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What is the difference between thesis statement and problem statement?

is thesis statement and problem statement the same

Table of Contents

  • 1 What is the difference between thesis statement and problem statement?
  • 2 What’s the difference between thesis and statement?
  • 3 How do you write a thesis statement for a problem?
  • 4 What is statement of the problem in a thesis?
  • 5 What are the different types of thesis statements?
  • 6 What are some examples of good thesis statements?

The Difference between Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences Writing a thesis statement: The thesis statement tells the reader what the rest of the paper is about. A problem statement is a statement of a current issue or problem that requires timely action to improve the situation.

What’s the difference between thesis and statement?

The thesis is the main idea of your paper written in one sentence at the beginning of your paper. The topic sentences begin each paragraph in the body of the paper and explain why the thesis statement is true. There is only one thesis statement. There is one topic sentence for each body paragraph you write.

Is a thesis statement a statement?

A thesis statement is the main idea of an essay. It consists of the topic of the essay and the writer’s claim about the topic that will be proven throughout the essay. The thesis usually appears at the end of the introduction, often as the last sentence, and lets the reader know what to expect.

How do you write a thesis statement for a problem?

How to write a problem statement

  • Put the problem in context (what do we already know?)
  • Describe the precise issue that the research will address (what do we need to know?)
  • Show the relevance of the problem (why do we need to know it?)
  • Set the objectives of the research (what will you do to find out?)

What is statement of the problem in a thesis?

A problem statement in a thesis provides an overview of the issue discussed in the paper, as well as its background and who it affects. It may also describe your objectives in performing your research. Don’t confuse a problem statement with a thesis statement or research question.

What is a perfect thesis statement?

What are the different types of thesis statements?

What are some examples of good thesis statements.

  • Those running for President should be held to a higher standard of ethical behavior.
  • The vaccine created by our team of researchers is promising in the fight against the virus.

What should a thesis answer?

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thesis Statements

What this handout is about.

This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft.


Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement:

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
  • makes a claim that others might dispute.
  • is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. (Check out our handout on understanding assignments for more information.)

How do I create a thesis?

A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis” that presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way.

Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help them clarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive at a thesis statement. For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout on brainstorming .

How do I know if my thesis is strong?

If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following :

  • Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question. If the prompt isn’t phrased as a question, try to rephrase it. For example, “Discuss the effect of X on Y” can be rephrased as “What is the effect of X on Y?”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is likely to  be “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
  • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.

Suppose you are taking a course on contemporary communication, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: “Discuss the impact of social media on public awareness.” Looking back at your notes, you might start with this working thesis:

Social media impacts public awareness in both positive and negative ways.

You can use the questions above to help you revise this general statement into a stronger thesis.

  • Do I answer the question? You can analyze this if you rephrase “discuss the impact” as “what is the impact?” This way, you can see that you’ve answered the question only very generally with the vague “positive and negative ways.”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not likely. Only people who maintain that social media has a solely positive or solely negative impact could disagree.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? No. What are the positive effects? What are the negative effects?
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? No. Why are they positive? How are they positive? What are their causes? Why are they negative? How are they negative? What are their causes?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? No. Why should anyone care about the positive and/or negative impact of social media?

After thinking about your answers to these questions, you decide to focus on the one impact you feel strongly about and have strong evidence for:

Because not every voice on social media is reliable, people have become much more critical consumers of information, and thus, more informed voters.

This version is a much stronger thesis! It answers the question, takes a specific position that others can challenge, and it gives a sense of why it matters.

Let’s try another. Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. “This will be easy,” you think. “I loved Huckleberry Finn!” You grab a pad of paper and write:

Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.

You begin to analyze your thesis:

  • Do I answer the question? No. The prompt asks you to analyze some aspect of the novel. Your working thesis is a statement of general appreciation for the entire novel.

Think about aspects of the novel that are important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children. Now you write:

In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.
  • Do I answer the question? Yes!
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not really. This contrast is well-known and accepted.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? It’s getting there–you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation. However, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? Not yet. Compare scenes from the book and see what you discover. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions and anything else that seems interesting.
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? What’s the point of this contrast? What does it signify?”

After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:

Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content. Of course, for the essay itself to be successful, you must now present evidence from the novel that will convince the reader of your interpretation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Anson, Chris M., and Robert A. Schwegler. 2010. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman.

Lunsford, Andrea A. 2015. The St. Martin’s Handbook , 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. 2018. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing , 8th ed. New York: Pearson.

Ruszkiewicz, John J., Christy Friend, Daniel Seward, and Maxine Hairston. 2010. The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers , 9th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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How to Write a Problem Statement

Last Updated: February 12, 2023 Approved

This article was co-authored by Joe Simmons . Joe Simmons is a Corporate Trainer based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Joe specializes in operations management, leadership, learning and development, and employee training to help employees become high-performing teams. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from The University of South Florida. Joe’s coaching has helped numerous organizations with employee retention, revenue growth, and team productivity. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 44 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 3,595,077 times.

A problem statement is a short, succinct explanation of a problem a business is facing and a proposed solution to the problem. Problem statements can be effective ways to define an issue and communicate a solution within a short span of time. Before you write your problem statement, think about the problem and your proposed solution, and be prepared to back it up with facts!

Sample Problem Statements

is thesis statement and problem statement the same

Writing Your Own Problem Statement

Step 1 Describe the

  • For instance, let's say that you work at a major airline and that you've noticed that the way passengers board your planes is an inefficient use of time and resources. In this case, you might begin your problem statement by describing an ideal situation where the boarding system isn't inefficient that the company should shoot for, like this: "The boarding protocols used by ABC Airlines should aim to get each flight's passengers aboard the plane quickly and efficiently so that the plane can take off as soon as possible . The process of boarding should be optimized for time-efficiency but also should be straightforward enough that it can be easily understood by all passengers."

Step 2 Explain your problem.

  • Let's say that you think you've developed a quicker, more efficient system for getting passengers aboard our planes than the typical "back to front" seating system. In this case, you might continue with a few sentences like, "However, ABC Airline's current passenger boarding system is an inefficient use of the company's time and resources. By wasting employee man-hours, the current boarding protocols make the company less competitive, and by contributing to a slow boarding process, they create an unfavorable brand image."

Step 3 Explain your problem's financial costs.

  • For our airline example, you might proceed to explain the problem's financial cost like this: "The inefficiency of the current boarding system represents a significant financial burden for the company. On average, the current boarding system wastes roughly four minutes per boarding session, resulting in a total of 20 wasted man-hours per day across all ABC flights. This represents a waste of roughly $400 per day or $146,000 per year."

Step 4 Back up your assertions.

  • In some corporate and academic situations, you may need to explicitly reference your evidence in the text of your problem statement, while in other situations, it may be enough to simply use a footnote or another form of shorthand for your citations. If you're unsure, ask your boss or teacher for advice.
  • Let's reexamine the sentences used in the previous step. They describe the cost of the problem but don't explain how this cost was found. A more thorough explanation might include this: "...Based on internal performance tracking data, [1] on average, the current boarding system wastes roughly four minutes per boarding session, resulting in a total of 20 wasted man-hours per day across all ABC flights. Terminal personal are paid an average of $20 per hour, so this represents a waste of roughly $400 per day or $146,000 per year." Note the footnote — in an actual problem statement, this would correspond to a reference or appendix containing the data mentioned.

Step 5 Propose a solution.

  • In our airline example, our solution to the problem of inefficient boarding practices is this new system you've discovered, so you should briefly explain the broad strokes of this new system without getting into the minor details. You might say something like, "Using a modified boarding system proposed by Dr. Edward Right of the Kowlard Business Efficiency Institute which has passengers board the plane from the sides in rather than from the back to the front, ABC Airlines can eliminate these four minutes of waste." You might then go on to explain the basic gist of the new system, but you wouldn't use more than a sentence or two to do this, as the "meat" of our analysis will be in the body of the proposal.

Step 6 Explain the benefits of the solution.

  • In our example, you might briefly describe how our company could conceivably benefit from the money saved with our solution. A few sentences along these lines might work: "ABC Airlines stands to benefit substantially from the adoption of this new boarding program. For instance, the $146,000 in estimated yearly savings can be re-directed to new sources of revenue, such as expanding its selection of flights to high-demand markets. In addition, by being the first American airline to adopt this solution, ABC stands to gain considerable recognition as an industry trendsetter in the areas of value and convenience."

Step 7 Conclude by summarizing the problem and solution.

  • In our airline example, you might conclude like this: "Optimization of current boarding protocols or adoption of new, more-effective protocols is crucial for the continued competitiveness of the company. In this proposal, the alternative boarding protocols developed by Dr. Right are analyzed for their feasibility and steps for effective implementation are suggested." This sums up the main point of the problem statement — that the current boarding procedure isn't very good and that this new one is better — and tells the audience what to expect if they continue reading.

Step 8 For academic work, don't forget a thesis statement.

  • For instance, let's say you're writing a paper on the problem of academic essay mills — companies that sell pre-written and/or custom works for students to purchase and turn in as their own work. As our thesis statement, you might use this sentence, which acknowledges the problem and the solution we're about to propose: "The practice of buying academic essays, which undermines the learning process and gives an advantage to rich students, can be combated by providing professors with stronger digital analysis tools."
  • Some classes explicitly require you to put your thesis sentence at a certain place in your problem statement (for instance, as the very first or very last sentence). Other times, you'll have more freedom — check with your teacher if you're not sure.

Step 9 Follow the same process for conceptual problems.

  • For instance, let's say that we're asked to write a problem statement for a report on the importance of religious symbolism in The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. In this case, our problem statement should identify some poorly-understood aspect of the religious symbolism in the novel, explain why this matters (for instance, you might say that by better understanding the religious symbolism in the novel, it's possible to draw new insights from the book), and layout how you plan to support our argument.

Polishing Your Problem Statement

Step 1 Be concise.

  • A problem statement is no place to add your own personal commentary or "flavor", as this makes the problem statement longer for no practical purpose. You may or may not have the opportunity to be more long-winded in the body of your document, depending on the seriousness of your topic and audience.

Step 2 Write to your audience.

  • "Who, specifically, am I writing for?"
  • "Why am I addressing this audience?"
  • "Does this audience know all of the same terms and concepts as I do?"
  • "Does this audience share the same attitude as I do towards this problem?"
  • "Why should my audience care about this problem?"

Step 3 Don't use jargon without defining it.

  • For instance, if we're writing for a board of highly-educated physicians, it may be OK to assume that they'll know what the term "metacarpal" means. However, if we're writing to an audience made up of both physicians and wealthy hospital investors who may or may not be medically trained, it's a good idea to introduce the word "metacarpal" with its definition- the bone between the first two joints of the finger.

Step 4 Stick to a narrow, defined problem.

  • A good rule of thumb is to only address problems that you can definitively solve beyond a shadow of a doubt. If you're not sure of a definitive solution that can solve your entire problem, you may want to narrow the scope of your project and change your problem statement to reflect this new focus.
  • To keep the scope of a problem statement under control, it can be helpful to wait until after completing the body of the document or proposal to write the problem statement. In this case, when you write your problem statement, you can use our actual document as a guideline so that you don't have to guess about the ground you may cover when you write it.

Step 5 Remember the

  • For instance, if you're writing a problem statement to propose a new building development to your local city council, you might address the five Ws by explaining who the development would benefit, what the development would require, where the development should be, when construction should begin, and why the development is ultimately a smart idea for the city.

Step 6 Use a formal voice.

  • The closest you can usually get to including purely "entertaining" content in academic writing in the humanities. Here, occasionally, it's possible to encounter problem statements that begin with a quote or epigraph. Even in these cases, however, the quote has some bearing on the problem being discussed and the rest of the problem statement is written in a formal voice.

Step 7 Always proofread for errors.

  • You'll never regret re-reading your problem statement before you turn it in. Since, by its very nature, the problem statement is usually the first part of a proposal or report that someone will read, any errors here will be especially embarrassing for you and can even reflect negatively on your entire document.

Expert Q&A

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  • ↑ Joe Simmons. Corporate Trainer. Expert Interview. 29 June 2021.
  • http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/c/a/caw43/behrendwriting/problemstatements.html
  • http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/fulltext/2001/09000/problem_statement,_conceptual_framework,_and.21.aspx

About This Article

Joe Simmons

The first thing you should do in a problem statement is to describe the ideal solution using words like "should." Then, introduce the problem by using words like "Unfortunately" or "However," followed by a clear 1-2 sentence description of what's wrong. In order to emphasize why this problem is important, explain the financial cost the business will suffer if the problem goes unsolved, and back your statement up with data. For more advice on how to propose a solution, including how to explain your solution in concrete concepts, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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The Research Problem & Statement

What they are & how to write them (with examples)

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Expert Reviewed By: Eunice Rautenbach (DTech) | March 2023

If you’re new to academic research, you’re bound to encounter the concept of a “ research problem ” or “ problem statement ” fairly early in your learning journey. Having a good research problem is essential, as it provides a foundation for developing high-quality research, from relatively small research papers to a full-length PhD dissertations and theses.

In this post, we’ll unpack what a research problem is and how it’s related to a problem statement . We’ll also share some examples and provide a step-by-step process you can follow to identify and evaluate study-worthy research problems for your own project.

Overview: Research Problem 101

What is a research problem.

  • What is a problem statement?

Where do research problems come from?

  • How to find a suitable research problem
  • Key takeaways

A research problem is, at the simplest level, the core issue that a study will try to solve or (at least) examine. In other words, it’s an explicit declaration about the problem that your dissertation, thesis or research paper will address. More technically, it identifies the research gap that the study will attempt to fill (more on that later).

Let’s look at an example to make the research problem a little more tangible.

To justify a hypothetical study, you might argue that there’s currently a lack of research regarding the challenges experienced by first-generation college students when writing their dissertations [ PROBLEM ] . As a result, these students struggle to successfully complete their dissertations, leading to higher-than-average dropout rates [ CONSEQUENCE ]. Therefore, your study will aim to address this lack of research – i.e., this research problem [ SOLUTION ].

A research problem can be theoretical in nature, focusing on an area of academic research that is lacking in some way. Alternatively, a research problem can be more applied in nature, focused on finding a practical solution to an established problem within an industry or an organisation. In other words, theoretical research problems are motivated by the desire to grow the overall body of knowledge , while applied research problems are motivated by the need to find practical solutions to current real-world problems (such as the one in the example above).

As you can probably see, the research problem acts as the driving force behind any study , as it directly shapes the research aims, objectives and research questions , as well as the research approach. Therefore, it’s really important to develop a very clearly articulated research problem before you even start your research proposal . A vague research problem will lead to unfocused, potentially conflicting research aims, objectives and research questions .

Free Webinar: How To Find A Dissertation Research Topic

What is a research problem statement?

As the name suggests, a problem statement (within a research context, at least) is an explicit statement that clearly and concisely articulates the specific research problem your study will address. While your research problem can span over multiple paragraphs, your problem statement should be brief , ideally no longer than one paragraph . Importantly, it must clearly state what the problem is (whether theoretical or practical in nature) and how the study will address it.

Here’s an example of a problem statement:

Rural communities across Ghana lack access to clean water, leading to high rates of waterborne illnesses and infant mortality. Despite this, there is little research investigating the effectiveness of community-led water supply projects within the Ghanaian context. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the effectiveness of such projects in improving access to clean water and reducing rates of waterborne illnesses in these communities.

As you can see, this problem statement clearly and concisely identifies the issue that needs to be addressed (i.e., a lack of research regarding the effectiveness of community-led water supply projects) and the research question that the study aims to answer (i.e., are community-led water supply projects effective in reducing waterborne illnesses?), all within one short paragraph.

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is thesis statement and problem statement the same

Wherever there is a lack of well-established and agreed-upon academic literature , there is an opportunity for research problems to arise, since there is a paucity of (credible) knowledge. In other words, research problems are derived from research gaps . These gaps can arise from various sources, including the emergence of new frontiers or new contexts, as well as disagreements within the existing research.

Let’s look at each of these scenarios:

New frontiers – new technologies, discoveries or breakthroughs can open up entirely new frontiers where there is very little existing research, thereby creating fresh research gaps. For example, as generative AI technology became accessible to the general public in 2023, the full implications and knock-on effects of this were (or perhaps, still are) largely unknown and therefore present multiple avenues for researchers to explore.

New contexts – very often, existing research tends to be concentrated on specific contexts and geographies. Therefore, even within well-studied fields, there is often a lack of research within niche contexts. For example, just because a study finds certain results within a western context doesn’t mean that it would necessarily find the same within an eastern context. If there’s reason to believe that results may vary across these geographies, a potential research gap emerges.

Disagreements – within many areas of existing research, there are (quite naturally) conflicting views between researchers, where each side presents strong points that pull in opposing directions. In such cases, it’s still somewhat uncertain as to which viewpoint (if any) is more accurate. As a result, there is room for further research in an attempt to “settle” the debate.

Of course, many other potential scenarios can give rise to research gaps, and consequently, research problems, but these common ones are a useful starting point. If you’re interested in research gaps, you can learn more here .

How to find a research problem

Given that research problems flow from research gaps , finding a strong research problem for your research project means that you’ll need to first identify a clear research gap. Below, we’ll present a four-step process to help you find and evaluate potential research problems.

If you’ve read our other articles about finding a research topic , you’ll find the process below very familiar as the research problem is the foundation of any study . In other words, finding a research problem is much the same as finding a research topic.

Step 1 – Identify your area of interest

Naturally, the starting point is to first identify a general area of interest . Chances are you already have something in mind, but if not, have a look at past dissertations and theses within your institution to get some inspiration. These present a goldmine of information as they’ll not only give you ideas for your own research, but they’ll also help you see exactly what the norms and expectations are for these types of projects.

At this stage, you don’t need to get super specific. The objective is simply to identify a couple of potential research areas that interest you. For example, if you’re undertaking research as part of a business degree, you may be interested in social media marketing strategies for small businesses, leadership strategies for multinational companies, etc.

Depending on the type of project you’re undertaking, there may also be restrictions or requirements regarding what topic areas you’re allowed to investigate, what type of methodology you can utilise, etc. So, be sure to first familiarise yourself with your institution’s specific requirements and keep these front of mind as you explore potential research ideas.

Step 2 – Review the literature and develop a shortlist

Once you’ve decided on an area that interests you, it’s time to sink your teeth into the literature . In other words, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the existing research regarding your interest area. Google Scholar is a good starting point for this, as you can simply enter a few keywords and quickly get a feel for what’s out there. Keep an eye out for recent literature reviews and systematic review-type journal articles, as these will provide a good overview of the current state of research.

At this stage, you don’t need to read every journal article from start to finish . A good strategy is to pay attention to the abstract, intro and conclusion , as together these provide a snapshot of the key takeaways. As you work your way through the literature, keep an eye out for what’s missing – in other words, what questions does the current research not answer adequately (or at all)? Importantly, pay attention to the section titled “ further research is needed ”, typically found towards the very end of each journal article. This section will specifically outline potential research gaps that you can explore, based on the current state of knowledge (provided the article you’re looking at is recent).

Take the time to engage with the literature and develop a big-picture understanding of the current state of knowledge. Reviewing the literature takes time and is an iterative process , but it’s an essential part of the research process, so don’t cut corners at this stage.

As you work through the review process, take note of any potential research gaps that are of interest to you. From there, develop a shortlist of potential research gaps (and resultant research problems) – ideally 3 – 5 options that interest you.

The relationship between the research problem and research gap

Step 3 – Evaluate your potential options

Once you’ve developed your shortlist, you’ll need to evaluate your options to identify a winner. There are many potential evaluation criteria that you can use, but we’ll outline three common ones here: value, practicality and personal appeal.

Value – a good research problem needs to create value when successfully addressed. Ask yourself:

  • Who will this study benefit (e.g., practitioners, researchers, academia)?
  • How will it benefit them specifically?
  • How much will it benefit them?

Practicality – a good research problem needs to be manageable in light of your resources. Ask yourself:

  • What data will I need access to?
  • What knowledge and skills will I need to undertake the analysis?
  • What equipment or software will I need to process and/or analyse the data?
  • How much time will I need?
  • What costs might I incur?

Personal appeal – a research project is a commitment, so the research problem that you choose needs to be genuinely attractive and interesting to you. Ask yourself:

  • How appealing is the prospect of solving this research problem (on a scale of 1 – 10)?
  • Why, specifically, is it attractive (or unattractive) to me?
  • Does the research align with my longer-term goals (e.g., career goals, educational path, etc)?

Depending on how many potential options you have, you may want to consider creating a spreadsheet where you numerically rate each of the options in terms of these criteria. Remember to also include any criteria specified by your institution . From there, tally up the numbers and pick a winner.

Step 4 – Craft your problem statement

Once you’ve selected your research problem, the final step is to craft a problem statement. Remember, your problem statement needs to be a concise outline of what the core issue is and how your study will address it. Aim to fit this within one paragraph – don’t waffle on. Have a look at the problem statement example we mentioned earlier if you need some inspiration.

Key Takeaways

We’ve covered a lot of ground. Let’s do a quick recap of the key takeaways:

  • A research problem is an explanation of the issue that your study will try to solve. This explanation needs to highlight the problem , the consequence and the solution or response.
  • A problem statement is a clear and concise summary of the research problem , typically contained within one paragraph.
  • Research problems emerge from research gaps , which themselves can emerge from multiple potential sources, including new frontiers, new contexts or disagreements within the existing literature.
  • To find a research problem, you need to first identify your area of interest , then review the literature and develop a shortlist, after which you’ll evaluate your options, select a winner and craft a problem statement .

is thesis statement and problem statement the same

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Thesis Statements

A thesis statement is:.

  • The statement of the author’s position on a topic or subject.
  • Clear, concise, and goes beyond fact or observation to become an idea that needs to be supported (arguable).
  • Often a statement of tension, where the author refutes or complicates an existing assumption or claim (counterargument).
  • Often answers WHY or HOW questions related to the topic at hand.

A thesis statement is NOT:

  • A statement of fact or observation (no matter how astute the observation).
  • A statement of personal conviction or opinion.
  • A generalization or overly broad claim.

For the writer, the thesis statement:

  • Helps the writer determine the essay’s real focus. What are you trying to say with the evidence presented? A thesis provides a theory to be tested by evidence.
  • Serves as a planning tool. The component parts of the thesis often correspond with the essay’s topic sentences.

For the reader, the thesis statement:

  • Serves as a “map” to guide the reader through the paper. In the same way the thesis helps you organize your paper, the thesis helps organize the reader’s thinking. Once a solid thesis is presented, the reader will understand that all of the evidence presented is in service of proving the thesis.
  • Creates a reason to keep reading. The reader will want to discover the support behind the thesis.

If you are having trouble writing a thesis...

...ask yourself a genuine, difficult question about the topic (usually a “how” or “why” question), and state your response, even if you are not sure why you want to give that answer. Your response may very well be a workable thesis, and the pursuit of proving that answer may reveal to you more about your sources of evidence.

...think of a strong statement or observation you have made about the subject beginning with the words “In this essay, I will...” Then ask yourself why this observation is important, or “So What?” 1 Answer the question with “I believe this is because...” In the draft stage you might phrase a working thesis as the following:

In this essay, I plan to explain how Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn contrasts his river and shore scenes. I believe Twain is telling us that in order to find America’s true democratic ideals one must leave “civilized” society (the shore) and go back to nature (the river).

Then revise out the “I” statements. A revised version of this thesis might look like this:

Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Mark Twain’s Adventure’s of Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

Writing in the Disciplines

Keep in mind that thesis statements vary depending on the purpose of the assignment (or type of essay), and also by discipline. Here are a few notes on the thesis statements and the purpose of writing in a few different disciplines. 2

English: “A thesis is an interpretive argument about a text or an aspect of a text. An interpretive argument is defined as one that makes a reasonable but contestable claim about a text; in other words, it is an opinion about a text that can be supported with textual evidence."

Sciences (Biology): “A well-written scientific paper explains the scientist’s motivation for doing an experiment, the experimental design and execution, and the meaning of the results... The last sentences of the introduction should be a statement of objectives and a statement of hypotheses.”

Business: “When you write in business courses, you will usually write for a specific audience. Your goal will be to communicate in a straight-forward manner and with a clear purpose." 3

History: “In historical writing, a thesis explains the words or deeds of people in the past. It shows cause and effect; it answers the question why?... A thesis must change a reader’s mind to be of value. If it presents only facts or an obvious finding, it will merely confirm what the reader already believes.”

1. This strategy comes from Writing Analytically by Jill Stephen and David Rosenwasser.

2.  The following statements on writing in the disciplines have been borrowed from the Writing Guides found at the Writing Across the Curriculum website at http://wac.gmu.edu/guides/GMU%20guides.html .

3.  From A Writer’s Reference, 6th Edition, with Writing in the Disciplines, by Diana Hacker.

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  • Research Process

What is a Problem Statement? [with examples]

  • 5 minute read

Table of Contents

The statement of the problem is one of the first things that a colleague or potential client will read. With the vastness of the information available at one’s fingertips in the online9 world, your work may have just a few seconds to draw in a reader to take a deeper look at your proposal before moving on to the next option. It explains quickly to the reader, the problem at hand, the need for research, and how you intend to do it.

A strong, clear description of the problem that drew you to your research has to be straightforward, easy to read and, most important, relevant. Why do you care about this problem? How can solving this problem impact the world? The problem statement is your opportunity to explain why you care and what you propose to do in the way of researching the problem.

A problem statement is an explanation in research that describes the issue that is in need of study . What problem is the research attempting to address? Having a Problem Statement allows the reader to quickly understand the purpose and intent of the research. The importance of writing your research proposal cannot be stressed enough. Check for more information on Writing a Scientific Research Project Proposal .

It is expected to be brief and concise , and should not include the findings of the research or detailed data . The average length of a research statement is generally about one page . It is going to define the problem, which can be thought of as a gap in the information base. There may be several solutions to this gap or lack of information, but that is not the concern of the problem statement. Its purpose is to summarize the current information and where a lack of knowledge may be presenting a problem that needs to be investigated .

The purpose of the problem statement is to identify the issue that is a concern and focus it in a way that allows it to be studied in a systematic way . It defines the problem and proposes a way to research a solution, or demonstrates why further information is needed in order for a solution to become possible.

What is Included in a Problem Statement?

Besides identifying the gap of understanding or the weakness of necessary data, it is important to explain the significance of this lack.

-How will your research contribute to the existing knowledge base in your field of study?

-How is it significant?

-Why does it matter?

Not all problems have only one solution so demonstrating the need for additional research can also be included in your problem statement. Once you identify the problem and the need for a solution, or for further study, then you can show how you intend to collect the needed data and present it.

How to Write a Statement of Problem in Research Proposal

It is helpful to begin with your goal. What do you see as the achievable goal if the problem you outline is solved? How will the proposed research theoretically change anything? What are the potential outcomes?

Then you can discuss how the problem prevents the ability to reach your realistic and achievable solution. It is what stands in the way of changing an issue for the better. Talk about the present state of affairs and how the problem impacts a person’s life, for example.

It’s helpful at this point to generally layout the present knowledge and understanding of the subject at hand, before then describing the gaps of knowledge that are currently in need of study. Your problem statement is a proposed solution to address one of these gaps.

A good problem statement will also layout the repercussions of leaving the problem as it currently stands. What is the significance of not addressing this problem? What are the possible future outcomes?

Example of Problem Statement in Research Proposal

If, for example , you intended to research the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the immune system , you would begin with a review of the current knowledge of vitamin D’s known function in relation to the immune system and how a deficiency of it impacts a person’s defenses.

You would describe the ideal environment in the body when there is a sufficient level of vitamin D. Then, begin to identify the problems associated with vitamin D deficiency and the difficulty of raising the level through supplementation, along with the consequences of that deficiency. Here you are beginning to identify the problem of a common deficiency and the current difficulty of increasing the level of vitamin D in the blood.

At this stage, you may begin to identify the problem and narrow it down in a way that is practical to a research project. Perhaps you are proposing a novel way of introducing Vitamin D in a way that allows for better absorption by the gut, or in a combination with another product that increases its level in the blood.

Describe the way your research in this area will contribute to the knowledge base on how to increase levels of vitamin D in a specific group of subjects, perhaps menopausal women with breast cancer. The research proposal is then described in practical terms.

How to write a problem statement in research?

Problem statements differ depending on the type and topic of research and vary between a few sentences to a few paragraphs.

However, the problem statement should not drag on needlessly. Despite the absence of a fixed format, a good research problem statement usually consists of three main parts:

Context: This section explains the background for your research. It identifies the problem and describes an ideal scenario that could exist in the absence of the problem. It also includes any past attempts and shortcomings at solving the problem.

Significance: This section defines how the problem prevents the ideal scenario from being achieved, including its negative impacts on the society or field of research. It should include who will be the most affected by a solution to the problem, the relevance of the study that you are proposing, and how it can contribute to the existing body of research.

Solution: This section describes the aim and objectives of your research, and your solution to overcome the problem. Finally, it need not focus on the perfect solution, but rather on addressing a realistic goal to move closer to the ideal scenario.

Here is a cheat sheet to help you with formulating a good problem statement.

1. Begin with a clear indication that the problem statement is going to be discussed next. You can start with a generic sentence like, “The problem that this study addresses…” This will inform your readers of what to expect next.

2. Next, mention the consequences of not solving the problem . You can touch upon who is or will be affected if the problem continues, and how.

3. Conclude with indicating the type of research /information that is needed to solve the problem. Be sure to reference authors who may have suggested the necessity of such research.

This will then directly lead to your proposed research objective and workplan and how that is expected to solve the problem i.e., close the research gap.

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How to Write a Problem Statement for a Thesis — Master Guide

By: Author Marcel Iseli

Posted on Last updated: April 13, 2023

How to Write a Problem Statement for a Thesis — Master Guide

Sharing is caring!

Every college graduate has been through the joys and perils of thesis writing, and most, if not all of them, understand that it is a necessary evil.

Writing a research paper entails thinking and writing a problem statement that is crucial in setting the tone and guiding the study along the way.

But, how do we write a strong problem statement for a thesis paper? Are there easy-to-follow strategies that we could use in making this task less tasking?

For contextualization, you might as well treat all the statements I’ve written above as the problem statement for today’s post.

Well, I know that this explanation is a bit too broad and hazy. So, instead, let’s have a more in-depth discussion and cover every nook and cranny of our inquiry. 

How can we write a problem statement for a thesis?

To write a problem statement for a thesis, we must provide the context of the research, followed by the purpose of the study, then the general research procedure that includes the setting and target population, and lastly, the specific research questions that used to address the general problem.

General steps on writing a problem statement for a thesis

Research statistics show that four-year institutions in the USA have a sixty percent (60%) graduation rate which is a pretty decent achievement, generally speaking.

Graduating from college entails being able to undergo technical research, thereby suggesting that roughly more than half of the US college population succeeds in writing their thesis paper.

This also means that being able to successfully write a decent problem statement for a thesis is something that many people can just get over with.

It’s probably a lot easier to talk about thesis writing if and when you have already gone through all the painstaking processes behind it, get a passing mark, and receive a diploma.

Apparently, writing a thesis paper is not the most pleasant task on earth, let alone starting it. In particular, coming up with a problem statement is especially tricky when it is only your first time doing it.

However, you must not easily give up on this task because research work can be counted as professional work experience that you can put in your resume once you start applying for a job.

Also, many people have already gone through the challenges of thesis writing, and more than half of the population continues to do so. So, there’s really no reason for you not to get this down pat.

For a clearer understanding, we’ll start with a few general steps to guide you so you can come up with a reasonable problem statement for your thesis.

Determine your research topic

You can’t start writing a problem statement if you do not have a thesis topic. Hence, the thesis topic is a precursory requirement for writing a problem statement.

A research topic is a broad idea of what, you, as a researcher, are interested in exploring or investigating in, and the research topics may vary depending on your field of discipline.

If you are in the field of behavioral sciences, your research topic can be something related to the effects of online classes among students, or even teachers if you want to.

If you study civil engineering, maybe you can focus on investigating something related to the health hazards brought by structural demolition.

Just make sure that the topic you come up with is not too idealistic that you have to change it along the way if you find out that some things do not work the way you want them to.

In a nutshell, you have to pick a topic that is not only within your scope of interest but also within your intellectual, physical, and financial capacity.

And when you come up with one, make sure to consult with your thesis adviser so you would know how feasible and applicable your research is.

Read a lot of existing, published studies

Once you already have an approved research topic, start reading related studies right away and make sure to look for the most recently published ones.

Reading published studies strengthens the credibility of your research and gives you a good headstart of what to include in your paper.

Of course, it is also worthy to note that there are tons of really good findings from unpublished studies and that you can always include some of them, as long as they are relevant, as your research progresses.

But as of this point, it is advisable that you filter your reading materials to only published ones so as to prevent any unprecedented issues.

Upon reading recently published periodicals, try to list down the most common gaps that you can fill in later on in your own research.

Narrow down your topic

Once you have read tons of related studies, it will be a lot easier to narrow down your topic. You will start feeling this once you have understood the gaps in your research interest.

In narrowing down your topic, you can list down the specific problems that other researchers tried to address, as well as the findings and target population.

From there, you can already start thinking of some specific research problems that you want to focus on, as well as the possible frameworks that you would like to use for analysis.

Do not worry if you have several items on your list at this point because you are still in the phase of gathering relevant information.

This means that you will just be able to eliminate irrelevant data and inquiries as you move further with your study.

Narrowed-down topics include, for instance, the negative effects of online learning on the mental health of high school students in your area.

Another example of a narrowed-down topic is the cost-effective waste management on structural demolition of commercial buildings if you are also a civil engineering student.

Specific steps on writing a problem statement for a thesis

Now that you have a narrowed-down topic, you can already proceed with the specific steps of writing a problem statement for a thesis.

Institutions may require different formatting on how to write a problem statement for a thesis paper, but here are some of the general components that you can use in coming up with your own:

Provide a general context of the research

The introductory statement needs to provide a contextualized overview of the issue that you are trying to address in your research.

Contextualization is important because it enables engages your target readers to acclimatize with the problem that you are trying to explain.

Moreover, contextualization is also important because of the assumption that language is inherently ambiguous, and ambiguous language use does not really bode well in writing academic papers.

When you write your introductory statement, try to view the event in such a way that you are one of your target readers; thus, you have to pre-answer whatever ambiguity your research might entail.

Although you are writing a general statement, you have you be really specific with your lexical use, as well as your sentence structure.

Never, ever, write in casual language, and never write using the first-person point of view . Instead, you have to use third-person subjects and objects in your writing.

For example, you might write the following statement to contextualize your research on the negative effects of online learning on the mental health of high school students:

  Example 2:

Provide the purpose of the research

After contextualizing the problem, you may now proceed with a statement that clearly explains the purpose of the research.

This sentence needs to include the specific matter that you are trying to address.

Hence, this sentence should clearly and directly tell the audience the meat or juice of your study.

You may start with introductory statements like “this study aims to…” or “the purpose of this research is…,” followed by the specific issue or gap that you are attempting to fill.

Make sure that the most necessary details, particularly the research variables, are clearly included in your purpose statement.

Here are two examples of how these statements might be phrased:

Provide the general procedure, research environment, and target population,  of the study

Afterward, you may already proceed with providing details regarding the general procedure of your research, as well as the general research environment and target population.

This part must include verbs like “to measure,” “to compare,” “to contrast,” “to analyze ,” “to identify,” “to assess,” and so on, depending on the method you are planning to implement.

Also, this part should reiterate the variables or concepts being investigated together with the target population and the research environment.

If you are planning to analyze the relationship of demographic components like gender and age, you have to include such details in your problem statement. Otherwise, leave them out.

Here are some examples for your reference:

Example 1: 

Provide the specific research sub-problems

Lastly, you need to write down the specific research problems that your research must answer in relation to the general problem you are presenting. 

Make sure each sub-problem can be answered using specific research methodologies and techniques that have been tested and proven in the past.

You can have at least two to four sub-problems to answer, although this would be dependent on the nature and scope of your research, as well as your school’s guidelines.

Having only one sub-problem may weaken your research, and having too many sub-problems may also make your study more time-consuming, costly, and taxing.

Always consult with your research adviser as to how accurate and workable your sub-problems are.

By this time, you had better start thinking of and looking for strong frameworks that would back up your research.

And by the way, it is always safer to start with having more sub-problems and then eliminate some, as you wish, once you get more in-depth with your research.

In a nutshell, each of your sub-problem is a critical part that enables you to address the holistic issue or main problem that you are presenting in your research paper.

Here are some examples of research sub-problems based on the topics previously introduced:

What to expect after writing the problem statement

Now that you’ve got all the elements of writing the problem statement covered, you also need to know the succeeding steps of the research.

As you may figure, these succeeding steps are mainly dependent on how well-written your problem statement is. 

And, as you can see, this is what makes the statement of the problem section the most crucial step in writing a thesis paper.

After getting your problem statement approved, the next vital step is the research methodology, which is the part that panelists ask the most mind-bending questions during the defense.

Hence, you must not waste time after your adviser approves your problem statement, and you have to start religiously reviewing how other relevant research methodologies are done.

As a student researcher, it is always advisable to compare local and international research papers to be able to see the gap from a bird’s eye view.

So, you really have to expect to be reading more and more scholarly articles from now onwards. That said, patience and time management are key in surviving thesis writing.

By the end of your research, you’ll be surprised how much you would improve both as a student and as an individual because thesis writing teaches practical skills that you can use for life.

Also, do not hesitate to attempt to publish your paper by starting with local publications so that your findings won’t just sleep on the shelves.

Frequently Asked Questions on “Writing a Problem Statement for a Thesis”

What is a problem statement.

The problem statement is the very first element you need to write especially when writing a thesis paper. In general, the problem statement is simply a brief explanation of the issue being addressed by the writer.

What are some of the key elements of a problem statement?

The key elements of a problem statement include the introductory general statement, the objective or purpose of the research, the general research method along with the target population and research environment, and the specific sub-problems.

What does a good problem statement look like?

A well-written problem statement needs to be able to concisely cover the whole issue being addressed by the writer or researcher. Upon seeing the problem statement, the reader should immediately be able to understand the gap the research is trying to fill.

Edward Hodnett once said that a good problem statement must include what is known, unknown, and what is being sought by the researcher or writer.

Bearing this in mind, we can infer that precisely identifying the problem is the most critical step in finding the solution, whatever it is.

Marcel Iseli Author Profile

Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.

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  • Statement of the Problem

Q: Can you help me write a problem statement for my thesis?

How do I write a problem statement for my thesis? The topic is “Influence of poverty on moral development.”

Asked on 23 Jan, 2018

Let me first explain to you the meaning of a problem statement. A problem statement is a broad overview of the questions that will be addressed in a given area of research. It outlines the description of the issue(s), includes a vision, suggests the method(s) used to solve the problem, and provides a hypothesis. It also gives the negative points of the current situation in the area of the research, explains why these matter, and then proposes how the project at hand aims to solve it. Usually while writing the problem statement, researchers use the 5 “W”s (Who, What, Where, When, and Why).

Unfortunately, I will not be able to write a problem statement for you since I do not have a clear idea about your research. Moreover, since you are the author of the thesis, it will not be ethical for me to write the problem statement for you. You should get in touch with your supervisor and ask him/her for guidance to shape your research problem and profile the key points associated with it.

In general, you must do a literature search and come up with the specific aims and objectives of your study in the first place. You must identify the gaps in the previously published studies on your topic “Influence of poverty on moral development” and then slowly develop ideas as to what facets you want to address in this subject area. Once you have identified these, you can come up with the methods – either qualitative or quantitative studies related to the topic. Your research supervisor would be the best person to help you write this since it depends on what aspects your research group is trying to address.

Related reading:

  • How to write a problem statement for my research?
  • The basics of writing a statement of the problem for your research proposal

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is thesis statement and problem statement the same

Developing and Validating reading materials for multi-grade learmers in grades three and four

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Answered by Karen Lithea Zarate on 08 Dec, 2018

In general, businesses are often organized in departments or functional areas so as to operate more efficiently and effectively by benefiting from specialization and division of labor with the ultimate aim of seeking growth and financial success. However, there is a difference between the departments a business needs and the departments it can afford, at least during the early years of birth. In fact many young small businesses are often without any department and are solely run by owner-mangers who perform most of the functions expected of these departments. They are basically running on activities such as administration and management, accounting, communications and marketing, customer service among a few others. In approaching this thesis, we formulated our hypothesis around these functional areas and activities to reflect some of the concepts in strategic management such as marketing and communication strategy, cost reduction strategy, product dynamism etc., with the aim of establishing an acceptable business strategic plan which is intended to assist young small businesses in strategically tuning the way existing activities/functions are carried out. This will help owner-managers to make up for what they lack in expertise that comes from having well established functional areas or departments; thus putting them in a good position to keep up with the business goals and improving its adaptability to the challenges in their business environment.

In arriving at our research questions, we seek to understand the operations of the four firms we are focusing on, the challenges facing them in their day-to-day business activities and the view of the owner-manages on the current state of these businesses. 

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boday mass index, fat mass, fat free mass, fat mass index and body fat percentage as blood pressure determinant in young adults

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Please can you help me write statement of problem,purpose of study,research questions and significant of study on the topic "security issues using computer to teach kids".

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How to Write a Problem Statement in 5 Steps

Lindsay Kramer

A problem statement is a summary of a problem its writer hopes to solve. It details the parties affected by the problem, the financial and other costs associated with the issue, and when applicable, the root causes of it.

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What is a problem statement?

A problem statement briefly explains a problem you want to correct. In most cases, it doesn’t include a proposed solution. Rather, it simply states a problem and articulates the problem’s details. In some cases, a problem statement is known as an opportunity statement —generally when the statement presents an opportunity for innovation or growth rather than a problem to be solved.

Problem statements are often used in executive summaries for projects, business proposals , and research proposals. By stating a specific challenge, the problem statement demonstrates why the project or proposal is necessary.

Parts of a problem statement

A problem statement should be about 150 to 300 words. It doesn’t have to be overly descriptive, but it should be a few sentences long and provide enough information for the reader to fully grasp the issue. A strong problem statement includes the following pieces of information:

The problem’s cause(s) and background details

Start your problem statement with the problem’s cause—if one exists and you can name it. It’s possible you don’t know what caused the issue. In such cases, don’t make assumptions or look to assign blame. Instead, simply articulate exactly what’s happening.

The impact of the problem

After introducing the problem, discuss the people affected by it and how it affects them.

  • Other effects caused by the problem

The last component of a problem statement is the problem’s repercussions. Think of these as the broader impact the problem has on a group or organization.

How to write a problem statement in 5 steps

1 answer the five w s.

The first step in writing a problem statement is answering the questions known as the five Ws :

What is the problem? Where is the problem occurring? Why is it occurring? Who is it affecting? When does it cause difficulties?

The answers to these questions should provide a more comprehensive look at the situation. And a better understanding of the problem’s facets may make easier to write a well-constructed problem statement.

2 Describe the ideal situation

The next step is to write a description of the ideal scenario. If the problem didn’t exist, what would the reality be? Exploring the ideal situation helps you pinpoint the causes, details, and side effects of the problem you might have initially missed. Elements of this ideal situation may find their way into your problem statement or subsequent purpose statement.

3 Explain the problem and why it matters

With a clear , multi-angled picture of the problem , you’re ready to write a professional problem statement that articulates the situation at hand. In this step, present the information in a logical order : State the problem, the reason (or reasons) it’s a problem, and thus, why it needs to be fixed.

4 Explore the problem’s costs

In this step, explain why the problem matters by examining what it costs the people affected—financially and non-financially. For example, you may show that your company’s reliance on outdated software costs money for recurring repairs and that its resulting downtime also costs employee productivity.

4 Support your claim with facts

Last, make sure you have relevant facts and statistics to support your claim. Otherwise, there’s little reason for the reader to fund your research or support the changes you claim would resolve the problem.

Problem statement vs. purpose statement

Problem statements and purpose statements can be easily confused. A purpose statement follows a problem statement. After a problem is articulated in a problem statement, a purpose statement outlines how the author suggests fixing the problem. When presented by a company or organization, these statements are often provided alongside a mission statement .

Problem statement examples

Since returning to the office full time, the Working Group’s productivity has decreased approximately 30 percent. Team members, delayed by rush-hour traffic, frequently arrive at work after 9 a.m. When they arrive, they are stressed and unable to focus for the first hour or so of their workday. This often means that about five hours’ worth of work is completed each eight-hour day, in contrast to the team’s higher productivity rate while working from home. Team members who work through lunch are not significantly more productive than their peers who take lunch. Our reduced productivity has made it difficult to acquire new clients in the past year. With fewer new clients than we onboarded in past years, the Hartsgrove Group is not projected to meet our revenue goals for this fiscal year.

In the past three academic years, teachers in our elementary school have spent the month of September reviewing material their students learned in their previous grades rather than introducing new material. This trend has been noted in first-, second-, third-, and fourth-grade classrooms. Currently, students are not required to complete summer reading assignments, nor does our school provide academic resources throughout the summer break. Because students’ skills regress over the summer and they are retaught each September, teachers find themselves rushing through higher-level material later in the year in order to have students ready for state testing in the spring. When tested on this higher-level material, 40 percent of first- and second-grade students and 50 percent of third- and fourth-grade students are found to be performing below grade-level benchmarks as defined by the state’s core curriculum.

Problem statement FAQs

A problem statement is a short paragraph, about 150 to 300 words, that clearly outlines a specific problem that needs solving.

What is the purpose of a problem statement?

The purpose of a problem statement is to articulate a problem, its causes, and its repercussions.

What are the parts of a problem statement?

A problem statement should include the following information:

  • The problem’s causes and background details
  • The people affected by the problem

is thesis statement and problem statement the same

Frequently asked questions

Should i use a research question, hypothesis, or thesis statement.

The way you present your research problem in your introduction varies depending on the nature of your research paper . A research paper that presents a sustained argument will usually encapsulate this argument in a thesis statement .

A research paper designed to present the results of empirical research tends to present a research question that it seeks to answer. It may also include a hypothesis —a prediction that will be confirmed or disproved by your research.

Frequently asked questions: Writing a research paper

A research project is an academic, scientific, or professional undertaking to answer a research question . Research projects can take many forms, such as qualitative or quantitative , descriptive , longitudinal , experimental , or correlational . What kind of research approach you choose will depend on your topic.

The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a dissertation committee) that your research topic is relevant and worthy of being conducted.

Formulating a main research question can be a difficult task. Overall, your question should contribute to solving the problem that you have defined in your problem statement .

However, it should also fulfill criteria in three main areas:

  • Researchability
  • Feasibility and specificity
  • Relevance and originality

Research questions anchor your whole project, so it’s important to spend some time refining them.

In general, they should be:

  • Focused and researchable
  • Answerable using credible sources
  • Complex and arguable
  • Feasible and specific
  • Relevant and original

All research questions should be:

  • Focused on a single problem or issue
  • Researchable using primary and/or secondary sources
  • Feasible to answer within the timeframe and practical constraints
  • Specific enough to answer thoroughly
  • Complex enough to develop the answer over the space of a paper or thesis
  • Relevant to your field of study and/or society more broadly

Writing Strong Research Questions

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

Your research objectives indicate how you’ll try to address your research problem and should be specific:

Research objectives describe what you intend your research project to accomplish.

They summarize the approach and purpose of the project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement .

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in Chicago style are to:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Use 1 inch margins or larger
  • Apply double line spacing
  • Indent every new paragraph ½ inch
  • Include a title page
  • Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center
  • Cite your sources with author-date citations or Chicago footnotes
  • Include a bibliography or reference list

To automatically generate accurate Chicago references, you can use Scribbr’s free Chicago reference generator .

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style are as follows:

  • Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Set 1 inch page margins
  • Include a four-line MLA heading on the first page
  • Center the paper’s title
  • Use title case capitalization for headings
  • Cite your sources with MLA in-text citations
  • List all sources cited on a Works Cited page at the end

To format a paper in APA Style , follow these guidelines:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial
  • If submitting for publication, insert a running head on every page
  • Apply APA heading styles
  • Cite your sources with APA in-text citations
  • List all sources cited on a reference page at the end

No, it’s not appropriate to present new arguments or evidence in the conclusion . While you might be tempted to save a striking argument for last, research papers follow a more formal structure than this.

All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the results and discussion sections if you are following a scientific structure). The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.

The conclusion of a research paper has several key elements you should make sure to include:

  • A restatement of the research problem
  • A summary of your key arguments and/or findings
  • A short discussion of the implications of your research

Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.

This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .

The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

  • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
  • Relevant background on the topic
  • Details of your research problem

and your problem statement

  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an overview of the paper

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is thesis statement and problem statement the same

How to write a problem statement for a thesis


One of the principal tasks and challenges of your dissertation’s opening is formulating a problem statement. But h ow to write a problem statement for a thesis? What is part of it? And which are the essential key features? A clearly defined research question is crucial to help your reader understand the significance of your investigation.

This post provides a manual, teaching how to make your audience understand the fundamental question of every research: “ Why does it matter?”, ensuring that yours contains all key components and follows on a logical red thread.

Getting to the core: How to write problem statement for a thesis

Before we get detailed into the question of how to write a problem statement for a dissertation, it is crucial to approach the story’s core and explain the meaning and significance of the problem statement briefly. Completing an essential function within your academic thesis, a well-written problem statement helps you illustrate your research’s contribution, leaving no doubt on its significance (even to showcase your thesis for future employment).

As your dissertation deals with a particular topic, your problem statement:

  • Addresses the research question
  • Presents in a condensed form, what the topic involves
  • Illustrated precisely, what it deals with
  • Clears the specific gaps/problems that the author draws attention to
  • Specifies, the plans to solve the research question
  • Presents the writer’s final thoughts and opinions on the matter

It may seem to be a lot of stuff, but in a nutshell, your problem statement doesn´t need to be longer than a few paragraphs .

When you learned about the best way how to make problem statement in thesis, you will get aware of its multiple functions: It can serve as a foundation for your research proposal , later it can enter your first part (introduction), and at the same time, it will be your anchor in case you are about to lose your focus!

It is precisely the section of your dissertation that clarifies the issue that will be solved by the author, addressing in a short form what it means and what it involves (you can take it as a more elaborated version of the title ).

How to write a problem statement for a thesis: Examples of different types

is thesis statement and problem statement the same

At this point, I would like to make you aware, that solving the question of how to write a problem statement for a thesis also need to involve some words on types and examples.

As there are different types – mainly the theoretical and the practical approach, take the following questions as a guide to find out how to write a problem statement in thesis, which is of practical or theoretical nature.

To deve lop a practical one (real-world problem) , ask about concrete details of the situation:

  • Where/when does the problem arise?
  • Who does the problem affect?
  • How was the problem tried to be solved?

If you prefer the theoretical scientific issue, remember that their relevance can be less noticeable (as the clear consequences are reduced compared to the practical one). To identify why the problem matters, ask:

  • How will resolve the problem advance understanding of the topic?
  • What benefits will it have for future research?
  • Does the problem have direct or indirect consequences for society?

Challenges and solutions of how to a write problem statement for a thesis

If you want to learn, how to write a problem statement for a thesis, it is essential to be aware of the related challenges! Independent of writing a thesis/dissertation of a paper/essay, a solid and effective problem statement has to be formulated concretely and concisely. Once you have identified a remaining gap of research and a relevant research question, your next challenge will be to figure out the problem solution for your research.

  • Caution: Problem statements are often mistaken for the introduction!

Even if both are very similar in several issues, there are subtle features and differences to keep in mind.

  • Note: The problem statement is a more technical and formal interpretation than the introduction.

So – how to write your thesis problem statement? To write a good one, your challenge will be to:

  • Contextualize the problem (what do we already know?)
  • Explain the issue precisely (what do we need to know?)
  • Highlight your research problems relevance (why do we need to know that)
  • Describe the objectives (what will you do to find out?)

Key features and components of your problem statement at one glance


Before getting over to a detailed manual, that takes you by the hand and shows you how to write a problem statement for a thesis step by step, let me provide you with a list of key elements which can be understood as joined features between the different definitions of the term problem statement after Hernon and Schwartz (2007):

  •   Be clear, precise, and specific when explaining, what will be studied
  •   Leave no doubt on the overarching question and its key features
  •   Identify (briefly) the crucial key concepts and terms
  •   Draw your study’s boundaries, highlight its contribution and benefits
  •   Avoid unnecessary jargon or slang

Let’s get ahead and face the challenge!

How to write a problem statement for a thesis: A detailed manual to craft the task

After knowing the types and essential key features when discussing how to write a dissertation problem statement, let me finish with a resume with characteristics and additional considerations to perfect yours.

First, your problem statement should frame your research problem by presenting it in its specific context . This background information on what is already known is essential because it clarifies why it matters.

In addition, the problem statement contains some of your dissertation´s most vital components, such as:

  •   Your title: Introducing your title is necessary to cover in the problem statement
  •   Your hypothesis: The opinion you seek to prove through the thesis paper must be explicitly mentioned.

Naturally, the statement should include a brief explication of how you conducted the research work, presenting the applied scientific method (Note: A few lines on this matter are enough here).

Note: The development of all problem statements follows a similar process, even if every problem statement will look different depending on whether you’re dealing with a practical or theoretical one (so that you can apply the steps on advice on how to write statement of problem in thesis to every problem statement).

Last but not least, keep in mind, that brevity and conciseness are key. This section should never exceed a page and a half without risking prejudice on the quality of your dissertation.


About the author:

Dr. Friederike Jurth

Possibly you already heard of me through different media channels. My name is Dr. Friederike Jurth , and since 2010 I give lectures on Methodology, Empirical Research, Anthropology, and Transcultural (Music) Studies in collaboration with universities in the United States, Germany, Spain, and Brazil. In 2010 I started to carry out 7-year-long fieldwork in Rio de Janeiro and to present my research at conferences all around the world, such as in Japan, the United States, Australia, Brazil, Thailand, Switzerland, and many others. In addition, I worked as a lecturer and researcher with Germany’s famous UNESCO Chair.

After finalizing my doctoral dissertation with summa cum laude , it became my aim to unite, condense and share the steps, ways and details of my unique methodological and structural approach that I could develop and elaborate during my Ph.D. and that finally helped me to achieve this result. By concentrating and putting them together to an elaborated academic conception, MyThesis Academy was born. Motivated by the only aim and objective to help my students through all steps and stages of their thesis journey, it enables them to achieve their best possible result in shortest time, independent of their specific area of research.

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Q. What is the difference between a thesis statement and a hypothesis statement?


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Answered By: APUS Librarians Last Updated: Apr 15, 2022     Views: 125596

Both the hypothesis statement and the thesis statement answer a research question. 

  • A hypothesis is a statement that can be proved or disproved. It is typically used in quantitative research and predicts the relationship between variables.  
  • A thesis statement is a short, direct sentence that summarizes the main point or claim of an essay or research paper. It is seen in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. A thesis statement is developed, supported, and explained in the body of the essay or research report by means of examples and evidence.

Every research study should contain a concise and well-written thesis statement. If the intent of the study is to prove/disprove something, that research report will also contain a hypothesis statement.

NOTE: In some disciplines, the hypothesis is referred to as a thesis statement! This is not accurate but within those disciplines it is understood that "a short, direct sentence that summarizes the main point" will be included.

For more information, see The Research Question and Hypothesis (PDF file from the English Language Support, Department of Student Services, Ryerson University).

How do I write a good thesis statement?

How do I write a good hypothesis statement?

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literature review on online recruitment system

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Conceptualizations of E-recruitment: A Literature Review and Analysis

14 Department of Computer Science, Namibia University of Science and Technology, 13 Jackson Kaujeua Street, Windhoek, Namibia

Irwin Brown

15 Department of Information Systems, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7701 South Africa

There is diversity in understanding of electronic recruitment (e-recruitment) which results in confusion on the meaning and use of the term. The purpose of this paper is to bring conceptual clarity by investigating the alternative conceptualizations of e-recruitment in academic literature. Using Grounded Theory Methodology (GTM) techniques we analyzed literature to reveal five alternative conceptualizations; these being: (1) E-recruitment as a Technology Tool, (2) E-recruitment as a System, (3) E-recruitment as a Process, (4) E-recruitment as a Service, and (5) E-recruitment as a Proxy. The conceptualizations map to the scope of the definition and utilization of e-recruitment. Identifying conceptualizations of e-recruitment sets a platform for further research. Further research may include determining the relationships between the conceptualizations and determining conceptualizations in different settings among many other possible research focus topics.


E-recruitment has many labels that include; internet recruitment, online recruitment, web-recruitment and many others. Unlike traditional recruitment, e-recruitment makes use of information technology to handle the recruitment processes. Breaugh et al. [ 1 ] defined a recruitment model that presents the recruitment process at a macro level with the following activities: Setting recruitment objectives, developing a strategy, performing the recruitment activity and obtaining and evaluating recruitment results. Recruiters compete with each other for candidates (jobseekers suitable for available jobs), while jobseekers compete for jobs; which drives both groups to adopt information technologies at accelerated rates in order to take the strain out of some of the recruitment activities [ 2 – 7 ]. “ For most job seekers, the Internet is where the action is ” [ 3 , p. 140]. Thus, to get candidates, recruiters need to move swiftly to locate and hire, which may require use of a multitude of information technologies in the process [ 8 , p. 130].

There is evidence in research papers that academic disciplines and stakeholders have varied definitions of e-recruitment. The variety of definitions of e-recruitment is expected because it is part of e-HRM (electronic Human Resource Management) that has in itself different definitions depending on the context [ 6 , p. 26], [ 9 , p. 98]. Studies based on these definitions tend to reveal overlapping and contradictory results due to the overlaps or differences in definitions [ 9 , p. 100]. The differences in definitions, aside from being problematic, is evidence of the variety in conceptualization of e-recruitment. Thus to find a standard definition of e-recruitment, conceptualizations of e-recruitment need to be known. To our knowledge, no research paper in e-recruitment has focused on conceptualization of e-recruitment, however there are studies in other areas of information systems (IS) that have focused on conceptualization [ 10 – 19 ]. Most view conceptualization as the formulation of a view about the nature of a phenomenon. The research questions to be answered are:

  • What conceptualizations of e - recruitment exist in literature?
  • How can the conceptualizations be described and explained?

Methodology for Reviewing Literature

Because of the large number of research papers on e-recruitment we aimed at selecting papers for review that would embrace the full variety of conceptualizations of e-recruitment. Also, we wanted a flexible review methodology that would allow for selection and analysis of papers simultaneously, as the conceptualizations emerged, rather than a sequential review methodology that required all research papers to be selected beforehand. Such flexibility is provided for by applying grounded theory methodology (GTM) as a suitable review methodology [ 20 ]. GTM techniques used in this study included open coding to identify concepts, constant comparative analysis to refine and differentiate conceptualizations, and theoretical sampling to identify further relevant literature [ 21 , 22 ].

Figure  1 is a flowchart depicting how the literature was processed from search until conceptualizations of e-recruitment were identified, saturated and completed.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is 497534_1_En_32_Fig1_HTML.jpg

GTM for reviewing literature

Searching for Articles

We used the web search engine Google Scholar to search electronically for the articles. We fed keywords synonymic with the word e-recruitment into the searching tool. These are: e-recruiting, e-HRM, e-Human Resource Management, electronic HRM, electronic Human Resource Management, e-recruiting, e-recruitment, internet recruiting, internet recruitment, online recruiting, online recruitment, recruiting online, recruiting on the internet, recruiting on the web, recruitment online, web-based recruiting, web-based recruitment, web recruiting, web recruitment [ 20 ].

After an initial search on Google Scholar and filtering of articles for relevancy based on paper titles and abstracts we had 445 journal articles and conference papers published in the period 1998 to 2019 in approximately 145 sources. The search process provided a set of many articles, but it did not qualify all of them as useful for the review. The selection process had to take place to sample useful and relevant articles for the review.

Theoretical Sampling of Articles

Ideally all papers on e-recruitment needed to be included in the review. Alternatively, papers included in the analysis had to be a representative sample of all papers in e-recruitment that were relevant for the developing conceptualizations. However with the vast amount of research in e-recruitment and the huge number of articles from our search and filtering it would be difficult or time consuming to include all relevant e-recruitment research articles for the review. The alternative of having a representative sample was viable and using GTM’s theoretical sampling [ 21 ] was feasible for the objectives of this research to be met.

An initial article to be analyzed was picked from the population of 445 articles. Picking of subsequent articles for inclusion in the sample was informed by the emerging conceptualizations. Theoretical sampling was performed until all the conceptualizations got saturated and completed. Glaser [ 22 ] defines saturation as a state where new data does not bring new properties to the concepts. In an effort to attain completeness a check was done to make sure all conceptualizations were included. Theoretical sampling ended when saturation and completeness was achieved. This is the point at which the number of research articles involved in identifying conceptualizations in e-recruitment were counted. In the end 26 research articles were relevant for identifying and explaining conceptualizations of e-recruitment.

Analyzing Articles

Analysis of the articles that let conceptualizations of e-recruitment emerge (see Fig.  1 ) required that constant comparison be applied by comparing codes to codes and concepts to concepts to find and note their relationships and further develop the labelled conceptualizations [ 21 , 22 ]. The emerging conceptualizations served as a framework for further selection of articles and using systematic deduction from the emerging conceptualization possibilities and probabilities were determined to guide the next cycle of article selection. Memos were created to note the emergent ideas. Memoed ideas also served to direct which article to sample next.

Every sampled article was investigated for its perspective on the essence of e-recruitment or the most essential or most vital part that embodied the conceptualization of e-recruitment. Indicators in the article brought forth the conceptualizations. The moment of departure from the analysis to getting another article for analysis came only after the article was fully analyzed. The resulting conceptualizations are detailed in the next section.

Conceptualizations of E-recruitment

Five conceptualizations of e-recruitment emerged from extent literature, namely: e-recruitment as a technology tool, e-recruitment as a system, e-recruitment as a process, e-recruitment as a service and e-recruitment as a proxy. Although many of the articles had a mixture of conceptualizations, one or two stood out in each article and for each conceptualization Table  1 gives example research articles. After the presentation in Table  1 each of the conceptualizations is described and explained in sub-sections that follow.

Table 1.

E-recruitment as a technology tool.

E-recruitment as a technology tool is a conceptualization of e-recruitment as a technical artefact [ 19 ]. This means is demonstrated by Faliagka et al. [ 23 ] who presented a tool to automate the ranking of applicants in recruitment.

E-recruitment as a System

Studies that view e-recruitment as a system conceptually divide e-recruitment into independent but interrelated elements, at the core of which is information technology, society, organizations, etc. The system view allows each component to receive input from the other elements and produce input for other components [ 25 ]. The system view of e-recruitment assigns all automating functions to the IT artefact of the system while organizational recruitment experts evaluate the outcome [ 24 ]. While some stakeholders view e-recruitment as a system, others view it as a process.

E-recruitment as a Process

Instead of focusing on entities, the process view of e-recruitment focuses on e-recruitment activities [ 37 ]. There is no attempt to set boundaries between the IT artefact, society and organization, but activities are clearly identified and can be performed by either the IT artefact or by human actors. Examples include e-recruitment being seen as data collection activity using an online system [ 33 ]. However recruitment activities can be performed by human actors too [ 37 ]. With the process view of e-recruitment the end goal is the execution of all the recruitment activities.

E-recruitment as a Service

The view exists that e-recruitment is a service to recruiters and job-seekers. Many e-recruitment platforms are independent of the organizations or societies they serve. Sub-views of e-recruitment as a service include: e-recruitment as a repository, e-recruitment as a medium, and e-recruitment as a program.

E-recruitment as a repository.

Some studies portrayed e-recruitment as a repository for data about jobs, recruiters and employers [ 40 ]. In another study online forms were filled in by jobseekers and the data provided on the forms was stored for recruiters and other stakeholders to retrieve [ 33 ]. While the view of e-recruitment as a repository is usually held when e-recruitment is newly adopted, other services follow suit.

E-recruitment as a medium is another view held, e.g. Bartram [ 41 ] portrays e-recruitment as a facilitator of communication between jobseekers and organizations. Traditional media like newspaper [ 42 ] are sometimes found inconvenient thus e-recruitment takes their place. Some organizations employ e-recruiters who form part of e-recruitment and serve to link the IT artefact and other elements in recruitment. Although e-recruitment as a medium improves communication speed it also comes with a downside, e.g. information overload [ 37 ].

E-recruitment as a program is a view that associates e-recruitment with calculations and logical interpretation and processing of data. One study included, as an algorithmic module, a Pre-screening Management System to automatically assess the extent of match between an applicant’s qualification and job requirements [ 25 ]. Such module or similar modules are found in many e-recruitment systems given the high volumes of applications associated with e-recruitment. Therefore, many studies espouse the view that e-recruitment serves to provide a convenient matching program.

E-Recruitment as a Proxy

Orlikowski and Iacono [ 19 ] reveal the pervasiveness of the proxy view of the IT artefact in IS literature. E-recruitment may act to present the image of the company, culture of the company, etc. Braddy et al. [ 45 ] examined the effects of website content features on people’s perceptions of organizational culture. Their study implies that e-recruitment, especially the IT artefact (website) acts on behalf of some corporate image management entity in the organization. Some studies focused on website content [ 45 ], while others focused on website characteristics [ 46 ].

Contribution and Implications of Conceptualizations of E-recruitment

Conceptualizations of e-recruitment contribute to understanding of e-recruitment and have implications for both practice and research as discussed in this section.

Contribution of the Research

This study mapped the scope of the definition of e-recruitment by explaining the diversity in understanding. This mapping was done by identifying five conceptualizations of e-recruitment and labelling them as: E-recruitment as a Technology Tool, E-recruitment as a System, E-recruitment as a Process, E-recruitment as a Service and E-recruitment as a Proxy. Taking note of conceptualizations provides practitioners with a tool to enhance productivity while allowing researchers to have more focus in their research.

Implications of Conceptualizations of E-recruitment

The implications of conceptualizations of e-recruitment stem from being able to attach a label to the said stakeholders’ conceptualizations and put it to their trade or scholarly pursuits. Labelling conceptualizations provides a pathway to standardization of e-recruitment. The benefits of such standardization include having common understanding of concepts, and ease of communication. While these are overarching implications, some implications are specific to practice or research.

Implications for Practice.

Labelled and well defined conceptualizations of e-recruitment sets bounds on what practitioners should expect in their practice and strive towards when they adopt a particular conceptualization. Well defined conceptualizations as ones in this study provide alternative conceptualization options that practitioners can adopt depending on their needs. Practitioners can always adopt a conceptualization that best reflects their situation. As there are implications for practice, there are implications for research as well.

Implications for Research.

Through this identification, description and explanation of conceptualizations of e-recruitment, there are a number of conceptualizations to consider. Therefore, focus on a specific conceptualization or focus on specific conceptualizations is possible. Such focus allows the researcher to delimit research.

Conclusion and Further Research

The study highlighted the problem of diversity in understanding of e-recruitment that goes without explicit attention in literature and proposed that identifying and labelling the varied conceptualizations of e-recruitment can be part of better articulation of the diversity. Using GTM, literature on e-recruitment was reviewed and conceptualizations of e-recruitment were identified. Taking note of conceptualizations provides practitioners with a tool to enhance productivity while allowing researchers to have more focus in their research. In addition this study provides insight into directions for potential further study.

Further Research

While this research contributes to understanding of e-recruitment, further research related to it can respond to several issues which are not addressed herein. Understanding of relationships between conceptualizations helps to avoid conceptual chaos. Therefore, further research aimed at relating the conceptualizations is essential. Conceptualizations of e-recruitment may be compared to conceptualizations of other forms of e-phenomena, and hence to the development of more general understanding of IS and the IT artefact.

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Purpose of the study: The main purpose of this study is to provide a new, macro-level model of strategic staffing to bridge the gap in the knowledge regarding how practices within recruitment and selection systems can work to provide a competitive advantage among various sectors. This study identifies the various methods of recruitment and selection process through a systematic review of literature, which would be the right fit for attracting and selecting employees in an organization.

Design/methodology/approach: Content analysis method is adopted to review the literature and subcategories were formed to analyze the research. Literature was collected from 40 articles of a reputed journal from 2010 to 2018.

Main findings: The review of literature revealed that the recruitment and selection process is carried out in organizations by adopting latest technologies like online portals, outsourcing, job fair, campus interviews, and mobile recruitment applications. The representation of this practice is to find the best candidate for an organization. Besides adopting the latest technology, consideration of the expatriate factor would lead to an effective way of recruitment practices in finding out the right candidate for the right job and thus create a healthier work environment. The expatriate factors have not been considered well in the Indian context, but have been given importance in the global context in the process of recruitment and selection.

Social Implications: Highlighting the significance of various recruitment practices results in the selection of the right person in the right job, which enhances a healthier working environment in organizations, in turn rendering high quality products and services to the society.

Originality of the study: Prior research has studied various factors that influence internal recruitment, external recruitment, and selection process. This study is an attempt to analyze the expatriate factors and other factors through the content analysis method.

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Organizational Innovation in the Digital Age pp 199–209 Cite as

E-Recruitment and the Impact of Digital Age on Recruitment: A Critical Literature Review

  • Ana Beatriz Alves Fernandes 3 &
  • Carolina Feliciana Machado 3 , 4  
  • First Online: 19 April 2022

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This chapter has as its main aim the understanding of the concept and evolution of e-recruitment and the study of its advantages and disadvantages in relation to traditional recruitment methods. This brief summary of the literature also seeks to understand which digital tools are available to human resources technicians, tools that are increasingly sought after by professionals in the field. Through this collection of scientific production, it was possible to conclude that e-recruitment, in growing valuation, is a methodology adopted by human resources professionals that, even if it faces some obstacles, can be used in a useful and effective way in the recruitment processes of organizations, since it is less expensive and time-consuming than traditional processes, also having more coverage in the disclosure of vacancies and the company itself.

  • e-recruitment
  • Digital recruitment
  • Human resource management
  • Human resource support technology

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Fernandes, A.B.A., Machado, C.F. (2022). E-Recruitment and the Impact of Digital Age on Recruitment: A Critical Literature Review. In: Machado, C., Davim, J.P. (eds) Organizational Innovation in the Digital Age. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-98183-9_8

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literature review on online recruitment system

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Abstract. There is diversity in understanding of electronic recruitment (e-recruitment) which results in confusion on the meaning and use of the term. The purpose of this paper is to bring conceptual clarity by investigating the alternative conceptualizations of e-recruitment in academic literature. Using Grounded Theory Methodology (GTM ...

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Additionally, the characteristics of online recruitment sites are also discussed briefly to illustrate a complete overview of newly formed recruitment system though the primary objective of the ...

3.2 E-recruitment as a System Studies that view e-recruitment as a system conceptually divide e-recruitment into independent but interrelated elements, at the core of which is information technology, society, organizations, etc. The system view allows each component to receive input from the other elements and produce input for other components ...

A semi-systematic literature review on digital job searching and recruiting platform in the last five years was conducted with the aim to develop a preliminary conceptual framework. Following a ...

The present study addresses this gap and seeks to broaden the current discussion on recruitment in the HR literature. Based on interviews with 26 HR professionals in recruiting and employer branding from pre-digital and born-digital organisations with business locations in Germany, we examined how recruiters seek to attract digital talent.

Abstract. This systematic literature review aims to synthesize several published studies related to the implementation of e-recruitment. Lately, there is a phenomenon that companies lack a ...

2.5 Advantages and Disadvantages of e-recruitment Over Traditional recruitment. Throughout this literature review, the various advantages enumerated regarding the use of technological tools in recruitment processes have already been noticed, which we will go on to list extensively, together with the disadvantages of the same practice.

The review is performed around three key research questions that are the core of an effective e-Recruitment recommender design: (1) type of recommendation engine; (2) type of information used as input to the system; and (3) how the recommender is assessed. For each of these questions we devise and explain a categorization method, placing the ...

Summary of key research findings in recruitment and selection. A systematic, fully comprehensive literature review of extent selection and recruitment literature is beyond the scope of this paper - rather, we focus our effort on recent meta-analyses as well as conceptual and literature review papers to identify the meta-trends in the recruitment and selection research.

The results revealed that online recruitment facilitates organizations in terms of reaching wider applicants with less expenses and time consumption. Most importantly, HR managers and team members ...

Our literature review informs that online recruitment remains an unknown research topic, namely regarding the characteristics of online recruitment candidates. This research aims describing existing theories regarding this Human Resource process and the profile of effective and potential candidates that use online job search process.

A Study on E-recruitment From the Perspective of Job Seekers - A literature review 1Dr. M. Robinson, 2K. Perumal 1Assistant Professor, 2Student Department of Management Studies, Anna University (BIT Campus), Tiruchirapalli, India Abstract: In this corona pandemic period, All sectors are affected. So, many workers have lost their jobs and new

Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the new E-recruitment trend that is pervading the lives of job seekers, included students, and job offers. A semi-systematic literature review on digital job searching and recruiting platform in the last five years was conducted with the aim to develop a preliminary conceptual framework ...

Following the archival research method, this study investigates the impact of perceived effectiveness on adoption of E-Recruitment & challenges faced by HR Professionals. Universal struggle in fashionable market provides a business to overwhelm the competitors by looking out for a mixed bag of strategy, So many organizations purposefully in implementing e recruitment for their growth and ...

It aimed to develop an online job recruitment system that would be utilized in the University of the East. The effectiveness of the software was evaluated in terms of performance, reliability, security, and cost-effectiveness. ... Literature Review . Parry and Tyson [5] conducted a study on the recruitment

Literature was collected from 40 articles of a reputed journal from 2010 to 2018. Main findings: The review of literature revealed that the recruitment and selection process is carried out in organizations by adopting latest technologies like online portals, outsourcing, job fair, campus interviews, and mobile recruitment applications.

of e-recruitment; then, establish a comparative parallel between traditional means of recruitment and those based on digital methods; and, finally, to point out the advantages and disadvantages of e-recruitment compared to traditional practices. 2 Literature Review In order to understand the basis of the emergence and progression of e-recruitment,

Even more scarce are studies which look at efficiency of online recruitment from an employer's perspective (Gopalia, 2011; Ventura and Bringula 2013). This study is an attempt to fill this gap by undertaking a literature survey to identify the factors which have an effect on the adoption of online recruitment. Literature Review

ment system. This study investigates the adoptions of E-Recruitment by HR Professionals in Chennai. The study covers the impact of E-Recruitment system by HR Professional and also identifies the attitude, usefulness, easiness, intention to use, barriers of E-Recruitment system. Literature Review

(26.1%) disagree with this statement, which suggest that online recruitment is a better strategy for omly certain roles. Although there is a trend in favour of online recruitment, the results show that there is still a high level of constrains with regard to the ability of online recruitment to attract high quality and diverse candidates.


  1. 💋 Writing an effective thesis statement. How to Write a Thesis

    is thesis statement and problem statement the same

  2. Research Problem Statement Examples

    is thesis statement and problem statement the same

  3. Mastering the Thesis Statement: Examples and Tips for Academic Success

    is thesis statement and problem statement the same

  4. How to Write an Effective Thesis Statement

    is thesis statement and problem statement the same

  5. PPT

    is thesis statement and problem statement the same

  6. PPT

    is thesis statement and problem statement the same


  1. What is Thesis Statement? Writing Thesis Statement with Practice in Urdu/Hindi #researchmethodology

  2. Thesis statement Powtoon

  3. How to write a thesis statement

  4. How Can I Effectively Write a Thesis Statement for a Literary Analysis Essay?

  5. What is thesis statement and example?

  6. Thesis Statement , Placement and Rhythm, Importance in Essay


  1. What is the difference between thesis statement and problem statement

    The Difference between Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences Writing a thesis statement: The thesis statement tells the reader what the rest of the paper is about. A problem statement is a statement of a current issue or problem that requires timely action to improve the situation. What's the difference between thesis and statement?

  2. How to Write a Problem Statement

    Step 3: Set your aims and objectives. Finally, the problem statement should frame how you intend to address the problem. Your goal here should not be to find a conclusive solution, but rather to propose more effective approaches to tackling or understanding it. The research aim is the overall purpose of your research.

  3. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 1: Start with a question Step 2: Write your initial answer Step 3: Develop your answer Step 4: Refine your thesis statement Types of thesis statements Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about thesis statements What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay.

  4. Thesis Statements

    A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel. makes a claim that others might dispute.

  5. How to Write a Problem Statement (with Pictures)

    6. Use a formal voice. Problem statements are almost always used for serious proposals and projects. Because of this, you'll want to use a formal, dignified writing style (the same as the style hopefully used for the body of the document) in the problem statement. Keep your writing clear, plain, and direct.

  6. The Research Problem & Problem Statement

    Key takeaways What is a research problem? A research problem is, at the simplest level, the core issue that a study will try to solve or (at least) examine. In other words, it's an explicit declaration about the problem that your dissertation, thesis or research paper will address.

  7. The Writing Center

    A generalization or overly broad claim. For the writer, the thesis statement: Helps the writer determine the essay's real focus. What are you trying to say with the evidence presented? A thesis provides a theory to be tested by evidence. Serves as a planning tool. The component parts of the thesis often correspond with the essay's topic sentences.

  8. Developing a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement . . . Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic. Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Is focused and specific enough to be "proven" within the boundaries of your paper. Is generally located near the end ...

  9. Academic Guides: Writing a Paper: Thesis Statements

    The thesis statement is the brief articulation of your paper's central argument and purpose. You might hear it referred to as simply a "thesis." Every scholarly paper should have a thesis statement, and strong thesis statements are concise, specific, and arguable. Concise means the thesis is short: perhaps one or two sentences for a shorter paper.

  10. What is a thesis statement?

    A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay. Everything else you write should relate to this key idea. Frequently asked questions: Writing an essay What doesn't go in an essay conclusion? What goes in an essay conclusion? How long is an essay conclusion? What is an essay? What is a hook?

  11. What is a Problem Statement? [with examples]

    A problem statement is an explanation in research that describes the issue that is in need of study. What problem is the research attempting to address? Having a Problem Statement allows the reader to quickly understand the purpose and intent of the research. The importance of writing your research proposal cannot be stressed enough.

  12. How to Write a Problem Statement for a Thesis

    To write a problem statement for a thesis, we must provide the context of the research, followed by the purpose of the study, then the general research procedure that includes the setting and target population, and lastly, the specific research questions that used to address the general problem. General steps on writing a problem statement for ...

  13. What Is a Thesis?

    A thesis statement is a very common component of an essay, particularly in the humanities. It usually comprises 1 or 2 sentences in the introduction of your essay, and should clearly and concisely summarize the central points of your academic essay. A thesis is a long-form piece of academic writing, often taking more than a full semester to ...

  14. Is the 'statement of problem' and 'background' of a thesis same?

    Both the background and the problem statement form part of the Introduction section. The background provides the context of a study and establishes its significance. It introduces the research topic and leads the readers to the gaps in knowledge that have remained unaddressed. The problem statement though is a brief explanation of an issue, a ...

  15. How to Define a Research Problem

    The type of research problem you choose depends on your broad topic of interest and the type of research you think will fit best. This article helps you identify and refine a research problem. When writing your research proposal or introduction, formulate it as a problem statement and/or research questions.

  16. Q: Can you help me write a problem statement for my thesis?

    A problem statement is a broad overview of the questions that will be addressed in a given area of research. It outlines the description of the issue (s), includes a vision, suggests the method (s) used to solve the problem, and provides a hypothesis. It also gives the negative points of the current situation in the area of the research ...

  17. How to Write a Problem Statement in 5 Steps

    3 Explain the problem and why it matters. With a clear, multi-angled picture of the problem, you're ready to write a professional problem statement that articulates the situation at hand. In this step, present the information in a logical order: State the problem, the reason (or reasons) it's a problem, and thus, why it needs to be fixed.

  18. Should I use a research question, hypothesis, or thesis statement?

    A research paper that presents a sustained argument will usually encapsulate this argument in a thesis statement. A research paper designed to present the results of empirical research tends to present a research question that it seeks to answer. It may also include a hypothesis —a prediction that will be confirmed or disproved by your research.

  19. How to write a problem statement for a thesis

    Completing an essential function within your academic thesis, a well-written problem statement helps you illustrate your research's contribution, leaving no doubt on its significance (even to showcase your thesis for future employment). As your dissertation deals with a particular topic, your problem statement: Addresses the research question

  20. Thesis Problem Statement

    6+ Thesis Problem Statement Examples. 1. Thesis Problem Statement Template. 2. Sample Thesis Problem Statement. Have you ever heard of a problem statement? Perhaps, you do. It is a very essential part of every research that outlines the problem in your study.

  21. What is the difference between a thesis statement and a research

    Jan 02, 2020 78698 A thesis statement is a short, concise sentence or paragraph that summarizes the main point of an essay or research paper. In a thesis statement, the author is making a specific claim or assertion about a topic that can be debated or challenged.

  22. What is the difference between a thesis statement and a hypothesis

    LibAnswers Writing & Citing Q. What is the difference between a thesis statement and a hypothesis statement? Answered By: APUS Librarians Apr 15, 2022 125533 Both the hypothesis statement and the thesis statement answer a research question. A hypothesis is a statement that can be proved or disproved.

  23. is problem statement and thesis statement the same

    Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It's one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don't worry — with these five easy steps, you'll be able to create an effective thesis statement ..... Writing a thesis statement can be one of the most challenging parts of writing an essay. A thesis statement is a sentence that summarizes the ...