What is the difference between a problem statement and the purpose statement?
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What is the difference between a problem statement (your Ch. 2 in week 3) and a purpose statement (your Ch. 3 in week 4) in social sciences research?
In all types of research, the investigator has to be very clear as far as what is at stake, what is being investigated, and what is the reason for the investigation.
Moreover, you also need to specify to what point your investigation will have any significance once it is completed. All of these factors are important to prove for a research or investigation to get funding, resources and time granted.
When you state the PROBLEM you are basically saying WHAT is the person, place, thing, or idea (theory) that you will be studying, or testing. You have to define the problem stating a rationale for choosing it. The relevance of this problem is also important to know.
For instance, if you are a chemistry major looking to become approved for a research, the problem that you choose should be relevant and related to your field of study, not to another field, such as cooking, or arts.
When you state the PURPOSE of an investigation you are going to answer three specific questions: WHY? HOW? WHEN?
You will use action words and active tense to voice your purpose. For example, you are going to “determine”, or “disprove”, “describe”, “contrast” the problem that you described before. This is the place where you say what exactly you plan to do about the problem.
It is important to do all of this prior to naming your investigation. A common mistake that research students do is title their work and then end up doing something other than what they said they would do.
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