Chapter 1 Statement of the Problem PhD/ MBA Dissertation Research Paper

In the PhD/ MBA dissertation research paper writing subsection Problem Statement or Statement of the Problem, you need to clearly define and describe the problem that prompts you to initiate the research. You need to consider the community or individuals that were mostly affected by the problem, the potential negative consequences, and the evidences that will support your statement of the problem.


The articulation of the problem statement is usually about a page or 250 to 300 words. The articulation of the problem statement should be concise and straightforward. This is crucial to the success of your thesis, essay, or dissertation research.


The problem statement is a brief discussion of the observation, document, and situation about the problem you identified as needing further study or exploration. This section simply focuses on discussing the research problem. This section should clearly articulate how the study could relate to the current literature.


The Statement of the Problem should contain a statement that embodies the research problem. This subsection may not be lengthy and uses the future tense if writing a proposal and uses the past tense if writing the actual dissertation.


The sources that you will use to document the problem should be reliable, valid, and appropriate for a thesis or doctoral level research. It would be wise to provide citations or resources within the last 5 years.




This should give you at least updated news and status of the situation. You need to present and cover the general issue that leads to the need for the study or further research. In this subsection, you need to answer the following

  • What is the gap in the literature?


  • What is the actual problem in practice?


  • What is the actual problem in theory?


  • What is a problem? The word problem in the real world or theoretical situation is something that requires a definite solution. The first thing that you need to do is to perform a short literature review. This would give you a concise grasp of what has been already known and done about the problem. A brief description of the following might be necessary in making your readers understand about your problem


  • What has been researched about the problem?


  • What controversies exist about the problem?


  • What flaws in the research methodology and design have hindered your understanding about the topic?


  • What unanswered questions remain for further research?



This part of the thesis would move the research topic to a research problem and then transform the research problem into a problem statement. However, you can cut the process short and move from the research problem directly into the problem statement.


This is a carefully worded description about the issue you are trying to bring awareness to your readers. Basically, if we are to analyze what a problem is. It is the discrepancy between what we already know and what we still want to learn.

The information contained in the problem statement pertains to and is about what has been studied and known in the literature and what needs to be studied and not known in the literature. This includes your perception and the reason why you care about the issue because it is crucial that the readers know the distinction between your research and the past studies that has been done relating to the topic.


This section tries to put a piece of the puzzle that was proven to be missing from published literature. This missing piece is the gap of what has been known and not known. This gap is the portion that you would want to fill in and explore further.


This brief piece of writing explains the problem, argument, or issue that you are trying to address and make your reader understand. In short, it outlines the basic facts of the problem and explain why it matters to you and to them. Be straightforward in pinpointing the problem and offering a solution.


Make a summary of the problem you highlighted and immediately talk about the most important information. You can only formulate a good thesis problem statement if you have a solid grasp of your topic and the purpose of your research.


Your Statement of the Problem is the main argument that could drive your PhD/ MBA dissertation research writing forward. Your thesis statement is highly associated with your research questions.


Please make sure that you are holding a good argument or thesis statement before you start your research and collect data. You can create complex sentence structures to create emphasis and convey a hierarchy of ideas, but still, it would be nice to read something simple and straightforward.

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