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Project Proposal
Research Methodology
ETC 3221

Gunasingha D.S
Department of Engineering Technology
Faculty of Technology
University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Sri Lanka

6th JUNE 2019

1. What are the Techniques of Defining a Research Problem in Research

In the research process the very first stage is the define the research problem, after the
identifying a research that must be defined technically so to do this we have to follow some
techniques. When defining the problem, the definition must be in general and logical therefore
the researcher must be deeply involved in the topics related to the research as well as fully
understand the nature of the problem. defining the problem is that the researcher must be
aware of the cause and character of the problem in clear terms through discussions and study
of the environment in which the problem should be solved, it is considered a good idea to
conduct a field observation and such as, the researcher can carry out some kind of preliminary
survey or a pilot survey. The problem mentioned in a general way could have many ambiguities
that must be solved with a reflection and a rethinking about the problem. In doing so, the
viability of a specific alternative must be considered and must be taken into account at the time
the problem is established. literature survey , experiential counselling and rethinking with the
discussions can be used to overcome the ambiguities in the research definition

Literature Surve : All literature accessible in relation to the subject in question must necessarily
be examined and examined before a definition of the research problem is provided. It helps a
professional to analyse the current dimensions in that specific area and the results in the
improvement of knowledge. The researcher must devote adequate time to the examination of
the research done previously on relevant problems. It is done to discover what data and other
materials, if any, are available for operational purposes. Knowing what data can be obtained
often acts to limit the problem itself, in addition to the technique that can be employed.

Experiential counselling: the discussion related to a difficulty usually produces valuable

information. People who have knowledge or have extensive experience in the area of research
have turned out to be an excellent sounding board for an investigator. Our suggestions and
comments on the research proposal help the researcher get more clarity and focus on his
research topic. Chats with these people should not only be limited to the formulation of the
particular problem in question, but should also be related to the general approach of the specific
problem, the techniques that could be used, feasible solutions, etc.

Rethink the research problem: Very often, a redefinition of the problem occurs when the steps
mentioned above are carried out. The researcher often redefines the problem in a more
practical and logical way for the realization of the research in question. So above all the
techniques can be used to defining research problems.

2. What is research problem? Define the main issues which should receive the
attention of the researcher in formulating the research problem. Give suitable
examples to elucidate our points

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

1. Specify The Research Objectives

A clear statement defining our objectives will help we develop effective research.It will help the
decision makers evaluate the research questions our project should answer as well as the
research methods our project will use to answer those questions. It’s critical that we have
manageable objectives. (Two or three clear goals will help to keep our research project focused
and relevant.)
2. Review The Environment Or Context Of The Research Problem
As a marketing researcher, we must work closely with our team of researchers in defining and
testing environmental variables. This will help we determine whether the findings of our project
will produce enough information to be worth the cost. In order to do this, we have to identify
the environmental variables that will affect the research project and begin formulating different
methods to control these variables.
3. Explore The Nature Of The Problem
Research problems range from simple to complex, depending on the number of variables and
the nature of their relationship. Sometimes the relationship between two variables is directly
related to a problem or questions, and other times the relationship is entirely unimportant. If we
understand the nature of the research problem as a researcher, we will be able to better
develop a solution to the problem. To help we understand all dimensions, we might want to
consider focus groups of consumers, salespeople, managers, or professionals to provide what
is sometimes much-needed insight into a particular set of questions or problems.
4. Define The Variable Relationships
Marketing plans often focus on creating a sequence of behaviors that occur over time, as in
the adoption of a new package design, or the introduction of a new product. Such programs
create a commitment to follow some behavioral pattern or method in the future.
Studying such a process involves:

 Determining which variables affect the solution to the research problem.

 Determining the degree to which each variable can be controlled and used for
the purposes of the
 company.
 Determining the functional relationships between the variables and which
variables are critical to
the solution of the research problem. During the problem formulation stage, we will want to
generate and consider as many courses of action and variable relationships as possible.
5. The Consequences of Alternative Courses of Action
There are always consequences to any course of action used in one or more projects.
Anticipating and
communicating the possible outcomes of various courses of action is a primary responsibility
the research process.

 Does behaviour modification reduce aggression in autistic children.

 Are the descriptions of people in social studies textbooks biased.
 What goes on in an elementary school classroom during an average week

3. How do you define a research problem? Give three examples to illustrate your
Defining a research problem is the fuel that drives the scientific process, and is the foundation
of any research method and experimental design, from true experiment to case study.

 Replacement for the polyethylene and plastic.

 Effect of morden agriculture technologies on human health.
 Reasons for increasing the Muslim population in the Sri Lanka.

4. What is the Necessity of defining a Research Problem explain?

Necessity of defining a research problem is important to formulate a research problem properly.

Quite often we all hear that a problem clearly stated is a problem half solved. This statement
signifies the need for defining a research problem. The problem to be investigated must be
defined unambiguously for that will help to discriminate relevant data from the irrelevant ones.
A proper definition of research problem will enable the researcher to be on the track whereas
an ill-defined problem may create hurdles. Questions like: What data are to be collected? What
characteristics of data are relevant and need to be studied? What relations are to be explored.
What techniques are to be used for the purpose? and similar other questions crop up in the
mind of the researcher who can well plan his strategy and find answers to all such questions
only when the research problem has been well defined. Thus, defining a research problem
properly is a prerequisite for any study and is a step of the highest importance. In fact,
formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution. It is only on careful detailing
the research problem that we can work out the research design and can smoothly carry on all
the consequential steps involved while doing research.

5. Write short notes on:
1. Experience Survey
An experience survey is a set of questions designed to gauge the overall satisfaction of a
group of people who have shared a common experience. Businesses commonly distribute
these surveys among customers, and educational institutions often distribute surveys among
students. Experience surveys are usually composed of two types of questions. The first are
multiple-choice questions that allow participants taking the survey to rate their experiences on
a scale or indicate their satisfaction levels by choosing from a list of responses. Many
experience surveys also include open-ended questions in which individuals write short
responses or expand on their answers in the multiple-choice section.

2. Pilot survey
A pilot survey can be a questionnaire given to pilots, which is answered anonymously. The
purpose may be to find out the pilots' attitudes to different themes, for example about their
consumption of alcohol or if they think they get sufficient rest between their duty periods. A
pilot survey can also be part of a selection process where an airline company wants to know
whether an applicant for a pilot job is qualified. It can consist of the following:

 Check the applicant’s license and ratings. Get verification from the issuing
 Check the logbook: Flight hours, last flight, endorsements.
 Talk with former employers.
 Talk with references given by the applicant.
 Psychological test.
 Interview.
 Simulator test.

3. Components of a research problem.

 Objective or aim of the problem which is to be investigated.

 The topic or theme which needs to be investigated.
 The time dimension of a decision problem is always the future.
 The area or location in which the study is to be conducted.
 Population or universe from whom the data needs to be gathered.

4. Rephrasing the research problem.

A problem redefinition takes place when the steps mentioned above are carried out.
Researcher often redefines the problem in a fashion that is more practical and logical for
the product of the research in hand. This effort will also help with defining hypothesis.

6. "The task Of defining the research problem often follows a sequential
pattern". Explain.
Defining the research problem often follows a sequential pattern-the problem is stated in a
general way, the ambiguities are resolved, thinking and rethinking process results in a more
specific formulation of the problem so that it may be a realistic one in terms of the available
data and resources and is also analytically meaningful. All this results in a well defined research
problem that is not only meaningful from an operational point of view, but is equally capable of
paving the way for the development of working hypotheses and for means of solving the
problem itself. And also this is the conclusion of defining the research problem.

7. "Knowing what data are available often serves to narrow down the problem itself
as well as the technique that might be used." Explain the underlying idea in this
statement in the context of defining a research problem.
All available literature concerning the problem at hand must necessarily be surveyed and
examined before a definition of the research problem is given. This means that the researcher
must be well conversant with relevant theories in the field, reports and records as also all other
relevant literature. He must devote sufficient time in reviewing of research already undertaken
on related problems. This is done to find out what data and other materials, if any, are available
for operational purposes. “Knowing what data are available often serves to narrow the problem
itself as well as the technique that might be used.” This would also help a researcher to know
if there are certain gaps in the theories, or whether the existing theories applicable to the
problem under study are inconsistent with each other, or whether the findings of the different
studies do not follow a pattern consistent with the theoretical expectations and so on.

8. Write a comprehensive note on the "Task of defining a research problem".

defining a problem involves the task of laying down boundaries within which a researcher shall
study the problem with a pre-determined objective in view. How to define a research problem
is undoubtedly a herculean task. However, it is a task that must be tackled intelligently to avoid
the perplexity encountered in a research operation. The usual approach is that the researcher
should himself pose a question (or in case someone else wants the researcher to carry on
research, the concerned individual, organisation or an authority should pose the question to
the researcher) and set-up techniques and procedures for throwing light on the question
concerned for formulating or defining the research problem. But such an approach generally
does not produce definitive results because the question phrased in such a fashion is usually
in broad general terms and as such may not be in a form suitable for testing. Defining a
research problem properly and clearly is a crucial part of a research study and must in no case
be accomplished hurriedly. However, in practice this is frequently overlooked which causes a
lot of problems later on. Hence, the research problem should be defined in a systematic
manner, giving due weight age to all relating points. The technique for the purpose involves
the undertaking of the following steps generally one after the other:
statement of the problem in a general way;
(ii) understanding the nature of the problem;
(iii) surveying the available literature;
(iv) developing the ideas through discussions; and
(v) rephrasing the research problem into a working proposition.