Suggestions for Constructing Appropriate Problem and Purpose Statements
Problem and purpose statements are the backbone of any research paper. They give the reader the feasibility of the study as well as grabbing their attention in the very first few sentences of the study (University of Phoenix 2014). It is, therefore, imperative to give it priority and careful consideration on how to construct them.
Newman and Covrig (2013) states that the problem statement represents the “why” part of the study. Writers should realize that this section should give a reason to why the study is being performed as well as who cares if it is performed (Leedy and Ormrod 2010). It shows the necessity of the study. A well-constructed problem statement should convince the readers that the problem addressed in the paper is important and worthy of an investigation. Newman and Covrig (2013) suggest that a good writer should express a perfect scenario next to the problem statement so as emphasize on the direness of the problem. The problem statement should then progress so show the risks involved in ignoring to address the problem. Afterwards, the statement should discuss the factors that may prevent the goal of the study from realization.
After the why section justifies the importance of the study, Newman and Covrig (2013) argues that the “what” section, which is the purpose statement, identifies to the readers what the researcher will do to conduct the study. This part of a research paper resembles the plan that the researcher is planning to embark to solve the problem created in the problem statement (Newman and Newman 2011). The writer always has to align the purpose statement with the problem statement. Consistency needs to be achieved. Simply listing or mentioning the procedure to be used in the study is often sufficient to guide the readers throughout the paper.
Overall, consistency between the problem and purpose statement is key to providing a quality piece of work. However, it is important to note that there is no one perfect research paper because critics will always find fault in any work. But, so long as writers maximize on the main points presented in this paper and align them with the rest of the manuscript, they will have produced an academically worth paper to be used for research purposes throughout the world.
Newman, I., & Covrig, D.M. (2013). Writer’s forum-Building consistency between title, problem statement, purpose, and research questions to improve the quality of research plans and reports. New Horizons in Adult Education & Human Resource Development, 25(1), 70-79.
Newman, I. & Newman, C. (2011). “Elements of a publishable quantitative manuscript.” In The Handbook of Scholarly Writing and Publishing. Tonette Rocco and Tim Hatcher, Eds. Jossey Bass Press.
Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. (2010). Practical research: Planning and design (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.