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Problems and
Questions by:
Leah Mae B. Enero, MS SciEd.
How important
is a research
Alvesson and Sandberg (2013)

“a research problem is
the main organizing
principle guiding the
analysis of your paper”.
It provides you an avenue
for expressing what you
want to convey and it
signifies three things:
a. the core subject matter
of scholarly communication;
b. the means by which you
arrive at other topics of
conversations ; and
c. the discovery of new
knowledge and
Bryman (2008)
Cited three important aims
of a problem statement:
a. Introduce the reader to
the importance of the topic
being studied.
b. Place the problem in a
particular context.

c. Provide the framework

for reporting the results.
Bryman (2008)
the research problem
establishes the means by
which you must answer
the “so what” question.
 to survive, it must have
the following features:
•clarity and precision
•demonstrate a
researchable topic or issue
•identification of what
would be studied while
avoiding the use of value-
laden words and terms
•Identification of an
overarching questions or a
small set of questions
accompanied by key
factors and variables.
•Identification of key
concepts and terms.
•Articulation of the study’s
boundaries or parameters
or limitations.
•Some generalizability in
regards to applicability and
bringing results into
general use.
•Conveyance of the study’s
importance, benefits, and
•Does not have
unnecessary jargons or
overly complex sentence
•Conveyance of more than
the mere gathering of
descriptive data that
provides only a snapshot
of the issue or
phenomenon under
A research problem conveys
a sense of emerging design
by stating:
a. the purpose of the study
– whether to describe,
understand, develop, or
discover something;
b. the central idea that you
want to describe, understand,
or discover;
c. the method by which you
plan to collect and analyze the
d. the unit of analysis and/or
the research site principle.
Research questions are …

• the foundation of your research

• the key to your research because
they point to of where you are
• signify what you intend to do.
• about your study.
Black (2008), should be…
• of sufficient scope as to be
resolved with resources available;
• not involved in proving right or
• stated in such a way as to define
clearly the problem to be
Black (2008)
research questions
can be classified
based on the nature
and purpose of the
Black (2008)
Categories of Research
1. Descriptive 4. Predictive
2. Explorative 5. Explanatory
3. Evaluative 6. Control
• What is the frequency of the use
of different training methods in
• What are the reasons given for
absences from work among
information technology workers?
• Do assembly-line workers suffer
from sleep disorders more or less
than the general population of
employed persons?
• How do voting patters of a given
community compare to the results
of the most recent elections?
• Which of several possible
programmers had the greatest
impact on reducing long-term
• Which teaching approach had the
greatest appeal to the learners?
• At which times of the year do
people of different age groups
prefer to take overseas holidays?
• Do people who are good at
Mathematics, Science, or
technical subjects tend to be
poor at English?
• Which side of the brain is
predominantly responsible for
computer mouse manipulation?
• During periods of high
employment, does the perceived
threat of unemployment reduce
spending among those employed?
Examples: CONTROL
• Can stress in patients about to
undergo surgery be reduced by
specific types of nurse
• What night-time medication
regime would enhance the quality
of sleep of hospital patients?
Criteria for Evaluating
Research Questions:
1. They should be clear in the
sense of being intelligible.
2. They should be researchable.
3. They should have some
connection/s with established
theories and research.
4. They should be linked to each
5. They should at the very least
hold out the prospect of being able
to make an original contribution.
6. The should neither be too broad
nor too narrow.
SW 6: Determine the type
of questions
Choose from:
Descriptive Explanatory
Predictive Evaluative
Control Explorative
Descriptive Explanatory
Predictive Evaluative
Control Explorative
1. Will tranquilizers
enhance the examination
performance of highly
stressed students?
Descriptive Explanatory
Predictive Evaluative
Control Explorative
2. Are there any relationships
between social class,
educational achievement, and
drug use among 18 to 24 y.o.?
Descriptive Explanatory
Predictive Evaluative
Control Explorative
3. If family size increases,
is there necessarily an
increase or decrease in
family income?
Descriptive Explanatory
Predictive Evaluative
Control Explorative
4. Which several counseling
approaches had the greatest
success on reducing the return
to drinking among alcoholics?
Descriptive Explanatory
Predictive Evaluative
Control Explorative
5. Is there any relationship
between age and
perception of quality of
Descriptive Explanatory
Predictive Evaluative
Control Explorative
6. What is the nature of
preferences for specific
religions among members of
social classes?
Descriptive Explanatory
Predictive Evaluative
Control Explorative
7. How prevalent is the use
of drugs among prison
Descriptive Explanatory
Predictive Evaluative
Control Explorative
8. What do customers use
as criteria for choosing
which supermarket to
Descriptive Explanatory
Predictive Evaluative
Control Explorative
9. What is the nature of
counseling support provided
for overseas students?
1. Control
2. Predictive
3. Predictive
4. Evaluative
5. Explorative
6. Explorative
7. Descriptive
8. Descriptive
9. Descriptive
•Draft your SOP
• Use short bond paper, margin (left)1.5x1x1x1, Times
New Roman, 12, double space
• Leaders: Update your Task Tracker