The Interrelation Between The Research Gap and Problem Statement Of Your Master’s Dissertation: Can a Problem Statement Survive Without Identifying The Research Gap?

“A good problem statement often includes what is known, what is unknown, and what is sought.”

This quote by author Edward Hodnett clearly highlights the essence of a problem statement. As a Masters student, you would be prepared to take up the dissertation series. However, there are certain aspects that need to have thorough consideration. For example, you need to write a decent proposal at the initial stage, compile a literature review that is according to the standards, provide appropriate references, etc. But have you ever wondered about the importance of a problem statement? Also, have you ever thought whether it can manage by itself without identifying the research gap? Well, this piece is to make you understand the importance of the problem statement and its inevitable connection with the research gap.

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Problem Statement-The Core of a Dissertation:

Being the focal point of the dissertation or proposal, the problem statement is the inducing factor that drives the committee to read your dissertation. They will come to this section to comprehend the advantages of your proposal or dissertation. As per Cooper and Schindler (2002) “this section needs to convince the sponsor [or dissertation committee] to continue reading the proposal” (p. 101). A well-expressed problem statement lays the groundwork for everything that will develop in the proposal. Its significance can be understood when you realize that it mitigates the conceptual and theoretical hindrances. Whatever is written in the problem statement should be found in the study.

To add further, a good problem is a topic of importance, whose examination will make a good contribution to knowledge. Suppose you have a solution to the problem or the problem is completely predictable, then there is no requirement to move forward with the study.

What Are The Main Elements of a Problem Statement?

Typically, the problem statement consists of three key components:

  • The problem itself
  • The method used to find a solution to the problem
  • The purpose, aim statement, and the scope of the dissertation.

The problem statement should address the five Ws including Who, What, When, Where and Why.

What Is The Word Count of a Problem Statement?

The problem statement should range between ½ page to ¾th page. Keep in mind that the problem statement should be concise so that the reader does not get diverted.

Problem Statement And Research/Knowledge Gap:

The identification of research gaps is pivotal to a problem statement. The gaps that have been identified reveal areas that have been addressed a lot. Those areas that have been given less attention are also disclosed.

Your research problem should make a positive influence on the domain. For this, you have to fill a research gap. The main requirement of the research problem is that it should be unique and should involve in addressed a knowledge gap.

The problem statement based on research gap should emerge from a thorough review of the literature. The review should make out the gaps in the already available literature.

One key point to remember is that the literature review should support the knowledge gap of the problem statement. Besides, there must be a close interaction between the problem statement and the topic of your Master’s dissertation. Ensure that the problem statement is not flowery but serves a practical purpose.

If you are having issues with your problem statement, don’t hesitate to contact Tutors India. We are an established academic guidance provider and provide complete dissertation writing services that would leverage your academic journey in the right direction.


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