• Awards Season
  • Big Stories
  • Pop Culture
  • Video Games
  • Celebrities

How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps

Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.

Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas

The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.

Step 2: Research Your Topic

Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.

Step 3: Formulate Your Argument

Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.

Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement

Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.

Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement

The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.

Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


thesis problems

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • Starting the research process
  • How to Define a Research Problem | Ideas & Examples

How to Define a Research Problem | Ideas & Examples

Published on November 2, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on May 31, 2023.

A research problem is a specific issue or gap in existing knowledge that you aim to address in your research. You may choose to look for practical problems aimed at contributing to change, or theoretical problems aimed at expanding knowledge.

Some research will do both of these things, but usually the research problem focuses on one or the other. The type of research problem you choose depends on your broad topic of interest and the type of research you think will fit best.

This article helps you identify and refine a research problem. When writing your research proposal or introduction , formulate it as a problem statement and/or research questions .

Table of contents

Why is the research problem important, step 1: identify a broad problem area, step 2: learn more about the problem, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research problems.

Having an interesting topic isn’t a strong enough basis for academic research. Without a well-defined research problem, you are likely to end up with an unfocused and unmanageable project.

You might end up repeating what other people have already said, trying to say too much, or doing research without a clear purpose and justification. You need a clear problem in order to do research that contributes new and relevant insights.

Whether you’re planning your thesis , starting a research paper , or writing a research proposal , the research problem is the first step towards knowing exactly what you’ll do and why.

Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

  • Academic style
  • Vague sentences
  • Style consistency

See an example

thesis problems

As you read about your topic, look for under-explored aspects or areas of concern, conflict, or controversy. Your goal is to find a gap that your research project can fill.

Practical research problems

If you are doing practical research, you can identify a problem by reading reports, following up on previous research, or talking to people who work in the relevant field or organization. You might look for:

  • Issues with performance or efficiency
  • Processes that could be improved
  • Areas of concern among practitioners
  • Difficulties faced by specific groups of people

Examples of practical research problems

Voter turnout in New England has been decreasing, in contrast to the rest of the country.

The HR department of a local chain of restaurants has a high staff turnover rate.

A non-profit organization faces a funding gap that means some of its programs will have to be cut.

Theoretical research problems

If you are doing theoretical research, you can identify a research problem by reading existing research, theory, and debates on your topic to find a gap in what is currently known about it. You might look for:

  • A phenomenon or context that has not been closely studied
  • A contradiction between two or more perspectives
  • A situation or relationship that is not well understood
  • A troubling question that has yet to be resolved

Examples of theoretical research problems

The effects of long-term Vitamin D deficiency on cardiovascular health are not well understood.

The relationship between gender, race, and income inequality has yet to be closely studied in the context of the millennial gig economy.

Historians of Scottish nationalism disagree about the role of the British Empire in the development of Scotland’s national identity.

Next, you have to find out what is already known about the problem, and pinpoint the exact aspect that your research will address.

Context and background

  • Who does the problem affect?
  • Is it a newly-discovered problem, or a well-established one?
  • What research has already been done?
  • What, if any, solutions have been proposed?
  • What are the current debates about the problem? What is missing from these debates?

Specificity and relevance

  • What particular place, time, and/or group of people will you focus on?
  • What aspects will you not be able to tackle?
  • What will the consequences be if the problem is not resolved?

Example of a specific research problem

A local non-profit organization focused on alleviating food insecurity has always fundraised from its existing support base. It lacks understanding of how best to target potential new donors. To be able to continue its work, the organization requires research into more effective fundraising strategies.

Once you have narrowed down your research problem, the next step is to formulate a problem statement , as well as your research questions or hypotheses .

If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.


  • Sampling methods
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Likert scales
  • Reproducibility


  • Null hypothesis
  • Statistical power
  • Probability distribution
  • Effect size
  • Poisson distribution

Research bias

  • Optimism bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Implicit bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Anchoring bias
  • Explicit bias

All research questions should be:

  • Focused on a single problem or issue
  • Researchable using primary and/or secondary sources
  • Feasible to answer within the timeframe and practical constraints
  • Specific enough to answer thoroughly
  • Complex enough to develop the answer over the space of a paper or thesis
  • Relevant to your field of study and/or society more broadly

Writing Strong Research Questions

Research questions anchor your whole project, so it’s important to spend some time refining them.

In general, they should be:

  • Focused and researchable
  • Answerable using credible sources
  • Complex and arguable
  • Feasible and specific
  • Relevant and original

Your research objectives indicate how you’ll try to address your research problem and should be specific:

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

McCombes, S. & George, T. (2023, May 31). How to Define a Research Problem | Ideas & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved November 21, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-process/research-problem/

Is this article helpful?

Shona McCombes

Shona McCombes

Other students also liked, how to write a problem statement | guide & examples, writing strong research questions | criteria & examples, how to write a strong hypothesis | steps & examples, what is your plagiarism score.

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy


  • A Research Guide
  • Research Paper Topics
  • 35 Research Paper Problem Topics & Examples

35 Research Paper Problem Topics & Examples

Read also: How to do a research paper and get an A
  • Social media, blackmailing and cyberbullying
  • The Incels and the threat they pose
  • Can you help if your friend seems to have depression?
  • Codependent relationships: how to get out?
  • Dealing with narcissists you can’t just forget about
  • When interrupting the personal life of other person can be justified?
  • Living through the loss
  • The phenomenon of “friend zone”, what can be done with it?
  • Overcoming the culture clash
  • Helping homeless people and resocializing them
  • Fighting drug selling in schools and campuses
  • The problem of drunk driving
  • How to rise from the bottom of the social hierarchy?
  • Dehumanizing people in prisons
  • Preventing human trafficking
  • Making healthy lifestyle a desired choice for the people
  • Improving the ecology of your hometown
  • Online data mining: how can we prevent it?
  • Gender discrimination and sexism
  • The problem of global hunger
  • Underemployment and unemployment
  • Balancing safety and the right to have private information
  • Manipulative advertising
  • Teaching children to spend more time offline
  • Cheating at schools and colleges
  • The problem of corruption
  • The choice of religion for the children from religious families
  • Modern beauty standards and positive body image
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Traffic problems: how to avoid traffic jams in your hometown?
  • What can be done right now to reduce pollution?
  • Money management on personal scale
  • Strict dress code at schools and in the companies
  • Overloading with information in the modern society
  • Enhancing the quality of family life

By clicking "Log In", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy . We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.

Sign Up for your FREE account

Sacred Heart University Library

Organizing Academic Research Papers: The Research Problem/Question

  • Purpose of Guide
  • Design Flaws to Avoid
  • Glossary of Research Terms
  • Narrowing a Topic Idea
  • Broadening a Topic Idea
  • Extending the Timeliness of a Topic Idea
  • Academic Writing Style
  • Choosing a Title
  • Making an Outline
  • Paragraph Development
  • Executive Summary
  • Background Information
  • The Research Problem/Question
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Citation Tracking
  • Content Alert Services
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
  • Tertiary Sources
  • What Is Scholarly vs. Popular?
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Using Non-Textual Elements
  • Limitations of the Study
  • Common Grammar Mistakes
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Footnotes or Endnotes?
  • Further Readings
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Dealing with Nervousness
  • Using Visual Aids
  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
  • How to Manage Group Projects
  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Essays
  • About Informed Consent
  • Writing Field Notes
  • Writing a Policy Memo
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Acknowledgements

A research problem is a statement about an area of concern, a condition to be improved, a difficulty to be eliminated, or a troubling question that exists in scholarly literature, in theory, or in practice that points to the need for meaningful understanding and deliberate investigation. In some social science disciplines the research problem is typically posed in the form of a question. A research problem does not state how to do something, offer a vague or broad proposition, or present a value question.

Importance of...

The purpose of a problem statement is to:

  • Introduce the reader to the importance of the topic being studied . The reader is oriented to the significance of the study and the research questions or hypotheses to follow.
  • Places the problem into a particular context that defines the parameters of what is to be investigated.
  • Provides the framework for reporting the results and indicates what is probably necessary to conduct the study and explain how the findings will present this information.

In the social sciences, the research problem establishes the means by which you must answer the "So What?" question. The "So What?" question refers to a research problem surviving the relevancy test [the quality of a measurement procedure that provides repeatability and accuracy]. Note that answering the "So What" question requires a commitment on your part to not only show that you have researched the material, but that you have thought about its significance.

To survive the "So What" question, problem statements should possess the following attributes:

  • Clarity and precision [a well-written statement does not make sweeping generalizations and irresponsible statements],
  • Identification of what would be studied, while avoiding the use of value-laden words and terms,
  • Identification of an overarching question and key factors or variables,
  • Identification of key concepts and terms,
  • Articulation of the study's boundaries or parameters,
  • Some generalizability in regards to applicability and bringing results into general use,
  • Conveyance of the study's importance, benefits, and justification [regardless of the type of research, it is important to address the “so what” question by demonstrating that the research is not trivial],
  • Does not have unnecessary jargon; and,
  • Conveyance of more than the mere gathering of descriptive data providing only a snapshot of the issue or phenomenon under investigation.

Castellanos, Susie. Critical Writing and Thinking . The Writing Center. Dean of the College. Brown University; Ellis, Timothy J. and Yair Levy Nova Framework of Problem-Based Research: A Guide for Novice Researchers on the Development of a Research-Worthy Problem. Informing Science: the International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline 11 (2008); Thesis and Purpose Statements . The Writer’s Handbook. Writing Center. University of Wisconsin, Madison; Thesis Statements . The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements . The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University.  

Structure and Writing Style

I.  Types and Content

There are four general conceptualizations of a research problem in the social sciences:

  • Casuist Research Problem -- this type of problem relates to the determination of right and wrong in questions of conduct or conscience by analyzing moral dilemmas through the application of general rules and the careful distinction of special cases.
  • Difference Research Problem -- typically asks the question, “Is there a difference between two or more groups or treatments?” This type of problem statement is used when the researcher compares or contrasts two or more phenomena.
  • Descriptive Research Problem -- typically asks the question, "what is...?" with the underlying purpose to describe a situation, state, or existence of a specific phenomenon.
  • Relational Research Problem -- suggests a relationship of some sort between two or more variables to be investigated. The underlying purpose is to investigate qualities/characteristics that are connected in some way.

A problem statement in the social sciences should contain :

  • A lead-in that helps ensure the reader will maintain interest over the study
  • A declaration of originality [e.g., mentioning a knowledge void, which would be supported by the literature review]
  • An indication of the central focus of the study, and
  • An explanation of the study's significance or the benefits to be derived from an investigating the problem.

II.  Sources of Problems for Investigation

Identifying a problem to study can be challenging, not because there is a lack of issues that could be investigated, but due to pursuing a goal of formulating a socially relevant and researchable problem statement that is unique and does not simply duplicate the work of others. To facilitate how you might select a problem from which to build a research study, consider these three broad sources of inspiration:

Deductions from Theory This relates to deductions made from social philosophy or generalizations embodied in life in society that the researcher is familiar with. These deductions from human behavior are then fitted within an empirical frame of reference through research. From a theory, the research can formulate a research problem or hypothesis stating the expected findings in certain empirical situations. The research asks the question: “What relationship between variables will be observed if theory aptly summarizes the state of affairs?” One can then design and carry out a systematic investigation to assess whether empirical data confirm or reject the hypothesis and hence the theory.

Interdisciplinary Perspectives Identifying a problem that forms the basis for a research study can come from academic movements and scholarship originating in disciplines outside of your primary area of study. A review of pertinent literature should include examining research from related disciplines, which can expose you to new avenues of exploration and analysis. An interdisciplinary approach to selecting a research problem offers an opportunity to construct a more comprehensive understanding of a very complex issue than any single discipline might provide.

Interviewing Practitioners The identification of research problems about particular topics can arise from formal or informal discussions with practitioners who provide insight into new directions for future research and how to make research findings increasingly relevant to practice. Discussions with experts in the field, such as, teachers, social workers, health care providers, etc., offers the chance to identify practical, “real worl” problems that may be understudied or ignored within academic circles. This approach also provides some practical knowledge which may help in the process of designing and conducting your study.

Personal Experience Your everyday experiences can give rise to worthwhile problems for investigation. Think critically about your own experiences and/or frustrations with an issue facing society, your community, or in your neighborhood. This can be derived, for example, from deliberate observations of certain relationships for which there is no clear explanation or witnessing an event that appears harmful to a person or group or that is out of the ordinary.

Relevant Literature The selection of a research problem can often be derived from an extensive and thorough review of pertinent research associated with your overall area of interest. This may reveal where gaps remain in our understanding of a topic. Research may be conducted to: 1) fill such gaps in knowledge; 2) evaluate if the methodologies employed in prior studies can be adapted to solve other problems; or, 3) determine if a similar study could be conducted in a different subject area or applied to different study sample [i.e., different groups of people]. Also, authors frequently conclude their studies by noting implications for further research; this can also be a valuable source of problems to investigate.

III.  What Makes a Good Research Statement?

A good problem statement begins by introducing the broad area in which your research is centered and then gradually leads the reader to the more narrow questions you are posing. The statement need not be lengthy but a good research problem should incorporate the following features:

Compelling topic Simple curiosity is not a good enough reason to pursue a research study. The problem that you choose to explore must be important to you and to a larger community you share. The problem chosen must be one that motivates you to address it. Supports multiple perspectives The problem most be phrased in a way that avoids dichotomies and instead supports the generation and exploration of multiple perspectives. A general rule of thumb is that a good research problem is one that would generate a variety of viewpoints from a composite audience made up of reasonable people. Researchable It seems a bit obvious, but you don't want to find yourself in the midst of investigating a complex  research project and realize that you don't have much to draw on for your research. Choose research problems that can be supported by the resources available to you. Not sure? Seek out help  from a librarian!

NOTE:   Do not confuse a research problem with a research topic. A topic is something to read and obtain information about whereas a problem is something to solve or framed as a question that must be answered.

IV.  Mistakes to Avoid

Beware of circular reasoning . Don’t state that the research problem as simply the absence of the thing you are suggesting. For example, if you propose, "The problem in this community is that it has no hospital."

This only leads to a research problem where:

  • The need is for a hospital
  • The objective is to create a hospital
  • The method is to plan for building a hospital, and
  • The evaluation is to measure if there is a hospital or not.

This is an example of a research problem that fails the "so what?" test because it does not reveal the relevance of why you are investigating the problem of having no hospital in the community [e.g., there's a hospital in the community ten miles away] and because the research problem does not elucidate the significance of why one should study the fact that no hospital exists in the community [e.g., that hospital in the community ten miles away has no emergency room].

Choosing and Refining Topics . Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Ellis, Timothy J. and Yair Levy Nova Framework of Problem-Based Research: A Guide for Novice Researchers on the Development of a Research-Worthy Problem. Informing Science: the International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline 11 (2008); How to Write a Research Question . The Writing Center. George Mason University; Invention: Developing a Thesis Statement . The Reading/Writing Center. Hunter College; Problem Statements PowerPoint Presentation . The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Procter, Margaret. Using Thesis Statements . University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Trochim, William M.K. Problem Formulation . Research Methods Knowledge Base. 2006; Thesis and Purpose Statements . The Writer’s Handbook. Writing Center. University of Wisconsin, Madison; Thesis Statements . The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements . The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University.

  • << Previous: Background Information
  • Next: Theoretical Framework >>
  • Last Updated: Jul 18, 2023 11:58 AM
  • URL: https://library.sacredheart.edu/c.php?g=29803
  • QuickSearch
  • Library Catalog
  • Databases A-Z
  • Publication Finder
  • Course Reserves
  • Citation Linker
  • Digital Commons

Research Support

  • Ask a Librarian
  • Appointments
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
  • Research Guides
  • Databases by Subject
  • Citation Help

Using the Library

  • Reserve a Group Study Room
  • Renew Books
  • Honors Study Rooms
  • Off-Campus Access
  • Library Policies
  • Library Technology

User Information

  • Grad Students
  • Online Students
  • COVID-19 Updates
  • Staff Directory
  • News & Announcements
  • Library Newsletter

My Accounts

  • Interlibrary Loan
  • Staff Site Login

Sacred Heart University


Enago Academy

Research Problem Statement — Find out how to write an impactful one!

' src=

Table of Contents

What Is a Research Problem Statement?

A research problem statement is a clear, concise, and specific statement that describes the issue or problem that the research project addresses. It should be written in a way that is easily understandable to both experts and non-experts in the field.

To write a research problem statement, you should:

  • Identify the general area of interest: Start by identifying the general area of research that interests you.
  • Define the specific problem: Narrow down the general area of interest to a specific problem or issue.
  • Explain the significance of the problem: Provide context for the problem by explaining why it is important to study and what gap in current knowledge or understanding it fills.
  • Provide a clear and concise statement: State the problem in a clear and concise manner, making sure to use language that is easily understood by your intended audience.
  • Use a scientific and objective tone: The problem statement should be written in a neutral and objective tone, avoiding any subjective language and personal bias .

An Example of a Research Problem Statement

“The increasing prevalence of obesity in children is a growing public health concern. Despite the availability of information on healthy eating and physical activity, many children are still not engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors. The problem this study addresses is the lack of understanding of the barriers and facilitators to healthy lifestyle behaviors in children.”

When to Write a Problem Statement in Research?

A research problem statement should be written at the beginning of the research process, before any data collection or analysis takes place. This is because the statement sets the foundation for the entire research project by clearly defining the problem that the research is trying to address.

Writing a problem statement early in the research process helps to guide the research design and methodology , and ensures that the research is focused on addressing the specific problem at hand. It also helps to ensure that the research is relevant and addresses a gap in current knowledge or understanding.

In addition, a well-written problem statement effectively communicates the purpose and significance of the research to potential funders, collaborators, and other stakeholders. It also generates interest and support for the research project.

It’s also important to note that, during the research process, the statement can be refined or updated as new information is discovered or as the research progresses. This is normal and it’s a good idea to revise the statement as needed to ensure that it remains clear and concise and that it accurately reflects the current focus of the research project.

What Does a Research Problem Statement Include?

A research problem statement typically includes the following elements:

1. The research topic:

The general area of interest or field of study that the research project addresses.

2. The specific problem or issue:

A clear and concise statement of the problem or issue that the research project aims to address.

3. The significance of the problem:

A discussion of why the problem is important and what gap in current knowledge or understanding it fills.

4. The research questions:

A set of questions that the research project aims to answer, in order to address the problem or issue.

5. The research objectives:

A set of specific and measurable objectives that the research project aims to achieve.

6. The scope of the research:

A description of the specific population, setting, or context that the research project will focus on.

7. The theoretical framework:

A discussion of the theoretical concepts and principles that inform the research project.

8. The research design:

A description of the research methodologies that will be used to collect and analyze data in order to address the research questions and objectives.

It’s important to note that the problem statement is usually brief and concise, typically a few sentences or a short paragraph. But it should provide enough information to convey the main idea of the research project.

Important Features of Research Problem Statement

The problem statement should be clear and easy to understand. Write it in a way that is accessible to both experts and non-experts in the field.

2. Specificity

The statement should be specific and clearly define the problem or issue that the research project aims to address. It should be narrow enough to be manageable, but broad enough to be of interest to others in the field.

3. Significance

The statement should explain why the problem is important and what gap in current knowledge or understanding it fills. It should provide context for the research project and help to justify its importance.

4. Relevance

The statement should be relevant to the field of study and address an issue that is currently of concern to researchers.

5. Research questions

The statement should include a set of research questions that the research project aims to answer in order to address the problem or issue.

6. Research objectives

The statement should include a set of specific and measurable objectives that the research project aims to achieve.

The statement should define the specific population, setting, or context that the research project will focus on.

8. Theoretical framework

The statement should provide an overview of the theoretical concepts and principles that inform the research project.

9. Research design

The statement should provide an overview of the research methodologies. This will be useful collect and analyze data in order to address the research questions and objectives.

Difference Between a Thesis Statement and a Problem Statement

A thesis statement and a problem statement are related but distinct elements of a research project.

A thesis statement is a statement that summarizes the central argument or claim of a research paper or essay. It presents the main idea of the paper and sets the direction for the rest of the content. It’s usually located at the end of the introduction, and it’s often one sentence.

A problem statement, on the other hand, is a statement that describes a specific problem or issue that the research project aims to address. It sets the foundation for the entire research project by clearly defining the research problem. It is usually located at the beginning of a research paper or proposal, and is of one or a few paragraphs.

In summary, a thesis statement is a summary of the main point or key argument of the research paper. A problem statement describes the specific issue that the research project aims to address. A thesis statement is more focused on the final outcome of the research. While a problem statement is focused on the current state of knowledge and the gap in understanding that the research project aims to fill.

In Conclusion

A problem statement is a critical component of the research project, as it provides a clear and concise roadmap for the research, and helps to ensure that the research is well-designed and addresses a significant and relevant issue.

We hope this blog has clarified your doubts and confusion associated with research problem statement and helps you write an effective statement for your research project!

' src=

comprehensive contents. thanks!

Very good writing and easy to understand

WOW..its easy to understand…

This has opened up my mind, Systematically outlined steps.

Wow I’ve gained Alot from this!

WOW…This was much helpful.

Rate this article Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.

thesis problems

Enago Academy's Most Popular

Confounding Variables

  • Reporting Research

Demystifying the Role of Confounding variables in Research

In the realm of scientific research, the pursuit of knowledge often involves complex investigations, meticulous…

ESL Research and Publishing

  • Language & Grammar

Language as a Bridge, Not a Barrier: ESL researchers’ path to successful research and publishing

The landscape of academic research has witnessed a remarkable shift in recent years with the…

Rationale in Research

  • Publishing Research

Setting Rationale in Research: Cracking the code for excelling at research

Knowledge and curiosity lays the foundation of scientific progress. The quest for knowledge has always…


How to Design Effective Research Questionnaires for Robust Findings

As a staple in data collection, questionnaires help uncover robust and reliable findings that can…

Research Interviews for Data Collection

Research Interviews: An effective and insightful way of data collection

Research interviews play a pivotal role in collecting data for various academic, scientific, and professional…

Language as a Bridge, Not a Barrier: ESL researchers’ path to successful…

thesis problems

Sign-up to read more

Subscribe for free to get unrestricted access to all our resources on research writing and academic publishing including:

  • 2000+ blog articles
  • 50+ Webinars
  • 10+ Expert podcasts
  • 50+ Infographics
  • 10+ Checklists
  • Research Guides

We hate spam too. We promise to protect your privacy and never spam you.

I am looking for Editing/ Proofreading services for my manuscript Tentative date of next journal submission:

thesis problems

What support would you need for successful conference participation?

  • Chapter 1: Home
  • Narrowing Your Topic

Problem Statement Overview

How to write a problem statement.

  • Student Experience Feedback Buttons
  • Purpose Statement
  • Conceptual Framework
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Quantitative Research Questions This link opens in a new window
  • Qualitative Research Questions This link opens in a new window
  • Qualitative & Quantitative Research Support with the ASC This link opens in a new window
  • Library Research Consultations This link opens in a new window

Jump to DSE Guide

The dissertation problem needs to be very focused because everything else from the dissertation research logically flows from the problem. You may say that the problem statement is the very core of a dissertation research study. If the problem is too big or too vague, it will be difficult to scope out a purpose that is manageable for one person, given the time available to execute and finish the dissertation research study.

Through your research, your aim is to obtain information that helps address a problem so it can be resolved. Note that the researcher does not actually solve the problem themselves by conducting research but provides new knowledge that can be used toward a resolution. Typically, the problem is solved (or partially solved) by practitioners in the field, using input from researchers.

Given the above, the problem statement should do three things:

  • Specify and describe the problem (with appropriate citations)
  • Explain the consequences of NOT solving the problem

Explain the knowledge needed to solve the problem (i.e., what is currently unknown about the problem and its resolution – also referred to as a gap )

What is a problem?

The world is full of problems! Not all problems make good dissertation research problems, however, because they are either too big, complex, or risky for doctorate candidates to solve. A proper research problem can be defined as a specific, evidence-based, real-life issue faced by certain people or organizations that have significant negative implications to the involved parties.

Example of a proper, specific, evidence-based, real-life dissertation research problem:

“Only 6% of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies are women” (Center for Leadership Studies, 2019).

Specific refers to the scope of the problem, which should be sufficiently manageable and focused to address with dissertation research. For example, the problem “terrorism kills thousands of people each year” is probably not specific enough in terms of who gets killed by which terrorists, to work for a doctorate candidate; or “Social media use among call-center employees may be problematic because it could reduce productivity,” which contains speculations about the magnitude of the problem and the possible negative effects.

Evidence-based here means that the problem is well-documented by recent research findings and/or statistics from credible sources. Anecdotal evidence does not qualify in this regard. Quantitative evidence is generally preferred over qualitative ditto when establishing a problem because quantitative evidence (from a credible source) usually reflects generalizable facts, whereas qualitative evidence in the form of research conclusions tend to only apply to the study sample and may not be generalizable to a larger population. Example of a problem that isn’t evidence-based: “Based on the researcher’s experience, the problem is that people don’t accept female leaders;” which is an opinion-based statement based on personal (anecdotal) experience.

Real-life means that a problem exists regardless of whether research is conducted or not. This means that “lack of knowledge” or “lack of research” cannot be used as the problem for a dissertation study because it’s an academic issue or a gap; and not a real-life problem experienced by people or organizations.  Example of a problem that doesn’t exist in real life: “There is not enough research on the reasons why people distrust minority healthcare workers.” This type of statement also reveals the assumption that people actually do mistrust minority healthcare workers; something that needs to be supported by actual, credible evidence to potentially work as an underlying research problem.

What are consequences?

Consequences are negative implications experienced by a group of people or organizations, as a result of the problem. The negative effects should be of a certain magnitude to warrant research. For example, if fewer than 1% of the stakeholders experience a negative consequence of a problem and that consequence only constitutes a minor inconvenience, research is probably not warranted. Negative consequences that can be measured weigh stronger than those that cannot be put on some kind of scale.

In the example above, a significant negative consequence is that women face much larger barriers than men when attempting to get promoted to executive jobs; or are 94% less likely than men to get to that level in Corporate America.

What is a gap?

To establish a complete basis for a dissertation research study, the problem has to be accompanied by a gap . A gap is missing knowledge or insights about a particular issue that contributes to the persistence of the problem. We use gaps to “situate” new research in the existing literature by adding to the knowledge base in the business research field, in a specific manner (determined by the purpose of the research). Identifying gaps requires you to review the literature in a thorough fashion, to establish a complete understanding of what is known and what isn’t known about a certain problem.  In the example from above about the underrepresentation of female CEOs, a gap may be that male-dominated boards have not been studied extensively in terms of their CEO hiring decisions, which might then warrant a study of such boards, to uncover implicit biases and discriminatory practices against female candidates.

How to Write a Problem Statement

  • Here is one way to construct a problem section (keep in mind you have a 250-300 word limit, but you can write first and edit later):

It is helpful to begin the problem statement with a sentence :  “The problem to be addressed through this study is… ”  Then, fill out the rest of the paragraph with elaboration of that specific problem, making sure to “document” it, as NU reviewers will look for research-based evidence that it is indeed a problem (emphasis also on timeliness of the problem, supported by citations within the last 5 years).

Next, write a paragraph explaining the consequences of NOT solving the problem. Who will be affected? How will they be affected? How important is it to fix the problem? Again, NU reviewers will want to see research-based citations and statistics that indicate the negative implications are significant.

In the final paragraph, you will explain what information (research) is needed in order to fix the problem. This paragraph shows that the problem is worthy of doctoral-level research. What isn’t known about the problem? Ie, what is the gap? Presumably, if your problem and purpose are aligned, your research will try to close or minimize this gap by investigating the problem. Have other researchers investigated the issue? What has their research left unanswered?

  • Another way to tackle the Statement of the Problem:

The Statement of the Problem section is a very clear, concise identification of the problem. It must stay within the template guidelines of 250-300 words but more importantly, must contain four elements as outlined below. A dissertation worthy problem should be able to address all of the following points:

-->identification of the problem itself--what is "going wrong" (Ellis & Levy, 2008)

-->who is affected by the problem

-->the consequences that will result from a continuation of the problem

-->a brief discussion of 1) at least 3 authors’ research related to the problem; and 2)   their stated suggestion/recommendation for further research related to the problem

Use the following to work on the Statement of the Problem by first outlining the section as follows:

1. One clear, concise statement that tells the reader what is not working, what is “going wrong”. Be specific and support it with current studies.

2. Tell who is affected by the problem identified in #1. 

3. Briefly tell what will happen if the problem isn’t addressed.

4. Find at least 3 current studies and write a sentence or two for each study that

i. briefly discusses the author(s)’ work, what they studied, and

ii. state their recommendation for further research about the problem

  • Finally, you can follow this simple 3-part outline when writing the statement of the problem section:

Your problem statement is a short (250-300 words), 3 paragraph section, in which you

  • Explain context and state problem (“the problem is XYZ”), supported by statistics and/or recent research findings
  • Explain the negative consequences of the problem to stakeholders, supported by statistics and/or recent research findings
  • Explain the gap in the literature.

Example of a problem statement that follows the 3-part outline (295 words):

The problem to be addressed by this study is the decline of employee well-being for followers of novice mid-level managers and the corresponding rise in employee turnover faced by business leaders across the financial services industry (Oh et al., 2014).  Low levels of employee well-being are toxic for morale and result in expensive turnover costs, dysfunctional work environments, anemic corporate cultures, and poor customer service (Compdata, 2018; Oh et al., 2014).  According to Ufer (2017), the financial services industry suffers from one of the highest turnover rates among millennial-aged employees in all industries in the developed world, at 18.6% annually.  Starkman (2015) reported that 50% of those surveyed in financial services were not satisfied with a single one of the four key workplace aspects: job, firm, pay or career path. 

Low levels of employee well-being interrupt a financial services’ company’s ability to deliver outstanding customer service in a world increasingly dependent on that commodity (Wladawsky-Berger, 2018).Mid-level managers play an essential role in support of the success of many of top businesses today (Anicich & Hirsh, 2017). 

The current body of literature does not adequately address the well-being issue in the financial services industry from the follower’s perspective (Uhl-Bien, Riggio, Lowe, & Carsten, 2014). Strategic direction flows top-down from senior executives and passes through mid-level leadership to individual contributors at more junior grades.  The mid-level managers’ teams are tasked with the achievement of core tasks and the managers themselves are expected to maintain the workforce’s morale, motivation and welfare (Anicich & Hirsh, 2017).  Unless industry leaders better understand the phenomenon of employee well-being from the follower perspective and its role in positioning employees to provide a premium client experience, they may be handicapped from preserving their most significant principal market differentiator: customer service (Wladawsky-Berger, 2018). 

Was this resource helpful?

  • << Previous: Narrowing Your Topic
  • Next: Purpose Statement >>
  • Last Updated: Apr 24, 2023 1:37 PM
  • URL: https://resources.nu.edu/c.php?g=1006886

NCU Library Home

thesis problems

Research topics we recommend

Are you searching for a research topic that has the potential to significantly improve the world.

Explore our ideas on how to work on some of the most pressing global problems in the profiles below, or sign up to the Topic Discovery Digest for ideas delivered straight to your inbox. 

See here if you want to learn more about why we prioritise these topics and here for a map of how these profiles relate to each other .

We  encourage you to take your interests, aptitudes and degree level into consideration as you explore whether to work on one of these ideas for your thesis – learn more here .

Subscribe to the Topic Discovery Digest

Subscribe to our Topic Discovery Digest to find thesis topics, tools and resources that can help you significantly improve the world.

Explore all our topics

Use the menu to find ideas tailored to your discipline, from broad introductions to deep dives into specific areas. We also encourage you to also explore beyond the content listed under your discipline!

  • Agricultural science
  • Basic medicine
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical sciences
  • Computer and information sciences
  • Earth and environmental sciences


  • Health sciences
  • Media and communications

Philosophy and ethics

  • Physical sciences
  • Political science
  • Psychology and cognitive sciences

thesis problems

AI sentience, moral status and rights

Deep dive How should the possibility of AI sentience guide the development of AI and related institutions and norms?

thesis problems

Alternative proteins research and development

Deep dive The consumption of animal products causes suffering to billions of animals each year. Alternatives could shift consumer demand away from animal products.

Old painting of rich person giving out donations in the street

Altruistic decision-making

Research area introduction How can we encourage effective action to help others?

Close up view of wooden stub

Anti-ageing research

Deep dive Aging is a major risk factor for many diseases that medical interventions try to prevent. Can we target aging as an underlying cause of disease?

An assortment of medicines in blister packs

Antimicrobial resistance

Deep dive Antimicrobial resistance already kills tens of thousands each year, and could kill millions without innovation. What are the best strategies to prevent it?

Kid running outdoors under a sprinkler

Applied mental health research

Deep dive It’s estimated that around 10% of the population suffers from diagnosable mental health conditions, with most of them not receiving treatment. 

Macroscopic view into the universe

Attitudes to existential risk and longtermism

Deep dive To increase the chance of our species having a flourishing future, it’s helpful to understand how we feel and reason about the future of humanity

Fruits and vegatables in a supermarket aisle

Behavioural and attitudinal change in animal products consumption

Deep dive How do attitudes towards animals affect animal product consumption and what interventions are effective in decreasing it?

thesis problems

Biological sciences

Discipline introduction Start here to learn how research in biological sciences could improve the world.

Close up of a black soldier fly

Black soldier fly sentience and welfare

Deep dive Black soldier fly may be farmed on a huge scale in the coming decades. To decrease their potential suffering, we need to understand more about their welfare and capacity for sentience.

Dead deer in the snow

Cause specific mortality in wild animals

Deep dive Understanding the causes of wild animal mortality can help us build a picture of the current state of welfare in nature and how we can improve it.

Dollar bills arranged in the shape of a brain

Charitable donations decision-making research

Deep dive Charitable donations can do a lot of good, but donors rarely prioritise their impact. How can we encourage more effective philanthropy?

thesis problems

Civilisation collapses

Deep dive Studying past civilisational collapses may help us predict and safeguard against future collapse and increase the chance of recovery.

An assortment of dry beans on a table with wooden spoons

Consumer research related to alternative proteins

Deep dive Demand for animal products is increasing but so is the availability of alternatives. How can consumers be encouraged to explore alternative proteins?

Microscopic view of a pathogen

Detection and identification of dangerous pathogens

Deep dive Using metagenomic surveillance and broad-spectrum diagnostics to detect dangerous pathogens.

thesis problems

Developing solutions to climate change

Deep dive Climate change is already causing suffering on a huge scale, and may increasingly contribute to many different crises in future. Although many resources are already dedicated to this area, there are gaps that further research is needed to fill.

thesis problems

Discipline introduction Start here to learn how research in economics could improve the world.

thesis problems

Discipline introduction Start here to learn how research in engineering could improve the world.

thesis problems

Existential and global catastrophic risk

Research area introduction How can research protect humanity's long-term potential from catastrophe?

thesis problems

Farmed animal welfare

Deep dive Animal agriculture causes suffering to billions of animals each year. How can we improve welfare standards as much as possible?

Telescope pointed at the starry sky at night in a field

Forecasting the long-term future

Deep dive To reliably improve the long-term future, we must address the challenge of predicting the long-term impact of our actions

Heat map of geographic area

Global health and wellbeing

Deep dive In 2021 about 9% of the global population was living in extreme poverty. How can we increase living standards and wellbeing in low- and lower-middle-income countries?

Hand holding a magnifying glass over a globe

Global priorities research

Deep dive There are many neglected, foundational uncertainties about what it means to improve the world and what actions we should take to do so

Empty parliament auditorium

Governance of artificial intelligence

Deep dive AI could radically transform the world, for better or worse. How can AI governance mitigate the risks and increase the chance it contributes to humanity's flourishing?

thesis problems

Great power coordination

Deep dive How can we coordinate action between the Great Powers to address existential and global catastrophic risks?

Array of CCTV cameras all black with one column in white

Historical persistence and contingency

Deep dive Improving predictions of the extent to which important features of the world today will persist into the future, and how contingent the future is on the actions we take in the present, could help inform attempts to create long-lasting positive change.

thesis problems

Discipline introduction Start here to learn how research in history could improve the world.

thesis problems

Human-aligned artificial intelligence

Deep dive Artificial intelligence will likely become an increasingly powerful force shaping humanity’s future, so research to align it with human values is vital.

thesis problems

Improving aquatic animal welfare

Deep dive How can we help the hundreds of billions of aquatic animals that are raised and killed for human consumption every year?

thesis problems

Improving health and wellbeing metrics

Deep dive Current health and wellbeing metrics have many shortcomings, leading to misallocation of resources. Developing the 'WELBY' could help.

thesis problems

Improving institutional decision-making

Deep dive Large institutions have vast resources and capacity to help solve global problems. How can we improve their decision-making processes?

thesis problems

Improving pandemic governance

Deep dive Pandemics pose a humanitarian crisis that could even threaten humanity’s future. How can governments prepare for future pandemics?

Field mouse sitting on two strands of oat

Improving the measurement of animal welfare

Deep dive Wild animals make up the vast majority of sentient beings, but their welfare is highly neglected. One promising approach to understanding their quality of life is comparing rate of biological aging in different populations.

Empty stone benches of an auditorium

Improving voting methods

Deep dive Learning how voting systems have been changed in the past to understand how to improve voting systems used today

thesis problems

Insect welfare in farmed, wild, and research contexts

Deep dive Insect use and management occurs at a scale rarely seen across the animal taxa; despite this scale, their welfare has largely been neglected.

thesis problems


Deep dive Is improving the far future one of the key moral priorities of our time? If it is, how should this influence our actions?

thesis problems

Mechanistic interpretability

Deep dive Mechanistic interpretability could help us understand and control the inner workings of AI systems, ensuring that their decision-making aligns with human values and goals.

thesis problems

Medical interventions against dangerous pathogens

Deep dive To address future pandemics, we need medical interventions against pathogens to be faster to produce, effective against a broad range of threats, and cheaper and easier to produce at scale.

Long exposure shot of starry sky with trails

Moral circle expansion

Deep dive How can we expand humanity's moral circle to create a more compassionate future?

Bee sitting in a purple flower

Moral weight research

Deep dive Foundational research exploring animals’ experiences and moral standing could help prioritize animal welfare interventions

Old painting of inventors

Most important historical trends

Deep dive A better understanding of historical trends and what they tell us about humanity's trajectory could inform efforts to improve and prepare for the future

Face mask and hand sanitizer on a table

Non-pharmaceutical pandemic interventions

Deep dive How does the transmission of dangerous pathogens occur and how can innovation in areas such as testing, PPE, distancing and contact tracing reduce transmission?

Dust and clouds

Nuclear war prevention and recovery

Deep dive Could nuclear winter pose an existential threat to humanity's future and in what scenarios? How can we decrease the risk of nuclear war and increase civilisational resilience​?

thesis problems

Discipline introduction Start here to learn how research in philosophy and ethics could improve the world.

The painting Guernica by Picasso

Preventing great power conflict

Deep dive Great power war could pose an existential risk, while a breakdown in cooperation could undermine vital coordination on many global problems. How can we reduce the risk of conflict?

Lab researcher in protective gear holding up samples

Preventing the release of dangerous pathogens

Deep dive How can we reduce the likelihood of intentional or accidental release of dangerous pathogens?

thesis problems

Prioritisation research

Painting of scholars

Progress studies

Deep dive Advances in science, technology, institutions and culture have caused huge improvements in standards of living. How can we increase the rate of progress?

thesis problems

Discipline introduction Start here to learn how research in psychology could improve the world.

thesis problems

Reducing physical pain

Deep dive Hundreds of millions of people live with chronic pain and other intensely painful conditions. What are the most urgent conditions where progress could be made?

thesis problems

Reducing risks from malevolent actors

Deep dive How can individuals with particularly dangerous personality traits be prevented from gaining power?

thesis problems

Resilient foods research

Deep dive How would we feed everyone in the event of a global catastrophe, such as the sun being blocked during a nuclear winter or significant disruption to electricity or industry?

Volcanic eruption

Risks from volcanic eruptions

Deep dive Volcanic eruptions could lead to catastrophe by causing food shortages and disruption to vital global systems. How can we monitor and mitigate the risks?

thesis problems

Space governance

Deep dive Outer space is an increasingly valuable resource and may one day be permanently settled. How can its use be safe, sustainable and contribute to a flourishing future?​

thesis problems

Understanding the impact of social movements

Deep dive Social movements can significantly improve the world. What factors determine the change a social movement achieves?

thesis problems

Wild animal welfare

Research area introduction Researching how to responsibly improve the wellbeing of wild animals.

thesis problems

Wildlife fertility control research

Deep dive Many wild animals suffer due to resource competition. Population management of some species via contraception could increase welfare and survival.

Where next?

thesis problems

Research agendas

Explore research agendas related to the topics we recommend.

How we write our profiles and advice

Learn how we identify the research directions we think are particularly likely to improve the world.

thesis problems

Searching for a research topic?

See here for a visual map of all our research directions.

thesis problems

Read our advice on doing impactful research.

Effective Thesis

Privacy policy

Stay in touch

Are you interested in applying for coaching or to our other services in future? Stay in touch and get our quarterly updates by signing up to our newsletter!

logo ProThesisWriter.com

  • 111 Cool Thesis Topics 2020

111 Cool Thesis Topics 2020

Table of Contents

Our top thesis topics 2020 ideas, medicine and healthcare, criminal law.

  • Computer Science

Arts and Culture

How to write a great research paper, 1. figure out your thesis early, 2. back every statement up with research, 3. do your research before you begin writing, how to choose a great thesis topic, 1. form a question, 2. consider your audience, 3. originality, context, execution, 4. consider your strengths, 5. follow your interests.

Selecting a good thesis topic might be a real nightmare to many college students since you are expected to write about something new although nobody expects that you make some groundbreaking discovery. If you are stuck with formulating the key theme for your thesis project, we will share with you some tips on how to pick the right thesis topics that can make the whole process much easier. 

In order to reduce worries and stress while working on the final academic project, you are to be confident in your topic. There are times when you are assigned a particular theme, but in most cases, you are free to decide on the main idea of your thesis yourself. This is where you might be stuck with doubts and uncertainties. Unsure about your writing talent? Let professional  thesis writer take care of your academic excellence!

If you are allowed to choose a topic, there are some significant areas to consider before you begin your project:

  • Your level of interest - If you pick a theme you lack info at, you will have to spend countless hours doing research, developing primary and secondary articles, and putting everything together. We recommend you choose a topic that you are passionate about; thus, the research process will be far more tedious if you stick to thesis format guidelines;
  • Your level of experience - Being interested in your project is a great thing, but it is even more helpful if you already know something about a topic you are to cover. If you find a theme that you have some experience or expertise at, it will vastly reduce the amount of research needed and make the task much easier;
  • Available information - Choose a theme that is not only interesting but also has various sources so that you could compile comprehensive research. Only in this case, you can become an authority on the subject and deliver an all-covering paper;
  • Your audience - Make sure that your project is interesting not just to you but also to your reading audience. In case your professor or whoever grading your research paper is indifferent about your thesis idea, it will be difficult for you to get them engaged in your research project even if you follow the thesis for master’s degree  writing tips. 

Have you come up with a good topic for your bachelor thesis project? Didn’t have a chance to brainstorm or discuss it with your professor? Then we suggest that you check our selection of cool thesis topics and use them as a source of inspiration.

  • A scientific explanation of COVID-19 and its epidemiology
  • Low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat diets
  • The role of placebo treatment in experiments
  • Is coronavirus human-made?
  • Health problems caused by service time
  • The positive effect of fats positively on the human mind and body
  • The effect of academic performance on the academic health of adolescents
  • An analysis of the potential effect of nanotechnology on our health and the environment
  • An analysis of the treatment of patients who have experienced a loss of memory
  • The application of DNA typing of remains to find missing people and the victims of crime
  • The influence of IT in the field of biomedicine
  • The impact of depression and stress on preterm births in first-time mothers
  • How corrupted are legal systems in South America?
  • What countries have the worst legal systems?
  • What countries have the best legal systems?
  • What should be done to improve family law?
  • The worst decisions of the Supreme Court
  • The best decisions of the Supreme Court
  • Should there be a law preventing cyber-bullying?
  • Should marijuana be legalized at the national level?
  • Legalization of same-sex marriage in the USA
  • Are punishments for sex crimes fair?
  • Trump’s legislative agenda
  • Who is behind Trump’s political rise?
  • What is Operation Pastorius?
  • Why did the Germanics abolish their religion?
  • Who foresaw the encroachment of Nazism?
  • What factors initiated the WWII
  • Is liberalism the most optimal solution?
  • Aztec empire and its architecture
  • Bismarck: radical nationalism and social vision
  • Italian prisons in the 19th century
  • Gender perceptions in the Middle Age
  • American-British relations during the Cold War Era
  • The effect of the Great Depression on the Western States
  • The Industrial Revolution


  • Evidence of water and possible life on Mars
  • How cryogenics can impact our future?
  • How is Google search affecting our intelligence?
  • Self-driving automobiles
  • The impact of cybercrime in the business 
  • The best ways to use technology in the classroom
  • The latest improvements in the automobile industry
  • Can everything be solar powered?
  • What is the story behind the Internet of Things?
  • What is the future of the Internet?
  • Can virtual reality substitute for an actual reality?
  • How did cloud technologies change data storing?
  • Models of financial management of high-tech projects
  • Factors determining the market value of the business
  • The role of business valuation in the global financial system
  • The role of a market value of a business in corporate finance
  • Mechanisms of export financing of investment projects
  • Institutional and contractual ways of implementing a partnership between the state and a business
  • Mechanisms, forms, and tools for the implementation and development of public-private partnerships between countries
  • Forms of interaction between the state and business in various sectors of the global economy
  • Influence of volatility of world commodity markets on financial stability
  • Cost-based methods of pricing and their application during a financial crisis
  • The company objectives and their reflection in a pricing policy
  • How has business philosophy changed over the past few years?
  • How does an all-female working environment look like?
  • How can creative marketing increase your sales?
  • Is multitasking an effective method of work?
  • Problems of sexual harassment at work
  • How to motivate employees?
  • Modern work environments
  • Important specs of the corporate law
  • How to achieve business leadership?
  • Important aspects of workforce regulations
  • Defining the targeted audience
  • Business and taxes
  • Learning from home
  • Modern teaching methods
  • The efficiency of self-regulated schooling
  • Discrimination in education
  • Policing schools
  • Permit corporal punishment
  • Grade inflation and the related policy
  • What are the most successful anti-bullying programs at school?
  • What makes students cheat on exams?
  • The impact of the FERPA concept on education
  • Metal detectors at schools
  • Educational games as tools for enhancing learning abilities

Computer Science 

  • Online store development and creation
  • User interface modernization
  • Development of an automated workplace
  • Development and production of a taxi service website
  • Development of an automated system for managing food purchases
  • Development of a mobile application
  • Features of development of an online laboratory for students
  • Use of neural network technologies for personality recognition
  • Development of methods and informational technologies for modeling and recognition of emotions
  • Development of methods and information technologies for creating systems of gestural communication
  • Signal separation algorithms in 2-microphone systems
  • Signal processing algorithms for compact microphone arrays
  • Claude Monnet vs. Edouard Manet. Similarities and Differences
  • Does Cultural Identity Influence the Creation of Art?
  • How Modern Musicians Are Breaking Genre Stereotypes
  • Does Performance Art Have Boundaries?
  • Gustav Klimt’s Painting Techniques
  • Vivian Maier, the Mysterious Photographer
  • Is the Author Indeed Dead or Was Barthes Mistaken?
  • Jazz Music of the 21st century
  • Famous Paintings with Secrets and Hidden Meaning
  • Why Is Everyone Afraid of Modern Art?
  • Censorship of Art in Nazi Germany
  • Do the Viewer’s Understanding and the Author’s Idea Ever Coincide?
  • The Theatre of the Absurd. Eugene Ionesco’s Impact
  • How Andy Warhol Influenced the World of Art?
  • Ancient Greek Sculpture and Its Peculiarities

Even great research paper topics won't give you a great research paper if you don't hone your topic before and during the writing process. Follow these three tips to turn good research paper topics into great papers.

Before you start writing a single word of your paper, you first need to know how to start a thesis and what it should be. Your thesis is a statement that explains what you intend to prove/show in your paper. Every sentence in your research paper will relate back to your thesis, so you don't want to start writing without it!

As some examples, if you're writing a research paper on if students learn better in same-sex classrooms, your thesis might be "Research has shown that elementary-age students in same-sex classrooms score higher on standardized tests and report feeling more comfortable in the classroom."

If you're writing a paper on the causes of the Civil War, your thesis might be "While the dispute between the North and South over slavery is the most well-known cause of the Civil War, other key causes include differences in the economies of the North and South, states' rights, and territorial expansion."

Remember, this is a research paper you're writing, so you'll need to use lots of qualitative research to make your points. Every statement you give must be backed up with research, properly cited the way your teacher requested. You're allowed to include opinions of your own, but they must also be supported by the research you give.

You don't want to start writing your research paper and then learn that there isn't enough research to back up the points you're making, or, even worse, that the research contradicts the points you're trying to make!

Get most of your research on your good research topics done before you begin writing. Do not start writing your work with a research introduction . First, use the research you've collected to create a rough outline of what your paper will cover and the key points you're going to make. This will help keep your paper clear and organized, and it'll ensure you have enough research to produce a strong paper.

There are many things to keep in mind when choosing your thesis idea . However, at its core, the thesis is nothing more than a simple question. There are many thought-invoking questions to be pondered. This is your golden opportunity to do just that. 

Whether it's a thesis topic, or a project at work, it's always wise to know your audience. Which teacher or professor is grading your final product? What are their preferences, ideals, or even aggravations? Playing into these areas with regard to your topic, structure, and style can possibly offer some great, tactical advantages.

Originality, context, and execution are absolutely necessary components to a successful thesis paper. In the same respects, these qualities will be found within any good topic. Beginning with originality as a goal, try to recall some things in life you have wondered about that you surmised at the time were probably rare thoughts amongst peers. These small curiosities can lead to the greatest topics. If it's something you hear regularly from others, it's probably not going to pass judgements on originality.

Context and proper execution are also paramount to the chosen topic as well as thesis body. To provide the most relevant thesis, one must stay within proper context of their field of study. Be sure you are aiming for a question within your field and the desired realm of thesis requirements for your particular concentration. Also, consider wording. The execution of the posing of your question can have great effects on the rest of the task.

Another great consideration in choosing the topic of the thesis is to consider your strengths. This means - to consider what you are good at. What are your interests and what are your particular strong suits that can be applied to a research project?

These are not your only strengths, however. Your proximity or affiliations to a person or place of interest can be great strengths. That old bookcase loaded with rarely-tapped knowledge could be a gold mine. What are your available resources? Look around and consider all of the things in your life that can be used as strengths in writing a thesis. In considering all these offerings you have at your disposal, choosing a topic may become much easier.

In conclusion, the ultimate topic for you will be the one that keeps your interests perked and your engagement in this work vivacious. This will produce the very best topic and thesis. Choose a thesis topic with these things in mind, and you will be just fine.

In academic writing, a thesis is related to complex papers. Usually, it is called a Master’s or a Doctoral thesis and can be compared to a dissertation. The main differences between them are size and width of uncovered topic. How long should a thesis be? Undeniably, it takes months to complete a wel...

When you're working on a thesis, it's quite important to format the paper properly following the main rules. Needless to say, some students may be too lazy to search for the needed requirements on thesis format. In this guide, we've gathered the most important hints that will help you in formatting ...

In the life of each last-year university graduate student, there comes the time when one is faced with the need to write thesis and defend it in front of a large examination board. Is it the case of yours; is your thesis defense getting closer every day? Still don’t believe in your success? Do not p...

  [email protected]

  • English English Spanish German French Turkish

Bestedit logo

How to Define a Research Problem for Your Dissertation or Thesis

What you aim to address in your dissertation relates to a research problem. It is primarily a unique issue, challenge, paradox, or breach in the current literature. It would be best if you searched for practical problems and targeted addressing them to expand the actual knowledge.

thesis problems

Defining the research problem

What you aim to address in your dissertation relates to a research problem . It is primarily a unique issue, challenge, paradox, or breach in the current literature. It would be best if you searched for practical problems and targeted addressing them to expand the actual knowledge. It would help if you remembered that some research would support the extant literature. At the same time, some might include breakthrough novel investigations. What is critical is your areas of interest, determining the kind of research you wish to conduct. This article aims to specify and improve a research problem. Please do not forget that when penning your research proposal or introduction, you must devise it as a problem statement or research question.

How crucial is the research problem? 

You may have an exciting dissertation or thesis topic. However, it may not constitute a solid foundation for academic research. Suppose you have not specified your research problem. In that case, you may culminate with an out-of-focus and impossible project. 

You might be reiterating what has already been covered in your area of expertise. Put differently, you might be saying too much or conducting research lacking apparent objectives and confirmation. Therefore, you need a unique research problem that contributes to existing research and provides novel insights. It matters little whether you plan your dissertation, begin a research article, or pen a research proposal. You must specify your research problem clearly, stating what you plan to do and why.

Phase 1: Specify a broad problem area

After reading about your dissertation topic, you should search for the areas needing further research. Choosing an area where much discussion and controversy occur is helpful. Please note that your objective is discovering a research gap so that you can fill it with your research.

a. Down-to-earth research problems

Assume you are conducting practical research. Then, you can specify a problem by perusing reports, pursuing previous research, and communicating with people who have studied in the related area or institution. Particularly relevant is to look for subjects on the performance and efficiency of the organization, what steps can be taken to improve the institution’s efficiency, areas concerning the people in the field, and challenges faced by some groups in society. 

Suppose your research is related to practical training. You must find a research problem, mainly concentrating on how companies look at trainees and how trainees can benefit from the company for their professional development.

Samples of down-to-earth research problems

COVID-19 is more deadly in developing countries than the developed ones.

Small and medium-sized companies wish to accommodate practical trainees, while corporates are reluctant to do so.

Non-profit organizations in developing countries face the issue of a lack of democracy. In contrast, those in developed nations enjoy democracy and freedom of speech.

b. Hypothetical research problems

Hypothetical research concentrates on growing actual knowledge and comprehending instead of explicitly changing its direction. Specify a research problem by perusing recent research, theory, and discussion on your subject to determine what is missing and already acknowledged. Therefore, the following issues are directly relevant:

The research should not be a closely studied area.

It should contain two or more perspectives contradicting or negating each.

It should not be a thoroughly researched relationship.

It should comprise a controversial issue needing further debate.

Even though these problems are theoretical, they frequently have practical ramifications. Nevertheless, their target is beyond addressing an imminent issue. Keep in mind that some research may involve a case study.

Samples of hypothetical research problems

Huntington’s Clash of Civilization theory is hard to prove by any measures.

The impacts of feeding regimens on beef tenderness are inconclusive.

The hiring of male managers more than female ones is beyond understandable.

Phase 2: Investigate more about the problem

What follows is to discover the existing knowledge about the problem and suggest precisely what perspective you will take to address it. You should specify who will be affected by the problem, how long the subject has been a hot topic, what has been conducted so far, and whether any proposed solutions exist. Other critical questions include the people's place, time, and identity to concentrate on and what issues cannot be covered. On top of that, what ramifications would result if the issue could not be solved, and who would benefit the most if the problem were relevant?

If you need us to make your thesis or dissertation, contact us unhesitatingly!

Best Edit & Proof expert editors and proofreaders focus on offering papers with proper tone, content, and style of  academic writing,  and also provide an upscale  editing and proofreading service  for you. If you consider our pieces of advice, you will witness a notable increase in the chance for your research manuscript to be accepted by the publishers. We work together as an academic writing style guide by bestowing subject-area editing and proofreading around several categorized writing styles. With the group of our expert editors, you will always find us all set to help you identify the tone and style that your manuscript needs to get a nod from the publishers.

Research problem for a dissertation and thesis

English formatting service

You can also avail of our assistance if you are looking for editors who can format your manuscript, or just check on the  particular styles  for the formatting task as per the guidelines provided to you, e.g.,  APA,  MLA, or Chicago/Turabian styles. Best Edit & Proof editors and proofreaders provide all sorts of academic writing help, including editing and proofreading services, using our user-friendly website, and a streamlined ordering process.

Get a free quote for editing and proofreading now!

Visit our  order page  if you want our subject-area editors or language experts to work on your manuscript to improve its tone and style and give it a perfect academic tone and style through proper editing and proofreading. The process of submitting a paper is very easy and quick. Click here to find out how it  works.

Our pricing is based on the type of service you avail of here, be it editing or proofreading. We charge on the basis of the word count of your manuscript that you submit for editing and proofreading and the turnaround time it takes to get it done. If you want to get an instant price quote for your project, copy and paste your document or enter your word count into our  pricing calculator.

Research problem for a dissertation and thesis

24/7 customer support | Live support

Contact us to get support with academic editing and proofreading. We have a 24/7 active live chat mode to offer you direct support along with qualified editors to refine and furbish your manuscript.

Research problem for a dissertation and thesis

Stay tuned for updated information about editing and proofreading services!

Follow us on  Twitter,  LinkedIn,    Facebook,  Instagram,  and  Medium .

For more posts, click  here.  

This article explains how to define a research problem for your dissertation or thesis. To give you an opportunity to practice proofreading, we have left a few spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors in the text. See if you can spot them! If you spot the errors correctly, you will be entitled to a 10% discount.

  • Editing & Proofreading
  • Citation Styles
  • Grammar Rules
  • Academic Writing
  • Proofreading
  • Microsoft Tools
  • Academic Publishing
  • Dissertation & Thesis
  • Researching
  • Job & Research Application

Similar Posts

How to Determine Variability in a Dataset

Population vs Sample | Sampling Methods for a Dissertation

7 Issues to Avoid That may Dent the Quality of Thesis Writing

How to Ensure the Quality of Academic Writing in a Thesis and Dissertation?

How to Define Population and Sample in a Dissertation?

How can You Establish Experimental Design in Your Dissertation?

How Can You Decide on Tense Usage in Your Dissertation?

How Can You Write an Abstract for Your Dissertation?

How to Build Research Methods for Your Dissertation

How to Build a Strong Hypothesis for Your Dissertation

Recent Posts

How to Determine Central Tendency

ANOVA vs MANOVA: Which Method to Use in Dissertations?

How to Specify Study Variables in Research Papers?

They Also Read

thesis problems

You have been working hard on your research paper and want to write an excellent dissertation/thesis. You have researched all the materials, and your data are perfect— all you need to do is put them together in a dissertation or thesis. But how do you manage that? While working on the research is not easy, it’s structuring a dissertation or thesis that the main issue lies with. Therefore, if you are struggling with structuring your dissertation or thesis, this article may be of help.

thesis problems

A theoretical framework primarily supports the idea of a research study. It bears all the theories that prove the essence and importance of any research. In a nutshell, it is developed to explain the research and comprehend its circumstances. It may involve all the theory-based logic behind the importance and existence of your research in academics. This step-by-step guide discusses how to build a theoretical framework for a dissertation.

thesis problems

A literature review includes academic sources on a specific topic. It aims to supply up-to-date knowledge, ensuring that you specify relevant theories, methodologies, and deficiencies in the extant research.

thesis problems

The first step includes choosing a subject for your thesis, dissertation, or research project and ensuring the process becomes rewarding and smooth. One should consider many issues before deciding on a topic.

thesis problems

In statistics, a population refers to the pool of individuals from which one can draw the statistical sample for a study. A population includes a complete set of individuals. That group can comprise a nation or people sharing common characteristics.

thesis problems

Formal writing is essential to academic essays, a thesis, or a dissertation. Many issues may dent your writing. This article covers 7 critical ones to avoid that may affect the quality of thesis and dissertation writing.

thesis problems

While researching a group of people, collecting data from every person in that group is virtually impossible. To counter this issue, you choose a sample. What is the difference between population and sample? What sampling methods should you use in your dissertation?


  1. How to Write a Problem Solution Essay

    thesis problems

  2. How To Write A Good Problem Statement In Research Study

    thesis problems

  3. The Problem Statement in the Research Paper

    thesis problems

  4. 💐 Thesis problem sample. Sample Problem Statement. 2019-01-31

    thesis problems

  5. PPT

    thesis problems

  6. FREE 10+ Dissertation Problem Statement Samples in PDF

    thesis problems


  1. How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps

    Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement ...

  2. What Is the Statistical Treatment in a Thesis?

    Statistical treatment in a thesis is a way of removing researcher bias by interpreting the data statistically rather than subjectively. Giving a thesis statistical treatment also ensures that all necessary data has been collected.

  3. A Comprehensive Guide to Writing an Effective Thesis

    Writing a thesis can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right approach and a few helpful tips, you can craft an effective thesis that will help you get the grade you’re looking for. Here is a comprehensive guide to writ...

  4. How to Define a Research Problem

    A research problem is a specific issue or gap in existing knowledge that you aim to address in your research. You may choose to look for

  5. 35 Research Paper Problem Topics & Examples

    The phenomenon of “friend zone”, what can be done with it? ... How to rise from the bottom

  6. The Research Problem/Question

    In the social sciences, the research problem establishes the means by which you must answer the "So What?" question. The "So What?" question refers to a

  7. How to Write a Research Problem Statement

    A problem statement describes the specific issue that the research project aims to address. A thesis statement is more focused on the final outcome of the

  8. Problem Statement

    You may say that the problem statement is the very core of a dissertation research study. If the problem is too big or too vague, it will be

  9. Top 300+ Ideas For Research Paper Topics in 2023

    What is the current evidence that Mars has had water and maybe life? Can nanomedicine potentially extend the human lifespan? What is the future of computing and

  10. Common Problems

    Common Problems. problem-solution. Although you have creative control over your thesis sentence, you still should try to avoid the following problems

  11. Find thesis topics that can change the world

    Explore all our topics · AI sentience, moral status and rights · Alternative proteins research and development · Altruistic decision-making · Anti-ageing


    From here, you develop your rationale for your study and thesis by explaining the importance of the problem and the need to conduct research within the

  13. 111 Thesis Topics for Your Final Academic Project

    Business · How has business philosophy changed over the past few years? · How does an all-female working environment look like? · How can creative marketing

  14. How to Define a Research Problem for Your Dissertation or Thesis

    What you aim to address in your dissertation relates to a research problem. It is primarily a unique issue, challenge, paradox, or breach in the