This school has introduced a list of changes to address the issue, for example, started a new extracurricular activity in several subjects [provide other examples of measures the school has implemented and include sources]. One of the recent surveys confirms that some of the changes indeed provide positive results, and, although teachers still complain about the issue, the children experience more educational challenges and find the learning process more interesting. However, according to the school personnel, the students need more help and require professional counseling [include evidence with citations].  

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The Scope and Relevance of the Issue

The primary focus of the research is the relationship between children and school personnel; such factors as home environment and peer pressure will not be studied. The relevance of the research is determined by its potential usefulness in an educational environment since teachers will be able to apply it as a practical tool when satisfying the needs of the gifted students. The students will benefit from the research since their performance at school is expected to improve.

Problem Statement

The personnel at this school lacks the competence to accurately identify and address the needs of the students.


The goal of the research is to develop a list of measures the teachers can take to assist the talented students.

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