How does the statement of a researchable problem differ from the description of a situation?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The statement of a researchable problem differs from a simple description in that it is meant to prove that the problem is one that can be researched and is worth researching.  By contrast, a description does nothing more than to say what the characteristics of a situation are.

The statement has to do a number of things to show that the question is researchable.  It has to situate the problem within the overall body of literature on that general topic.  It has to show that the researcher has questions to ask that are actually answerable.  It has to show that the problem being investigated would in some way add to the scholarship on the issue.

A description is just a statement of facts.  A statement of a researchable problem is something that shows that a researcher has a feasible plan for what to study and how to study it.

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