The first and foremost step in a research process is to select and properly define a research problem. In order to define a problem correctly, a researcher must know: what a problem is?
What is a research problem?
A research problem refers to any difficulty which a researcher experiences either in a theoretical or practical situation and, thus, wants to obtain its solution. Generally, a research problem requires the following conditions:
- An individual or a group having some difficulty or problem.
- Some objective(s) to attain. Without any objective, one cannot have a problem.
- Alternative means (or courses of action) to obtain the objective(s). This means that at least two means should be available to a researcher because if he has no options, he cannot have a problem.
- The researcher should have some doubts related to the selection of alternatives. This means that the research should be able to answer questions regarding the possible alternatives.
- Some environment(s) to which the difficulty pertains.
Thus, a research problem helps a researcher to find out the best solution for any given problem, i.e., the course of action that can help attain the objective optimally in the context of a given environment.