Problems That Occur in Research

Differences Between Research Problems

Research problems need to be distinguished and recognized as distinct steps because they represent the problems addressed in the research.  In the following brief definitions, According to Creswell (2015) the differences between the parts of this study:

A research topic is a broad subject that is addressed by research.  Maria, for example, tried to research gun ownership by students at school.

A research problem is a general educational issue, problem, or controversy addressed in research, which narrows the topic.  The problem Maria is dealing with is the increase in school violence caused, in part, by gun ownership.

The purpose of the research is the main intention or purpose of the research used to deal with the problem.  Maria might state her research intent as follows: "The intent of my research is to identify factors that influence the degree to which students carry guns in high school".

Research questions narrow the intent to specific questions that the researcher wants to answer in his research.  Maria might ask, "How do peers influence students to carry weapons?"

The difference between quantitative and qualitative research problems

According to Creswell (2015), there are differences between quantitative and qualitative research problems, namely: Tend to use quantitative research if the research problem requires you to:

  1. Measuring variables
  2. Assess the impact of these variables on results
  3. Test theory or broad explanation
  4. Applying results to a large number of people
  5. Learn about individual views
  6. Assess the process from time to time
  7. Generate theory based on participant perspective, ·
  8. Get detailed information about some people or places of research

According to Sugiyo (2011), there is a fundamental difference between quantitative problems and qualitative problems, namely that quantitative research to be solved research must be clear, specific and considered unchanged, while qualitative research carried out by researchers is still dim, even dark and complex.

Identification of statements about research problems

Based on the opinion of Creswell (2015) the statement about the problem includes research problems that include four other aspects, namely:

 1. Topic

An educational topic is a subject that the researcher wishes to tackle in research and that creates initial interest for the reader.  This approach can too quickly narrow the topic unnecessarily and lose readers who have never researched or read about plagiarism.  Instead, I could start with the broader topic of dishonesty on campus and the need to explore the values ​​students learn while studying at college.

A good narrative hook has the following special characteristics: it makes the reader pay attention, elicits an emotional response or attitude response, arouses interest, and encourages the reader to continue reading.  A convincing narrative hook might include one or more of the following types of information:

Statistical data (e.g., "More than 50% of the adult population is currently depressed.") Provocative questions (e.g., "Why is the school policy against smoking in high school not being enforced?")

A clear need to carry out research (e.g., Suspension by schools is attracting increasing attention among scholars in the field of teacher education.")

Research intent or intent (e.g., "The intent of this study is to examine how clients interpret the therapist-client relationship.")

 2. Research problems

Narrow the topic to a specific research problem or issue.  Research problems are educational issues, problems, or controversies studied by researchers.  The author can present it as a single sentence or several short sentences.  

1. Justify the importance of the problem by citing evidence from:

  • Researchers and other experts as reported in the literature
  • Experiences that others have at work
  • Personal experience

2. Justification of the importance of the problem in research

3. Justification in Literature Based on Research and Other Experts

4. Justification Based on Workplace Experience or Personal Experience

5. Deficiency in existing knowledge of the problem.

Deficiencies in the literature may be part of the justification for the research problem, it is useful to mention some deficiencies in the literature or existing practice.  A deficiency in evidence means that the researcher's prior literature or practical experience does not address the research problem in a robust manner.  Deficiencies in practice mean that educators have not identified good and workable solutions for schools or other areas of education.

 4. Benefits of research on problems

Audiences in the “statement of the matter” section need to be identified.  This consists of individuals and groups who will read and potentially benefit from the information provided in the study.  These audiences will vary depending on the nature of the research, but some of the audiences educators often consider include researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and individuals participating in research.

Identify research topics

Ali (in Usman, 2008) suggests that the steps taken in order to formulate the problem are;  1) recognize the existence of the problem, 2) analyze the variables, 3) define the variables, and 4) formulate the problem.  

Basically, the discussion is to identify some general topics that might contribute to the knowledge base of the profession in a meaningful way, and simultaneously stimulate and motivate students to explore and learn more about those topics.  According to Heppner (2008) identifying topics in counseling can take the following steps:

Gather information about previous research, both inside and outside counseling.  Thus, read a lot of professional journals and books.  Reading widely will not only provide information about what is currently being published, but it can also help to clarify what topics are of most interest.  Another strategy is to start by looking for literature reviews more focused on a particular topic.

Using the brainstorming method helps to record ideas, observations, and questions in a journal.  Perhaps one of the most basic reasons for conducting research is to develop a knowledge base that can in one way or another help people with addressing the pressing needs of society.  

In essence, in order for the counseling profession to be of value to the wider society, our research must address important problems and problems in society.

Researchers might consider whether improvements could be made to increase the effectiveness of various treatment programs (such as smoking cessation, anger management, substance abuse, or parental training) or outreach programs (for programs such as rape prevention or alcohol awareness).


Creswell, John.  W. 2015. Educational Research: planning, implementation, and evaluation of qualitative & quantitative research (fifth ed.).  Yogjakarta: Student library

Danim, Sudarwan.  2002. Becoming a Qualitative Researcher.  Bandung: Faithful Library

Gall, M.D., Gall, J.P., & Borg, W.R.  2003. Educational Research: An Introduction.  New York: Pearson Education, Inc

Sugiyono.  2011. Combined research methods (mix methods).  Bandung: Alphabet

Usman, H. & Purnomo, 2008. Social Research Methodology.  Jakarta: PT.  Earth Literature.

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